2019 KIA Sportage FACELIFT - interior, Exterior & Test drive

The electrified 2.0-liter is joined by a new 1.6-liter billed as being Kia's cleanest diesel ever.
It was only last week when our spies caught on camera a camo-free prototype of the 2019 Sportage and now Kia has dropped the first official images and details about its updated compact crossover. As you would come to expect from a press image, the version depicted in the adjacent shots is the range-topping GT Line, sporting a slightly updated exterior design.

Perhaps the most obvious change is at the front where the Porsche-esque “ice cube” LED fog lights have been replaced by a different set as part of the reworked front bumper with large trapezoidal “air vents” shaped sort of like a pentagon. The four-point lighting motif hasn’t been dropped altogether as it can now be seen in the revamped headlights.

The corporate “tiger nose” grille of the GT Line version now features a slightly updated glossy finish with a “hot-stamped” look while below sits a mildly revised silver skid plate. There’s also a new prominent horizontal fin slicing the two air vents in half and extending onto the center of the bumper.

The side profile reveals a fresh wheel design for the 19-inch set exclusive to this trim level. Kia mentions it has created new alloys for all versions of the Sportage, ranging in size from 16 to 19 inches.

Moving at the back of the car, the updates are less obvious and nothing to write home about, but we do mention the discreetly tweaked taillights and a new silver skid plate.

Stepping inside the cabin, you’re being greeted by a new steering wheel and a modified instrument cluster. Kia is adding a new two-tone (black and grey) upholstery not just for the lesser versions, but also for the GT Line model in which the seats are clad in leather. The seats shown here are covered in the optional black leather with red contrasting accents.

By far the most important novelty is represented by the new four-cylinder EcoDynamics+ 2.0-liter “R” powertrain. It’s a four-cylinder turbodiesel featuring a mild-hybrid starter/generator unit and a 48-volt battery. Under the new and more stringent Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) regulations, it cuts CO2 emissions by as much as four percent.

You can say goodbye to the old 1.7-liter CRDi as Kia is replacing it with its new 1.6-liter U3 CRDI described as being the company’s cleanest diesel engine to date. It’s available either with 113 hp or 134 hp, with the high-power version offered with all-wheel drive and a dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic transmission. This engine was launched earlier this year on the European-spec Optima where it replaced the same 1.7-liter unit.

Rounding off the updates is the inclusion of smart cruise control with stop & go functionality, Driver Attention Warning system detecting driver fatigue and inattentiveness, along with an Around View Monitor to help you out while parking. Depending on version, the 2019 Kia Sportage will be available in Europe with the firm’s latest 7-inch touchscreen or the new “frameless” 8-inch display.

Kia will kick off customer deliveries of the 2019 Sportage in Europe during the third quarter.

Source: Kia

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