American-market crossover debuts in facelifted form for the first time at the Chicago motor show, sporting a revised look and a range of new driver assistance systems.

Kia Motors America has revealed the facelifted 2020 Sportage for the US market at the 2019 Chicago motor show, bringing the American model in line with the versions sold in global markets like Australia and Europe.

The updated Sportage gets revised front and rear treatments as per the vehicle seen locally, though you may notice the unique front bumper incorporating a skid plate that is more off-road inspired with a greater approach angle – many SUVs in the US offer this style of bumper for those who might venture off the beaten track.

Besides the visual upgrades, the 2020 model-year Sportage in the US picks up a number of new driver assist systems that weren't available on the previous iteration, including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop&go function, driver attention warning, lane-keep assist, and high-beam assist.

There's also a new Steel Grey exterior paint option, 'Sofino' leatherette upholstery options, a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen with available satellite navigation along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a new steering wheel design and air vent bezels, along with available wireless smartphone charging.

Rounding out the updates is a new 'S' variant (pictured) which gets sporty exterior and interior appointments similar to the GT-Line model available in other markets like Australia.

Two petrol engines are available for the 2020 Sportage in the US, a 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated 'GDi' making 181hp (135kW) and 175lb-ft (237Nm), and a 2.0-litre 'T-GDi' turbo pumping out 240hp (179kW) and 260lb-ft (352Nm).

Both powertrains are fitted exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission, while front- and all-wheel drive are offered depending on variant.

American customers will be able to order the 2020 Sportage during the first half of 2019, with final pricing and specifications to be announced closer to the updated model's on-sale date.

Australia

While the updated Sportage has been on sale locally since July last year, we contacted the company's local division regarding the potential for the 2.0-litre turbo engine to join the Australian line-up.

Kevin Hepworth, Kia's local communications boss, said the turbo model remains off the cards for Australia, so we'll have to get used to the current naturally-aspirated petrol and turbo-diesel options.

Previously, the Korean brand has voiced its interest in adding more GT-badged models across its range, and the turbocharged Sportage would serve as a worthy rival to high-powered versions of the Ford Escape, Holden Equinox, Mazda CX-5, and Volkswagen Tiguan.

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