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    William Maley

    2019 Kia Sportage For Europe Gets A Light Refresh, Mild-Hybrid Powertrains

      Could we be seeing something like this in the U.S. in the future?


    Last week, Kia announced a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system that would be paired up with a diesel engine to improve performance and emissions. The first model will be the European-market Sportage. Today, Kia has unveiled a lightly refreshed Sportage with minor updates and more information on the mild-hybrid system.

    Exterior changes are quite small with new bumpers and headlights. The top GT-Line comes with new chrome trim and metallic skid plates. Inside, Kia has fitted a new steering wheel and instrument cluster. For safety, the 2019 Sportage gets Kia's Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, around-view camera system, and a driver attention warning.

    As for the mild-hybrid powertrain, it will come paired with a 2.0L ‘R’ diesel four-cylinder. No power figures or fuel economy figures were provided by Kia. The company also announced a new 1.6L diesel that will take the place of the 1.7. 

    Kia will launch the 2019 Sportage in Europe in the next quarter. We're expecting Kia to do something similar to the U.S. Sportage, minus the diesel mild-hybrid engine. But it should be noted that Kia is working on a mild-hybrid system for gas engines, so our updated Sportage could have a mild-hybrid powertrain of its own.

    Source: Kia


    KIA UNVEILS NEW SPORTAGE WITH DIESEL MILD-HYBRID POWERTRAIN, NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND FRESH DESIGN
    Wednesday, 23 May 2018

    • Updated interior and exterior design for UK and global best-seller
    • Revised powertrain line-up includes EcoDynamics+ 2.0-litre diesel mild-hybrid and efficient new 1.6-litre ‘U3’ diesel
    • EcoDynamics+ powertrain reduces CO2 emissions by up to four per cent under WLTP
    • New technologies include upgraded infotainment and active driver aids
    • On-sale in Europe during Q3 2018

    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. Powertrains are also fully-compliant with future emissions standards.

    The Sportage’s advanced new EcoDynamic+ 48V diesel mild-hybrid powertrain is the first to be launched as part of the brand’s global powertrain electrification strategy. Kia is the first manufacturer to offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric and 48-volt mild-hybrid technology across its full model line-up. Kia will launch 16 advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including five new hybrids, five plug-in hybrids, five battery-electric vehicles and, in 2020, a new fuel-cell electric vehicle.

    Kia sold more than 131,000 examples of the Sportage in 2017, representing a quarter of the brand’s total European sales. In the UK, the Sportage continues to be the brand’s biggest seller with 39,683 delivered to customers in 2017, making up over a third of UK sales last year. Updates to the Sportage range also include modifications to ‘GT-Line’ models. European customer deliveries of the new model will start during Q3 2018.

    Upgraded powertrains include new EcoDynamics+ diesel mild-hybrid

    The Sportage now offers a wider range of engines, including Kia’s new ‘EcoDynamics+’ 2.0-litre ‘R’ diesel mild-hybrid powertrain. EcoDynamics+ supplements acceleration with power from a 48-volt battery, and extends engine ‘off time’ with a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator unit. It can reduce CO2 emissions by up to four per cent on the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP).

    The Sportage’s existing 1.7-litre CRDi (Common-Rail Direct injection) diesel engine has been replaced with Kia’s efficient new 1.6-litre ‘U3’ CRDi engine, the cleanest diesel engine Kia has ever made. The new 1.6-litre diesel engine produces 115 or 136ps, with higher-powered models available with all-wheel drive and seven-speed double-clutch transmission.

    All powertrains are now fully compliant with the Euro 6d TEMP emissions standards.

    Updates to attractive Kia SUV design

    Improvements to the Sportage’s sporty exterior design include new front and rear bumpers, as well as redesigned front and rear lamps 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 newly-refined 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.

    Smart safety technologies and new infotainment systems

    The new Sportage adopts Kia’s latest advanced driving assistance systems, including Smart Cruise Control with Stop&Go, an Around View Monitor for easier parking manoeuvres, and Driver Attention Warning, to combat fatigue and inattentiveness at the wheel. European customers have a choice of Kia’s new infotainment systems: a 7.0-inch touchscreen, or a new ‘frameless’ 8.0-inch infotainment system.

