The 2018 Kia Sportage (facelift) is officially out now. The mid-cycle refresh has brought a diesel mild-hybrid powertrain, a fresh design and new technologies to the compact SUV.
The new Kia Sportage is the first Kia model announced with the new ‘EcoDynamics+’ mild-hybrid powertrain. This system uses a combination of a 2.0-litre ‘R’ diesel engine, a 48-volt battery and a mild-hybrid starter-generator unit. Kia is yet to release the output figures and the fuel consumption rating, but it does say that its new 48-volt technology reduces CO2 emissions by up to 4% under Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP).
The Kia Sportage has swapped the 1.7-litre U2 CRDi diesel engine with the all-new 1.6-litre U3 CRDi diesel engine. Like the all-new Kia Ceed, the new Kia Sportage gets the all-new diesel engine in 115 PS and 136 PS versions. Kia will offer a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and an AWD system with the 136 PS version.
The 2018 Kia Sportage has a number of design improvements. On the outside, it features new bumpers, tweaked headlamps and tail lamps, revised ‘ice cube’ fog lamps and new alloy wheels. Kia has introduced five new exterior colours. Inside, there’s a new steering wheel, a revised instrument cluster and a new 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system/new ‘frameless’ 8-inch infotainment system.
The new Sportage comes with Kia’s latest advanced driver assistance systems as well. These include Smart Cruise Control with Stop&Go, Driver Attention Warning and an Around View Monitor.
The new Kia Sportage will go on sale in Europe in the third quarter of this year (July-August 2018). Reports suggest that Kia could launch this global best-seller in India as a CKD import, with the assembly taking place at its Anantapur plant in Andhra Pradesh. The first model in our market, the Kia SP Concept-based SUV, will arrive in mid-2019. This means, if approved, the new Kia Sportage won’t reach our market before late-2019.