2019 Kia Sportage Facelift Spied With New Lighting Units

Kia introduced the fourth-generation Sportage back in the fall of 2015 so it comes as little surprise that the company is preparing a facelift for the popular crossover.

Recently spotted undergoing testing, the facelifted model is heavily camouflaged but it appears to have new headlights with four circular daytime running lights. A closer inspection also reveals a modified front bumper with a wide strip of chrome trim. The air intakes have also been changed and they are complimented by new fog lights.

While the doors are camouflaged on this particular prototype, previous spy photos have shown they won’t see any modifications. The same can’t be said about the rear of the Sportage as the model has updated LED taillights. The rear bumper could also see some changes but it’s hard to tell because of the disguise.

It remains to be seen if there will be any major interior changes but we can probably expect the usual mid-cycle updates. These may include new upholstery, an updated infotainment system and modern driver assistance features. Hopefully, Kia will also be able to add higher quality materials and new switchgear.

Engine options remain unconfirmed but the US model is offered with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 181 hp (135 kW) and 175 lb-ft (237 Nm) of torque. Customers can also order the Sportage SX Turbo which has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with up to 240 hp (179 kW) and 260 lb-ft (352 Nm) of torque.

While the engines could carryover, the vice chairman of research and development for the Hyundai Motor Group recently said the company was working on a 48 volt mild-hybrid system for the model. Little is known about the setup but it should improve fuel efficiency while also reducing emissions.

more photos...

Photo credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for Carscoops

  • Harry Nimmergut

    For whatever reason (10 years ago, it was assumed that Hyundai would, and did, treat Kia as the poor stepchild, which appears to be the case, still, today), the Sonata received a major mid-cycle redo for 2018, while for 2019, the Optima is getting a tiny one. For 2019, the Tuscon is getting an extensive MCR, while this, the Sportage, appears to be getting a tiny one.
    That face is one only a mother could love and Kia is doing nothing about it. It sells halfway decently, only due to Americas infatuation with CUVs at the moment.

    • pjl35

      Let’s not forget the Stinger. Hyundai hardly has something as exciting. I’d disagree that the Optima and Sportage facelifts are indicative of poor stepchild treatment. The Sonata was extremely bland from the start in its current generation, thus it made sense that both the Sonata and Tucson would get upgrades to bring those vehicles in line with their updated corporate design themes. Kia hasn’t had as much of a styling shift recently that would require the same type of changes to be made to the Optima or Sportage (both still look pretty fresh, so I’m not sure what you’d expect for facelifts?). And, let’s recall that the new Forte also seems miles ahead of the Elantra…

      • bd0007

        Agreed – the new Forte’s interior puts the Elantra’s to shame.

    • bd0007

      That’s more indicative of Kia getting its product more right the first time around, so it doesn’t need as much done for the mid-cycle refresh.

      The current gen Sonata’s exterior was too bland for the US market, so needed a pretty major overhaul.

      The current Optima’s sheetmetal (while a step back from the previous gen) didn’t need as much work done to it (also has a better interior than the Sonata).

      Similarly, the current gen Tucson’s interior was outdated and needed a major refresh, whereas the Sportage’s interior had a better design and had higher quality materials from the start.

      In fact, the better interior plays a big part in why the Sportage is very popular in Europe (more so than the Tucson); in the UK, the Sportage is currently one of the top 10 best sellers.

  • Sybill Julian

    this is won’t change much. IMO current gen Sportage can’t compete with CRV or even last gen RAV4 in term of design and technology. I liked the last gen more since it’s a revolutionary design at 2010, also a DRLs in a budget car. Guess they did it better with copying Evoque at that time, now they copied Macan but not interesting enough.

  • Ron

    It seems like Kia/Hyundai refreshes or redesigns their cars every other day but they never really change.

  • Perry F. Bruns

    Damn! If the keep lifting it, the headlights will be on the roof.

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