KIA has unveiled its latest Sportage SUV in Europe. The family-sized crossover SUV is currently in its fourth-gen design but will soon get a 2018 facelift that consists of minor design changes but a number of internal improvements. Sources say that it will go on sale by the end of the year.
The new Sportage is shaping up to be a mild diesel hybrid. It will come with EcoDynamics+, a diesel-hybrid powertrain manufactured by KIA that promises up to 7% improvement on emissions and fuel economy. It works by using a 10 kW electric motor to assist a fuel-powered belt for added consumption.
The new KIA Sportage was already spotted undergoing testing almost a month ago. It is only now that the company has officially revealed its images and specifications. KIA said that the new mild hybrid configuration “extends engine-off time”, promises less consumption, and improves acceleration.
Let us take a detailed look at the crossover SUV.
Looks-wise, there are no major differences when you compare the new model with the current gen Sportage. The first thing to notice here is the chrome lining on the front bumper and an updated rear bumper as well. There are newer alloy wheels, and both the front headlights and rear taillights have been revisited by the design team.
However, the new facelift mostly retains the fourth-gen KIA Sportage’s recent design (introduced back in 2017) that has a modern, hearty outer appeal with a well-equipped interior. Unlike the base variant, the top-of-the-line GT-Line version will get more design updates such as modified dark chrome side tailgates, and a gloss black grille.
The latest facelift does not really focus on the outer finishes, the new semi-hybrid diesel powertrain is the “cleanest diesel Kia has ever made”.
Interior & Engine
The roomy interior has received more updates – the latest facelift gets a newer steering wheel, a more up-to-date instrument cluster, an 8-inch infotainment display, and a new black-grey upholstery for the interior cabins and the seats.
Not just that, various advanced safety and driver assist features have also been improved. A driver attention warning system has been included this time and a surround view camera as well.
Under the hood, the new facelift offers up to a 2.0L diesel engine – alongside an electric motor – while for some markets it comes with a 1.6L engine instead. KIA had a 1.7L variant for the Sportage before but it has been replaced by the new 1.6L one. As hybrid and electric vehicles offer more incentives and practicality, the auto industry seems to be fully shifting to this category.
KIA says that it will offer 16 new electrified “advanced powertrain vehicles” by 2025, including five hybrids, five plug-ins, an FCV, and five pure electrics.
There’s still no word on whether the new Sportage will hit Pakistani markets or not. But seeing as how the company recently launched its first vehicle in Pakistan, the KIA Grand Carnival, expect more information in the months ahead.