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Kia Sportage

Kia unveils new Sportage with diesel mild-hybrid powertrain

Unfortunately, it won’t be coming here.

KIA MOTORS HAS revealed the new Kia Sportage, introducing a range of enhancements to the brand’s UK, European and global best-seller.

The new model pairs an updated exterior and interior design with new safety and infotainment technologies.

It also gets Kia’s EcoDynamics+ diesel mild-hybrid powertrain which uses a Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator (MHSG) connected to the engine’s crankshaft via a belt. Unlike a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle, the 48-volt system isn’t capable of providing direct electric drive to the wheels but it does give a boost to engine power, increasing torque and reducing engine load under light acceleration.

However, Ireland won’t be getting this mild-hybrid model, instead, we will be getting a 1.6-litre turbocharged diesel unit called the ‘U3′. This replaces the old 1.7-litre common-rail direct injection (CRDi) engine.

The U3 engine will be available in power outputs of 115hp and 136hp and the higher powered models will be available with the option of all-wheel drive and a seven-speed double-clutch transmission.

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The refreshed exterior design includes new front and rear bumpers, as well as redesigned front and rear lights 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 hot-stamped 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 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 leather seats, or optional black leather with red accents. There is a seven-inch touchscreen as standard or new ‘frameless’ eight-inch infotainment system.

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The new Sportage comes with Kia’s latest advanced driving assistance systems, including Smart Cruise Control with Stop&Go technology, an Around View Monitor for easier parking manoeuvres and Driver Attention Warning, to help combat fatigue and inattentiveness at the wheel.

Kia sold more than 131,000 examples of the Sportage in 2017, representing a quarter of the brand’s total European sales. This new model will be arriving on these shores in towards the end of this year with pricing details announced nearer the launch date.

READ: Irish pricing and specification announced for updated Subaru Outback >

READ: Here’s what Citroen’s new flagship SUV the C5 Aircross will look like in Europe >

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