    UK on-sale date, pricing and specification will be announced in due course.



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    • Hyundai can’t seem to stop itself from tinkering with the Santa Fe crossover. This is apparent when you consider the nameplate first debuted on compact crossover in the early 2000s before growing into a two-model family up until last year. Hyundai has made another drastic change to the Santa Fe by making it a single model again - the three-row Santa Fe XL has been replaced by the Palisade. Does this re-focus make the model competitive? The overall shape of the 2019 Santa Fe is more upright than the outgoing Santa Fe Sport. This solves one of the biggest issues I had with the Sport, poor visibility. The upright shape and flatter belt line allowed Hyundai designers to increase the amount of glass used. Not only does this improve overall visibility. This also makes the interior feel more airy. Up front, Hyundai uses a hexagonal grille that is flanked by a split headlight layout. Slim LED daytime running lights sit on either side of the grille, while a pod housing the headlights sit underneath. Where the Santa Fe really shines is the interior. It’s a modern and clean design with a two-tone dashboard, unique fabric covering the pillars and headliner; and the use of polygons in the seat pattern and speaker grilles. Materials for the most part are soft-touch plastics and leather on my Ultimate tester. There are some hard plastics used here and there, but it will not detract from the premium feel Hyundai is going for. The layout for the controls is excellent with all in easy reach for driver or passenger. Also earning top marks is the eight-inch infotainment system which is simple to use, provides snappy performance, and allows a driver to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. For those sitting up front, the Santa Fe Ultimate provides power adjustments, heat, and ventilation. Getting settled in and finding the correct position, I found the seats to be quite comfortable with enough padding to tackle any trip length. Back seat passengers will find plenty of leg and headroom. Those sitting in the back will also appreciate the rear seats can recline along with heat during the cold winter months. Cargo space is about average with 35.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 71.3 when folded. Most Santa Fes will come with the base 2.4L inline-four with 185 horsepower. My Ultimate AWD tester featured the optional turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with 235 horsepower. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic. Whenever a Hyundai vehicle is equipped with a turbo-four, it falls into one of two camps - works perfectly or there is a performance issue. The Santa Fe falls into the latter. There is a noticeable amount of turbo-lag when leaving from a stop. Once up to speed, the engine can sometimes be a bit too responsive with a jumpiness that makes smooth acceleration a difficult task. Whether this is something with the programming of the engine, transmission, or throttle, I cannot say. I hope this gets fixed with the 2020 model. EPA fuel economy figures for the turbo-four with AWD are 19 City/24 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 20.7 mpg during my week of testing. It should be noted this is the same as the Honda Passport with its slightly more powerful 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower. The Santa Fe’s ride is still smooth and relaxing over many of the bumps and imperfections that dot the roads of Metro Detroit. It is also surprisingly quiet with barely any wind or road noise coming inside. Handling is where the Santa Fe really surprised me as it felt agile when driven around a bend. There was barely any body roll and steering provided excellent response.  On the surface, the 2019 Santa Fe is an improvement over the Santa Fe Sport. It features a fetching design, comfortable ride, simple tech, and a lot of equipment for the money. My Ultimate tester came with an as-tested price of $39,905 and that includes adaptive cruise control with stop & go; blind spot monitoring, Infinity premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, and much more. Build up one of the Santa Fe’s competition to similar specs and you’re looking at spending on average around $5,000 more. But the Santa Fe is soured by the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine which appears to have two settings - slow off the line performance and unpredictable acceleration at higher speeds. Until Hyundai can figure out what is going on, stick with the base 2.4L four-cylinder. It may be a little bit underpowered, but at least it is more consistent in its power delivery. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Santa Fe, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2019 Make: Hyundai Model: Santa Fe Trim: Ultimate Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI 16-Valve DOHC CVVT Four-Cylinder Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450 - 3,500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21 Curb Weight: 4,085 lbs Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama Base Price: $38,800 As Tested Price: $39,905 (Includes $980.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00 View full article
    • I wish I was more aware of cars as I would have told my Grandma to give me her 71 or 72 2-door Orange Buick Skylark hard top with fake white roof and big block V8. She drove that car like hell on wheels and it was a blast. Would love to have it now.
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