Kia Sportage SUV updated for 2020 with tech tweaks and new diesel engine

The revised Kia Sportage receives a restructured trim-level hierarchy and a handful of technology upgrades

The Kia Sportage range has been updated for 2020, with a minor trim-level restructure, a few technology revisions and a new 1.6-litre mild-hybrid diesel engine. The refreshed Sportage range is available to order now, priced from £22,445, with first deliveries expected to arrive towards the end of the year.

To start, Kia has discontinued the Sportage’s least popular trim-levels, axing both the entry-level grade 1 and flagship grade 4 models. As such, the crossover’s line-up will now comprise the middling grade 2 and 3 variants, as well as a fresh pair of sporty range-topping models, badged “GT-Line” and “GT-Line S.”

Standard equipment for the updated Sportage 2 now includes 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, electrically folding door mirrors, automatic windscreen wipers and rear parking sensors. Inside, there’s heated front and rear seats, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, a leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. 

Every model also now comes equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which offers navigation and support for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and voice control. Kia’s UVO connected services are also offered as standard, giving drivers real-time information on traffic conditions, speed camera locations and the availability of nearby parking spaces.

Grade 3 models are priced from £26,445 and feature LED headlamps, black plastic body mouldings, front parking sensors and a panoramic sunroof. Interior upgrades include leather upholstery, electrically adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, aluminium tread plates, an electronic parking brake and a 4.2-inch display for the instrument cluster.

Kia’s new GT-Line variant is priced from £26,660 and builds on the specification of the Sportage 2 with a range of sporty styling cues. Upgrades include a unique set of 19-inch alloy wheels, a new diamond mesh radiator grille, new LED fog lamps and a twin-exit exhaust system. Inside, buyers get a set of aluminium pedals, black headlining and a new sports steering wheel.

Prices for the flagship Sportage GT-Line S start at £30,510. The range-topper gets the same level of equipment as the GT-Line variant, with the addition with a panoramic sunroof, a premium eight-speaker JBL stereo system and a pair of electrically adjustable, heated and ventilated front seats. Buyers get a power assisted tailgate, a wireless smartphone charger and a 360-degree camera, too.

Kia has also added a new 48-volt mild-hybrid diesel powertrain, to replace the current Sportage’s conventionally driven 1.7-litre unit. The system comprises a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, a belt-driven starter-generator, and a 0.44kWh battery pack, for a combined output of 134bhp and 320Nm of torque.

The powertrain is hitched to a six-speed manual transmission as standard, although buyers can spec a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic as an optional extra. With the former gearbox fitted, the 48-volt mild-hybrid system gives the Sportage a 0–62mph time of 10.8 seconds and a top speed of 112mph.

Kia also says its new 1.6-litre MHEV system will give the Sportage a WLTP fuel economy figure of 52.3mpg, regardless of the buyer’s chosen gearbox, while emissions figures are a claimed 141g/km of CO2.

The revised Sportage is also offered with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, in two states of tune. The entry-level naturally aspirated model develops 130bhp and 161Nm of torque, while the more potent turbocharged variant has an output of 174bhp and 265Nm of torque. 

The former unit can only be specced with front-wheel-drive, while the latter is available with four-wheel-drive – although both can be had with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox.

Safety and technology gets a boost too, with all models now coming as standard with a reversing camera, lane-keeping assist, high-beam assist and trailer stability assist – as well as cruise control and a speed limiter. Like the outgoing model, there are also six airbags scattered throughout the cabin, as well as a pair of ISOFIX mounting points for the rear bench.

What does the updated Kia Sportage have to beat? Read our run-down of the best SUVs on sale now

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