Upgraded 2018 Kia Sportage bags more tech, mild-hybrid diesel powertrain

Could debut this autumn

In the wake of a recent batch of spy-photos showing the facelifted Sportage SUV bare naked, Kia decided to go official on its revised bestseller.

First things first, the Kia Sportage facelift. As the said pictures revealed, we’re looking at a tweaked mug for the Sportage as it gets a new front bumper, new headlights and ice cube LED fog lights graphics.

The suite of changes carries on towards the rear and includes redesigned taillights and rear bumper. New 16-, 17-, and 19-inch wheels are also on the menu, while GT Line models get a gloss black radiator grille and dark chrome inserts.

Cabin-wise, the Kia Sportage facelift adds a fresh steering wheel and instrument cluster design complemented by two-tone (black and grey) upholstery.

On the safety assist front, novelties include the likes of smart cruise control with stop & go, around view monitor and driver attention warning. In Europe, customers can opt for either the 7-inch tactile infotainment display or the new frameless 8-inch screen.

Tell me more about the engines

The most significant addition is the new EcoDynamics+ 2-liter diesel mild-hybrid powertrain. Hidden under the EcoDynamics+ moniker are a starter-generator unit and a 48-volt battery that provides extra acceleration power. Kia says the setup can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 4% according to the WLTP test cycle.

Furthermore, a new 1.6-liter U3 CRDi diesel unit replaces the existing 1.7-liter CRDi one. Available in two power outputs - 113 hp or 134 hp - the new diesel can be married to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and all-wheel drive, but only in its higher state of tune.

A launch date is still unknown, but there’s a high chance we’ll see the Kia Sportage facelift later this year at the Paris Motor Show.

READ MORE: 2018 Kia Stonic 1.0 T-GDi review

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