Kia’s compact SUV is going under the knife as the Sportage has been caught on camera preparing for a mid-cycle refresh. It appears we could be looking at the GT Line version judging by the funky two-tone large alloy wheels and the dual exhaust tips, but one can never be too sure when talking about prototypes. Whatever trim level this is, the work-in-progress vehicle allows us to catch a glimpse at the changes the Sportage will be going through for 2019.
Starting at the front, the corporate “tiger nose” grille seems to have a slightly different glossy black pattern, though you have to really pay attention to notice the changes. The headlights appear to be new and incorporate those four-point LED “ice cube” lights some might say were taken straight from a Porsche. Kia’s plastic surgeons are also giving the front bumper a nip and tuck since there seems to be a full-width horizontal bar that goes from one corner to the other. The shape of the fog lights will also be changed, but nothing to write home about.
Things get a bit more interesting at the back where we can easily observe the new LED graphics of the taillights. These make the 2019 Sportage look more modern and chances are the clusters will once again be interconnected through a light bar on the trunk lid. The bumper is also being updated considering the housing of the lower lights seems to have changed.
Although there’s a lot of fabric over the dashboard, we are not expecting any big changes to occur inside the cabin. It seems unlikely the refreshed compact SUV will get a tablet-style infotainment system like the new Ceed – and we’re sure this will come as good news to some people. The roll cage or whatever that is behind the front seats of the prototype obviously won't be on the production.
The revised Kia Sportage could debut in the second half of the year and has already been confirmed to receive mild hybrid 48-volt technology developed to drive down CO2 emissions and lower fuel consumption.