Last week, Kia announced that it would be unveiling a new diesel engine with a mild hybrid motor. This, the Korean carmaker said, would allow the oil burner to offer more power and lessen CO2 emissions. It would be sold initially in the upcoming facelifted version of the Sportage.
Well, that updated version is finally out. And it does sport a few exterior changes that set it apart from the older model. The front “ice cube” foglights, for instance, have been reworked. So have the front bumper, alloy wheels, and rear lights. Sublte changes that give it a fresh vibe.
The cabin likewise gets a revised steering wheel and instrument cluster. The seats now feature black and grey trim whether they are upholstered in fabric or leather.
The biggest change, however, comes in the form of those diesel mills. The 2.0-liter R diesel is joined by a 1.6-liter diesel that produces either 113hp or 134 horses. Either way, Kia says that the smaller mill is its cleanest engine to date. This is assured by that 48-volt mild hybrid motor that acts both as a motor assist for more power and a generator to help save fuel. Power is transmitted to either the front or all wheels via 7-speed dual clutch gearbox.
The refreshed Kia Sportage will go on sale beginning in the third quarter of this year.