Kia starts European production of all-new Sportage


  • Production of fifth-generation Sportage SUV gets underway at the Kia base in Žilina, Slovakia
  • High-tech plant, with its flexible and modular approach, oversees advanced electrified Sportage production
  • Slovakia is the ‘spiritual home’ of the Sportage, having produced three generations of the award-winning and popular SUV


2 November, 2021 – Production of the all-new Kia Sportage has officially commenced at the company’s state-of-the-art plant in Žilina, Slovakia. The fifth generation Sportage is the latest in a long line of Sportage models that have rolled out of Kia Slovakia since 2006. In that time, more than two million units have been manufactured, helping to meet Sportage demand from customers across Europe.


And now, for the first time in its rich 28-year history, a dedicated European version of the Sportage has been designed, developed and optimized specifically for European tastes. Based on a new architecture, the Sportage combines a sleek yet muscular and modern exterior design with a cutting-edge premium interior featuring a swooping integrated curved display that houses the very latest advancements in connectivity tech.


State-of-the-art hybrid powertrains further enhance the Sportage’s capabilities, serving to dramatically reduce emissions and enhance fuel economy. An advanced hybrid (HEV) model represents another first for the Sportage and it is joined with a mild-hybrid (MHEV) derivative and a new plug-in-hybrid (PHEV)* option. The PHEV prioritizes electric-only driving that can cover most daily trips from the home to work or for daily shopping needs. The very latest internal combustion clean petrol and diesel engines (ICE) are available in various efficiency, transmission and power versions. Showcasing the advanced flexibility and modularity of the Kia Slovakia plant, all four types of Sportage drivetrains – PHEV, HEV, MHEV and ICE – will be assembled in Žilina.




In addition to the standard front-wheel-drive new Sportage models, high-spec all-wheel-drive variants will also be produced in Slovakia as well as the exciting GT-Line variant. The European site will also accommodate another Sportage first: a black roof is now available with the new SUV for the GT-Line, helping to accentuate the sporting profile of the vehicle and highlighting the architecturally dynamic C-pillar.


“The start of production for our all-new fifth-generation Sportage at our plant in Slovakia is another key milestone moment for us in what has been an exceptionally busy – and successful – year so far”, commented Jason Jeong, President at Kia Europe. “I’m delighted that our plant in Žilina will add to its already steeped Sportage heritage with this fifth-generation line-up, now overseeing the assembly of exciting, eco-friendly and electrified Sportage models as well.”


The Slovakia manufacturing plant has produced three generations of the Sportage SUV, commencing with the second-generation model in 2006. Since then, approximately two million examples of the Sportage have been produced in Slovakia, with 104,500 second-generation models, 797,500 third-generation models and over one million units of the outgoing model, which entered production at the end of 2015. Earlier this year, the four millionth Kia car was manufactured in Europe since production began in Slovakia in 2006.


Press Contacts