The facelifted Kia Sportage may be due out at the Paris Motor Show in October, but we don’t have to wait to get a full look at the changes, as our spy photographers have caught the refreshed SUV completely undisguised – both inside and out.

Changes are clear to see at the front, where you’ll find new headlights with four-point LED daytime running lights, similar to the new Cerato and Ceed. This GT Line model also sports a revised front bumper design with larger arrow-shaped surrounds for the signature “ice cube” fog lights (which themselves have been redesigned), joined together by a slim chrome trim piece. The grille gets a new insert with T-shaped studs.

At the rear are new LED tail lights with C-shaped light guides, new rear fog light, reverse light and indicator assemblies, a chrome strip mirroring the front and new skid plates with dual integrated oval exhaust tips. Those tips are fake, however – look closely and you’ll see the real tailpipe jutting out below the bumper. New turbine-design two-tone alloy wheels complete the look.

As for the interior, not much has changed, with the only discernible difference – aside from the Recaro race seats and full roll cage for Nürburgring testing – being the centre screen bezels that sit flush with the display. Moving over to powertrains, Kia has just confirmed that the facelifted Sportage will be the first model to come with the EcoDynamics+ mild-hybrid system for diesel powertrains.

This equips the oil-burning engine with a 48-volt starter-generator to provide up to 10 kW (13 hp) of electric power assistance and recuperate kinetic energy under deceleration. The energy is stored within a 0.46 kWh lithum-ion battery, allowing the Sportage to coast with the engine off, instantly restarting when the throttle is pressed. Kia claims a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions of up to 4% on the new worldwide harmonised light vehicles test procedure (WLTP) and 7% on the outgoing European NEDC cycle.

Other changes are also anticipated for the engine lineup, which currently consists of naturally-aspirated and turbocharged petrol engines displacing 1.6, 2.0 and 2.4 litres, as well as 1.7 and 2.0 litre turbodiesels. The existing six-speed manual and automatic and seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions should be retained.