2016 Kia Sportage

Kia is set to have a fantastic year for its crossover segment. Details on the 2016 Kia Sorrento were recently released, and they have potential buyers buzzing. Now we're getting details on the 2016 Kia Sportage, and they are just as exciting.

The new Sportage will get some updates featuring the new design language that is making its way through the Kia lineup. It will also feature attractive engine options and dozens of convenience and safety features that make it not just one of the most affordable crossovers on the market, but also one of the most coveted.

Here's what we know about the 2016 Kia Sportage so far:

2016 Kia Sportage InteriorDesign Updates

No official photos have been released of the 2016 Kia Sportage, but we've seen plenty of spy photos, and information has been shared by reviewers who have had a chance to test drive it. We're getting hints of what to expect in the new Sportage, but we don't have a clear picture just yet.

The front end is expected to be redesigned with a new front fascia and a more aggressive look. From what we can see behind the camo wraps in the spy shots, that means a meatier front end with a new, larger grille and squintier head lights.

All of these changes are in keeping with the "tiger nose" design language that is being used on other models, such as the Sorrento.

Industry insiders say that the Sportage's new design appears to take several cues from the KX3 concept vehicle, which features a larger lower grille and the slanted head lights.

The rear fascia of the 2016 Kia Sportage will also get some updates, including larger, LED tail lights. A new bumper and exhaust pipes will also provide some subtle styling upgrades. The new model will maintain the backup lights and turn signals mounted on the bumper.

Other exterior updates include more chrome accents, larger wheels and some new color choices. Inside the 2016 Kia Sportage, we can expect to see some higher-quality materials and a refined dashboard with plenty of new tech features.

An updated steering wheel features a three-spoke design and has controls mounted on both sides.

A new gauge cluster sits behind the wheel, and a large information screen is smack dab in the middle. Previous designs featured the speedometer in the center, which upset the symmetry that is now seen on the dash.

2016 Kia Sportage EnginePower Train

The new Kia Sportage is expected to have a few engine options. The base engine will be a 1.6-liter GDI that puts out 201 horse power. Other engine choices will include a 1.2-liter T-GDI turbo engine that puts out 132 horse power and a 2.0-liter CRDi that puts out 245 horse power.

Diesel engine options may also be made available.

Transmission options will include a six-speed automatic and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Both will offer faster shifting times and better fuel efficiency. However, official fuel economy estimates have not yet been released. The 2015 Sportage gets 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

We're hoping that the improved power train options for 2016 will add a few miles to those estimates.

We expect more details to be confirmed once we move closer to the release date, including what kind of towing capacity the Sportage will offer, as well as drive modes.

Trim Levels

The 2016 Kia Sportage will offer plenty of convenience and safety features spread out over three trim levels.

The LX is the base trim level, and it comes with features like a six-speaker audio system, USB ports for charging and streaming smart phones and tablets, Bluetooth connectivity and more.

You can add the Popular Package to the LX trim, which includes features like a touch screen infotainment display, backup camera, auto head lights, a rear spoiler and roof rails.

The mid-range trim level is the EX, which adds leather seats, push-button start, and automatic climate control.

You can add the Premium Package to the EX trim, which includes features like front fog lights, turn signals on the side-view mirrors, heated side-view mirrors, a cooled glove box, ventilated front seats, a premium audio system and a navigation system.

The SX is the premium trim level, and it includes many of the features on the lower trim levels as well as dual exhaust pipes, a turbocharged engine, door scuff plates, and a unique grille and wheels.

We don't have specifics yet on the size of the interior, so we can't comment on head and leg room or on cargo space. However, the overall wheel base is a bit longer and wider, so we expect a little more room all through the interior, making the ride a bit more comfortable for passengers and providing a bit more room for hauling cargo.

Of course, we expect features like folding and adjustable seats to create more room for both passengers and cargo on an as-needed basis.

No safety features have been announced for the 2016 Kia Sportage. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the 2015 model an overall five-star safety rating, and we're sure that this year's model will continue in that tradition of excellence.

We wouldn't expect anything less from the family friendly Sportage.

Price and Release Date

The full promotional photos for the 2016 Kia Sportage are expected to be released in September, so we should get a full view of the exterior and the interior at that time. No official release date has been set for the Sportage, but we anticipate that it will be shortly after the photos are released.

We'd be surprised not to see this hot, new Kia at dealerships before Christmas. Pricing is expected to be between $22,000 and $29,000, depending on trim level. Some insiders suggest a starting price of $21,600 for the base LX model. However, Kia has not released the official details.

Visit Miami Lakes Automall to get the latest scoop about the 2016 Kia Sportage and make sure you can be one of the first to test drive a model when it arrives on the lot.

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