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Revealed: Kia Sportage makeover

Lift: Kia designers have given the facelifted 2018 Sportage a more refined look.

Kia Sportage’s new look outed in Europe ahead of July launch in Australia

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Kia logo24 May 2018

KIA has formally revealed its facelifted Sportage medium SUV, at least in its European guise that gains a range of new driving aids, including adaptive cruise control, idle-stop, surround view monitor and driver fatigue monitor, as part of an extensive makeover.
 
The Australian version is expected to look the same as the Euro version seen here, but Kia Motors Australia is keeping its powder dry on the exact details until it launches the vehicle in July.
 
As we have reported, the Australian version will not get the new mild-hybrid diesel powertrain – dubbed EcoDynamics+ – that matches a 48-volt electric motor/generator with a 2.0-litre diesel engine via belt drive to add an extra 10kW of oomph to improve acceleration and cut fuel consumption by about seven per cent.
 
Instead, the local range will stick with conventional internal combustion engines, but we will have to wait and see how they will change from the current line-up that comprises a 114kW 2.0-litre petrol, 135kW 2.4-litre petrol and 136kW 2.0-litre turbo diesel.
 
The first official pictures of the revised Sportage confirm that it gets new bumpers, redesigned headlights and tail-lights, and fresh alloy wheel designs.
 
As we already learned from spy shots, the new fascia includes chrome strips on each side of the grille, splitting the “ice-cube” quad daytime driving lights that are now standard on all variants.
 
At the back, the tail-lights are now joined by a strip across the width of the hatch. Dual exhaust pipes pierce a rear diffuser.
 
The GT-Line gets gloss black grille, silver skid plates and dark chrome inserts on the side sills and tailgate.
 
Inside, changes include a redesigned steering wheel, new-look instrument cluster and black and grey two-tone upholstery. The GT-Line gets black and grey leather or optional black leather with red accents.
 
For Australia, the facelifted Sportage could provide an opportunity for more safety tech. The current base Sportage Si misses out on autonomous emergency braking (AEB), while adaptive cruise control – called smart cruise in Kia-speak – it not available on any variant.
 
However, don’t expect any form of electrified powertrain as Kia’s Australian chief operating officer Damien Meredith is on record as saying the local branch of the Korean motor company will skip the hybrid phase and go straight to full electric vehicles when the market is ready.

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