Updated 2019 Kia Sportage debuts mild-hybrid diesel powertrain

The updated 2019 Kia Sportage has been officially unveiled today. The mid-life refresh brings a range of enhancements to the brand’s European and global best-seller, pairing an updated exterior and interior design with new safety and infotainment technologies.

But the big news is the Sportage’s new “EcoDynamic+” 48V diesel mild-hybrid powertrain, the first to be launched as part of the company’s global powertrain electrification strategy.

The South Korean car maker has announced it will launch 16 advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including five new hybrids, five plug-in hybrids, five battery-electric vehicles and, in 2020, a new fuel-cell electric vehicle.

Complimenting the current petrol and diesel engine line-up, the new mild hybrid setup pairs a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine with 48V battery power for reduced emissions and better fuel economy. The system is designed to supplement acceleration with electric power from the 48-volt battery and extending combustion engine ‘off time’ using a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator unit.

In ‘motor’ mode the battery is discharged under acceleration, providing additional torque to the engine for a slight boost in performance under hard acceleration, or to reduce engine load during light acceleration. Under deceleration, or when driving downhill or towards a junction, the MHSG switches to ‘generator’ mode, recuperating energy from the crankshaft to recharge the battery on-the-go.

Battery power can also be used to provide a new ‘Moving Stop & Start’ function. If the battery has sufficient charge, the combustion engine turns off automatically during in-gear deceleration and braking. The MHSG can then seamlessly re-ignite the engine – in any situation – if the driver presses the throttle pedal.

Along with the mild-hybrid powertrain, the new Sportage also debuts a new more efficient 1.6-litre turbo diesel engine that is paired with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

Improvements to the Sportage’s exterior design include new front and rear bumpers, as well as redesigned front and rear lamps and new 16-, 17- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs. Options include chrome sill trim and metallic skid plates, and five new paint colours.

GT-Line models are equipped with a gloss black radiator grille, a gloss black and silver skid plate, and dark chrome inserts on the side sills and rear tailgate. The GT-Line’s unique 19-inch alloy wheels have been redesigned, and all models are fitted with a dual exhaust rear valance and revised ‘ice cube’ LED fog lamp designs.

The newly-refined cabin features a new steering wheel and revised instrument cluster, as well as new black-and-grey two-tone upholstery. GT-Line models are available with new black-and-grey two-tone cloth seats, or optional black synthetic leather with red stitching.

The upgraded Sportage adopts Kia’s latest advanced driving assistance systems, including Smart Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop&Go and Around View Monitor. Customers will also have a choice of Kia’s new infotainment systems: a 7.0-inch touchscreen, or a new ‘frameless’ 8.0-inch infotainment system.

The updated 2019 Kia Sportage is set to hit showrooms in Australia later this year with full pricing and specification announced closer to local launch.

READ MORE: Kia Sportage GT-Line Review

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