Overall, the changes are pretty minor. The major differences appear to be in the front bumper. There are now twin chrome strips that divide the outboard bumper grilles in half. Those grilles are also a little taller and more angular now. The foglights inside are also now split by the chrome strip. The large lower center grille is also more aggressive and looks bigger.
Around the back, the taillights have differently shaped light elements. It also now picks up a red crossbar connecting the rear lights. The faux skid plate on the rear bumper looks rather unchanged, as do the tail pipes. But the rear reflectors and turn signals have slightly different shapes.
We expect this new Sportage to be officially revealed very soon, probably by the end of the summer. There likely won’t be major mechanical changes for the U.S., but Kia announced that the diesel version of the Sportage will be available complete with a 48-volt ultra-mild hybrid system for extending engine off time and reducing emissions. That system hasn’t been announced for the U.S., but because the system will eventually come to gas models and doesn’t affect packaging much, we would bet Kia will introduce the technology to America at a later date.