Continuing its product onslaught for 2018, Kia has announced a raft of updates for its medium SUV, the Sportage, for the 2019 model year. New styling features with redesigned headlights and tailights, as well as upgrades to the car’s infotainment system and technology offerings, whilst overseas markets will have the option of a mild hybrid diesel drivetrain.
One of Kia Australia’s top selling models, the Sportage sits in an important position for the South Korean brand in Australia. The 2019 Kia Sportage will go on sale in Australia in July 2018, with pricing likely to remain similar to the current model’s $28,990 plus on-road costs starting price.
Most noticeably, the 2019 Kia Sportage’s exterior styling has been freshened to compete with newer rivals such as the Mazda CX-5 and Volkswagen Tiguan. There are new front and rear bumpers, as well as redesigned head- and tailights. Newly available LED headlights replace the former bi-xenon units, whilst the formerly GT-Line exclusive ‘ice cube’ LED front foglamps filter to lower models. There are also newly designed 16-,17- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs, whilst chrome sill trim and metallic skid plates and even five new paint colours are also available.
The cabin of the 2019 Kia Sportage has also seen improvements, with a new steering wheel and revised instrument cluster now featuring. A new black and grey two-tone upholstery option will be available, whilst GT-Line models will be available with the same two-tone option, or black leather with red stitching. The cabin’s material quality has also been improved, with more soft touch surfaces and stitching on higher-end models adding a more premium feel. A new 7.0-inch touchscreen is available on entry models, while a new frameless 8.0-inch touchscreen unit will feature on higher-end models.
The 2019 Kia Sportage’s active safety equipment has also been upgraded, with radar cruise control with stop and go functionality available, whilst a 360-degree parking camera and driver attention monitoring also available. Kia will likely be making autonomous emergency braking standard on the 2019 Kia Sportage to take advantage of new ANCAP rules for earning a five-star rating.
A range of upgraded engines will be available for the European market Sportage, including a mild-hybrid diesel powertrain, though no details for Australian-bound models have been revealed as yet. Kia is likely to keep the 114kW/192Nm 2.0-litre and 135kW/237Nm 2.4-litre petrol units, as well as the 136kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel options, hopefully with improved power and efficiency levels. Other mechanical changes are yet to be announced.
Sportage sales are up 3.3 percent so far in 2018, with 4,532 units sold so far – enough to place the car seventh in the hotly contested medium SUV segment.
Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for Kia news and reviews. Read our review of the 2017 Kia Sportage here.