Kia has launched the Sportage JBL Black Edition for the UK market, featuring some cosmetic enhancements as well as a full JBL audio system setup.
Let us start with the party piece – an eight-speaker JBL premium audio system with a subwoofer, an external amplifier, and a front centre speaker that comes as standard on this special version of the Sportage.
As the name suggests, the Kia Sportage JBL Black Edition is clad in gloss black paint, with a blacked out front grille, grille mesh, front and rear skid plates, headlights, front fog lamps, and gloss black roof rails. In addition, the metallic flashes across the front and down the side sills are now also finished in gloss black.
The Sportage JBL Black Edition also features new darkened Kia emblems front and rear, while the usual silver ‘Sportage’ nameplate – also replaced with gloss black lettering – is now spelled out across the centre of the tailgate.
The 17-inch alloy wheels are finished in black, with darkened Kia logo centre caps and body-coloured door handles replacing the items that are usually finished in chrome.
The limited edition model will be sold exclusively in Phantom Black, a premium metallic colour, while inside the Sportage JBL Black Edition is finished with black leather upholstery with leather-trimmed steering wheel, gearshift and door armrests.
Based on the third generation Sportage, the JBL Black Edition comes standard with a 360-degree Around View Monitor, front and rear Parking Distance Warning sensors, a panoramic sunroof and LED bi-function headlights and LED rear taillights, a Smart Entry System with engine start/stop button, heated front and outer rear seats, and a heated steering wheel.
The infotainment system features Kia’s latest 8.0-inch touchscreen system with UVO Connect ‘Phase II’ telematics and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. The system offers a range of ‘connected car’ features for added convenience, displaying information such as fuel prices and locations of nearby filling stations, the location and real-time availability of parking spaces and live traffic updates.
Driver assistance technologies offered in the Sportage JBL Black Edition include Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), High Beam Assist (HBA), Speed Limit Information Function (SLIF) and Driver Attention Warning (DAW), to combat fatigue and inattentiveness at the wheel.
Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) is also included, along with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian detection. This is in addition to six airbags and ISOFIX Child Seat Top Tethers and Anchor Fixings for the rear outer seats.
Buyers have a choice of two engines in the Sportage JBL Black Edition line-up, with a 174bhp 1.6-litre T-GDi petrol unit offered with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT automatic transmission.
In addition, Kia’s ‘EcoDynamics+’ 1.6-litre CRDi ‘Smartstream’ mild-hybrid diesel powertrain is also available, developing 134bhp and 320Nm of torque. It too, is available with a choice of manual or dual-clutch automatic transmission, and like its petrol counterpart, has drive sent to the front wheels.
In case you’re wondering if the Sportage JBL Black Edition will come to Malaysia, the answer is definitely ‘no’, as the Kia brand is currently in a limbo in a Malaysia under the Naza Automotive Group which actually made a statement earlier this month saying that it actually wants to let go of Kia.
So, with so much uncertainty revolving around the brand, the last thing we can expect is something like the model we’re looking at here. In fact, we don’t even know if the new Kia Seltos that was supposed to be launched in October, will ever be launched here in Malaysia.
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