In 2022, the compact SUV segment is witnessing an interesting duel between the new generation of the Kia Sportage and the unprecedented Renault Austral, two vehicles with many arguments in their favor. We face them.
More salt and pepper in the very large segment of compact SUVs with the newly released Renault Austral, the model of the diamond firm that will replace the Kadjar and whose manufacture will take place in the Palencia factory. The rivals that this new vehicle will have to face are many and of great quality: Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Peugeot 3008, Ford Kuga, Volkswagen Tiguan or Nissan Qashqai … draw a very varied panorama, with alternatives of the most varied and, in all cases, with the most rounded products.
In this article, we are going to analyze the main keys of the unprecedented Renault Austral compared to one of the vehicles that have been most talked about in recent months, the new generation of the.
Renault Austral: an Suv With a Great Personality
From a structural and technical point of view, the new Renault Austral has been developed under the production methods of the CMF-CD platform of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, so the French firm’s new vehicle incorporates many “genes ” shared with the third generation of another of the “heavyweights” in the category, the third generation of the Nissan Qashqai.
By dimensions, for the Austral, it is announced 4.51 meters long, 1.62 meters high, and 1.83 meters wide, compared to 4.58 meters for the Renault Arkana and 4.43 meters for the Nissan Qashqai. From the point of view of its design, the new SUV from the diamond firm inherits many aesthetic features already seen in the Mégane E-Tech, with a very dynamic and daring appearance “seasoned” with the typical details in SUVs, such as be its large alloy wheels (up to 20 inches in diameter, depending on the version) and its marked wheel arches.
Wide front grille, new Renault logo, large air vents, C-shaped light signature, multifunctional lighting of three types ( LED Pure Vision, LED Adaptive Vision, and LED Matrix Vision with dynamic indicators), very marked body lines… The exterior design of the new SUV from the French brand hardly goes unnoticed. Inside, prominence for the screen of the OpenR multimedia system, released in the Mégane E-Tech Electric. This OpenR system integrates both the 12.3-inch digital screen on the instrument panel and the 12-inch multimedia screen on the center console.in higher versions, forming an inverted “L” (in the case of the instrument panel, the driver can see four different views). Onboard, there is no lack of a wireless induction charging system for mobile devices, in addition to several USB sockets/ports.
The habitability and good space for the occupants and their load are, according to Renault, other of the two great strengths of the Austral. As for the volume of load capacity in the trunk and with the fixed rear bench seat, in the Mild Hybrid versions, the volume starts at 500 liters (430 in the E-TECH Hybrid version); with the sliding seat, it reaches up to 575 liters (555 in the E-TECH Hybrid version); when folding down the bench seat, the available volume reaches 1,525 liters.
At a mechanical level, the new compact SUV of the diamond brand will only offer gasoline engines associated with different hybridization systems. Within its mechanical offer, the new E-TECH Hybrid version stands out. It has a new 1.2-liter, 3-cylinder gasoline engine with a 96 kW turbocharger and a torque of 205 Nm (and two power levels of 160 and 200 CV). This gasoline engine is associated with a more powerful electric motor with higher torque (50 kW and 205 Nm), a lithium-ion battery with greater capacity (1.7 kWh / 400 V), and a gearbox that goes from 6 to 7 gears. According to Renault, with this new version, it will be possible to circulate in fully electric mode up to 80% of the time, saving up to 40% in consumption compared to a thermal engine in the urban cycle under the same conditions.
Another interesting version in the Austral 2022 is the new 130 hp 1.2 three-cylinder gasoline engine associated with a micro-hybrid mild-hybrid system with a 48V system. On the other hand, two mild-hybrid versions of 140 and 160 hp associated with a 12V system (and in which the gasoline engine is a 1.3 4-cylinder) will also be available.
In terms of safety and driving assistance, the new SUV from the French brand can include up to 32 different systems. Likewise, the Multi-Sense technologies also stand out (with four driving modes -Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Perso- and the new generation of the 4Control Advanced system with four steering wheels.
The first orders for the Austral will begin in the middle of this year and the first units will not arrive at dealerships until the fall.
Kia Sportage: Yes There Is a Good Fifth
The fifth generation of the Kia Sportage is, with all honors, the most advanced and the one with the highest technical quality of all, a vehicle that is uncompromisingly committed to technology, to a striking, sophisticated, and modern exterior and interior style and for a mechanical offer of the most varied and numerous.
The fifth installment of the Asian firm’s vehicle has a more marked visual presence, which it achieves thanks to the new and modern shapes of its bodywork and somewhat larger dimensions compared to the fourth-generation Sportage. Specifically, the new model measures 4.51 meters long, 1.86 meters wide, and 1.65 meters high. In terms of cargo space in the trunk, Kia announces a volume of between 591 liters and 1,780 liters (with the rear seatbacks folded down for the 150 hp 4×2 petrol version), compared to 503 liters for the fourth-generation Sportage.
The specific tuning of the Sportage V is another of its keys. The version that has already begun to be sold for the European market has a specific wheelbase for our continent, in addition to another series of many technical details (steering, brakes, suspensions, and operation of safety systems and assistance to the driving) adapted to the driving style of motorists from the Old Continent.
As in the Austral, the modern cabin is another of the great assets of the Sportage V. Those responsible for the interiors of the Kia firm have put all the meat in the roast to offer an environment with a great sense of quality, both visual and real. , with the use of new materials and fine-tuning each centimeter/millimeter to the maximum in the termination and adjustment of each of the parts. Within the design and configuration of the passenger compartment, its two new digital and configurable curved screens of 31 cm (12.3 inches) each, practically joined, draw a lot of attention.
For the Spanish market, the confirmed equipment levels for the Sportage V are four: Concept, Drive, Tech, and GT-Line, the latter with numerous nods and details typical of sports vehicles.
On a technical and structural level, the fifth installment of the Asian brand’s SUV shares “genes” with another high-quality product such as the most recent generation of the Hyundai Tucson (the N3 technical platform ). It is a flexible, modular architecture that can be adapted to different body lengths and, above all, to different types of propulsion technologies.
For all these reasons, the Kia Sportage 2022 can boast of being one of the medium or compact SUVs with the most varied and numerous mechanical ranges. In diesel, the offer is based on the 1.6 CRDi engine in power levels of 115 or 136 CV, the latter version associated with a 48V micro-hybrid system. On the other hand, in gasoline, you can choose the 1.6 T-GDI turbo engine, available in versions of 150 and 180 CV, also with the option for the transmission with the micro-hybrid system.
As for conventional hybrid technology, the offer includes the 1.6 T-GDi turbo HEV version with up to 230 hp combined power. Later, the mechanical range of this SUV will be completed with the availability of the PHEV plug-in hybrid version of up to 265 hp.
In the chapter on safety systems and driving assistance, the Sportage V also gives its chest. Among the different devices and technologies, the adaptive cruise control (with Stop&Go function) with lane centering (only with automatic transmission), the blind spot detection system, the cross-traffic assistant with automatic braking in reverse in case to detect a possible crash (only with automatic transmission)…, among other elements.