Grilles are becoming huge these days. Just look at the new BMW iX. That thing hasn’t even got a combustion engine and it’s got a grille large enough to cool a small star. Well, apparently it’s for the Chinese market that seems to savour such a thing, so it’s no surprise that this new Kia Sportage is also embracing the grille, as it readies itself for launch in China.
Before you start to worry, don’t. This Chinese version will likely not be coming to other markets, with the current model being based on the Hyundai ix35, and this large-nosed behemoth under a different name of Sportage Ace.
These photos, taken from China’s Autohome, feature the large gloss black grille in all of its, er, glory, with its headlights and DRLs mounted seamlessly into its design. Running above the grille is a single strip of chrome, that connects the grille to the line of the bonnet.
Okay, let’s be real here. It doesn’t actually look that bad, does it? Especially with the GT Line orange splitter that sits at the bottom of the bumper. And when you look from the side, there doesn’t seem to be much amiss with the Sportage, as it retains the windows from the previous model and sports a rather nice set of black and silver wheels with thick tyres. In between these sits the contrasting orange again, as it does at the rear, too. Different taillights sit above a dual exhaust system, and the Sportage badge is now pronounced, running the majority of the width of the boot.
Overall I think this is a good looking car, despite the front looking rather panda-esque, but we’re yet to see what the next international Sportage model will look like. Maybe they’ll take a leaf out of this design?