Kia Sportage facelift

19 Jun, 2013 12:59pm Tom Phillips

The facelifted Kia Sportage has been spied testing in the US, ahead of its 2014 release date

Kia is testing a facelifted version of its Sportage SUV. The rival for the Nissan Qashqai, Mazda CX-5 and Skoda Yeti was spotted undergoing hot-weather testing in the USA.

The Sportage arrived in the UK in March 2010, with the revised model set to debut here in the second half of 2014.

A spokesman told us that the Sportage remains popular – so much so that the small SUV is the best-selling car in Kia’s line-up in the UK in some months – so expect minimal changes to the exterior.

A new bonnet, bumpers and grille will feature, alongside new head and tail-lights – the former getting LED daytime running elements moved from the lamp’s lower edge to its upper side.

It’ll be a similar story inside, with upgrades to trim, while the engine line-up is likely to remain unchanged, but will receive the customary optimising tweaks to improve efficiency and boost power.

The car will be available with Kia’s FlexSteer system, and the dials will switch to the firm’s latest colour TFT display as used by the Cee’d and Carens.

The Sportage is popular globally, so Kia as-yet has not confirmed which motorshow the facelifted model will first be shown at. However, a Europe debut is possible – as it’s built in Kia’s factory in Zilina, Slovakia – so the car would likely be shown at the Paris Motor Show in September 2014, and go on sale here soon afterwards.

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I think it looks ok in its class. What Kia needs to do is give it some powerful petrol and diesel engines that are fast and clean in the same measure.

The auto gearbox on the current model is the old torque converter type which is a joke in this day & age when you have the more efficient dual clutch type around. It is rubbish & it dithers too much and to do a quick overtaking move it needs manual intervention.

The engine is rough & noisy is the main weak point amongst many including the steering pull issue, which Kia refuse to do anything about, the radio is pretty poor, along with the sat nav which lacks any speed indication and just recently sent me on a "wild goose chase" to my desired location in Exmoor, when I decided to test it out.

Kia need to address these issues on the existing one & on the new one, before the new one gets anywhere near the public.

And I most certainly would never touch a Kia again as the quality compared to German & Japanese marques leaves much to be desired.

Surely as you put it 'Old torque converter type gearbox' is perfectly suited for a suv rather than a dual clutch one that always seems in the headlines for trouble. Or maybe Range Rover and Porsche have it wrong with these old fashion gearbox's

I think they're crap they're dreadfully inefficient & slow, I would rather have a dual clutch one anyday!