The mild hybrid setup is cool but don’t expect anything special in the looks department

It’s wasn’t long ago that we told you that Kia was working on a Mild Hybrid drivetrain. And, just as promised, that drivetrain has made its debut in 2018, right along with what Kia considers a facelift for the 2019 Sportage SUV.

Exterior Changes for the 2019 Kia Sportage

Kia Has Debuted a “Facelifted” Sportage For Europe, but it's the Mild Hybrid Drivetrain that Matters
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Don’t get too excited as there’s not a lot to talk about in this department.

Don’t get too excited as there’s not a lot to talk about in this department. The front fascia has been slightly reworked to include different fog lights. This is a welcome change, but the new corner vents are redesigned as well and sit a bit deeper into the corners. There’s also a weird louver in the middle and a slightly larger air dam. Or, and the radiator grille is a little more prominent thanks to some coloration change. The side profile, on the other hand, carries over unchanged, but as you can see from the image, this trim level gets new wheels. Kia promises new wheels across the lineup, ranging from 16- to 19-inches in size but I wouldn’t expect anything too different.

Around back, things are even more simple. The taillights have been slightly reworked. This, too is a welcome change and they actually look a little better than those on the outgoing model, but it’s nothing you’d brag to momma about. The rear fascia got a small revision too, with the most noticeable development being the side-by-side reflectors and reverse lights – replacing the square models from last year’s model. Finally, there’s a new silver skid plate at the bottom of the fascia which is really no different aside from more pronounced fins.

Interior Changes for the 2019 Kia Sportage

Kia Has Debuted a “Facelifted” Sportage For Europe, but it's the Mild Hybrid Drivetrain that Matters
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The steering wheel has changed a bit with the bottom spoke being wider and brighter

I wouldn’t blame you if you thought we were looking at the same old interior. And, in fact, you pretty much are. The steering wheel has changed a bit with the bottom spoke being wider and brighter. The vents surrounding the infotainment display now have the adjustment knobs at the bottom as opposed to the center. Kia also swears that the 2019 Sportage has an updated instrument cluster, but I’ll give you a wooden nickel if you can spot the difference. It has to be in the software of that small display screen between the analog gauges because there’s nothing different about it physically.

2019 Kia Sportage Mild Hybrid Drivetrain

While Volkswagen Recovers from the Diesel Emissions Scandal, Kia Bets on Diesel with New 48V Mild Hybrid System
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Kia’s new system uses a 48-volt power system paired with a 2.0-liter diesel engine.

Like all other mild hybrid systems on the market, Kia’s new system uses a 48-volt power system. That system is paired with a 2.0-liter diesel engine. The system works thanks to a mild-hybrid starter generator that Kia says can extend engine off-time and help power the engine with a little extra boost on demand. It also says the drivetrain can drop CO2 emissions by as much as four percent on the WLTP scale. Kia didn’t release official battery specs outside of it being a 48-volt battery, but previous information said it was a 0.46 kWh battery that could offer up 10kW of extra power or about 13.5 horsepower.

There’s no word on how much power that 2.0-liter dishes out, but there’s also a new 1.6-liter diesel that delivers between 114 or 135 horsepower, depending on the level of tune. Models that are tuned on the higher end will come standard will all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Other specifications have been withheld for now, but the updated Sportage will go on sale by the end of 2018, so expect to see full specs by then.

References

2017 Kia Sportage High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Sportage.

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Read more Kia news.

2019 Honda Insight Exterior
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Check out our latest hybrid car news.

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