No word yet if the US model will be equipped with Kia’s new mild-hybrid diesel engine.
Just last week, our spies caught the 2019 Kia Sportage facelift completely undisguised, suggesting that a reveal was imminent. And we were right, because Kia has now released images and details of the updated Sportage. As we saw with the prototype, the exterior has been refreshed with new front and rear bumpers, redesigned “ice cube” LED fog lights, and new 16-, 17- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs. Options include chrome sill trim and metallic skid plates, and five new paint colours.
The tiger nose grille of the range-topping GT-Line also now has a new glossy finish with a “hot-stamped” look with a gloss black and silver skid plate positioned below and dark chrome inserts on the side sills and rear tailgate. Rounding off the exterior changes are revised air vents that look less rounded than before and subtly tweaked taillights. Inside, the cabin has been updated with a new steering wheel and a revised instrument cluster, as well as a new black-and-grey two-tone upholstery. GT-Line models can be fitted with new black-and-grey two-tone leather seats, or optional black leather with red accents.
The 2019 Sportage is also the first Kia to be powered by the manufacturer’s new EcoDynamics+ 2.0-liter R diesel mild-hybrid powertrain, which features a 48-volt battery and a Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator unit. Kia says it can reduce CO2 emissions by up to four percent on the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). No word yet on whether this hybrid diesel engine will be offered in US models, but we’ll update as soon as we know more. In Europe, the 1.7-liter CRDi diesel is being replaced by the 1.6-liter U3 CRDI, said to be the company’s cleanest diesel engine to date.
It’s available either with 113 hp or 134 hp, with the latter offered with all-wheel drive and a dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic transmission. Powertrains for the US-spec 2019 Kia Sportage haven’t been confirmed yet, but we suspect the current model’s engine options will carry over. This means there will probably be an entry-level 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. New driver assists in the 2019 Kia Sportage include Smart Cruise Control with Stop&Go, an Around View Monitor to make parking easier, and Driver Attention Warning that monitors fatigue.
In Europe, customers will have a choice of two infotainment systems: a 7.0-inch touchscreen, or a new ‘frameless’ 8.0-inch infotainment system. Prices and availability will be announced at a later date.