2023 Kia Sportage PHEV
Kia introduced the Sportage to the American market almost 30 years ago, making it the longest running nameplate in the Kia lineup. Since that original introduction, both the model and the brand have made great strides, and the forward momentum continues with the premiere of the first Sportage Plug-in Hybrid at the Chicago Auto Show. Based on the all-new fifth-generation Sportage that came out late last year, the new 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV brings impressive performance and fuel efficiency to the very competitive crossover market.
Listening to the Customer
“The first Sportage PHEV to be introduced in the U.S. demonstrates that Kia is listening to our consumers who are asking for electrified solutions and super-efficient powertrains, and Sportage delivers on that promise in a sophisticated, refined package,” said Sean Yoon, president and CEO of Kia America and Kia North America. “As Kia continues to implement our Plan S strategy and push toward carbon neutrality, models like Sportage PHEV are paving the way,” Yoon observed.
Kia dubs the new exterior design of the Sportage “Opposites United,” meaning the vehicle has smooth, soft surfaces combined with sharp, modern elements. At the front, the Tiger Nose grille has a floating design, positioned above a blacked-out grille that spreads across the front fascia. The sharp angles of the “boomerang” daytime running lights push the uniquely shaped headlights to the outer corners of the vehicle. A crisp shoulder line runs down the side and flows around the rear into notch-shaped taillights connected by a thin black element across the tailgate.
Kia will build the 2023 Sportage PHEV on the same rigid N3 platform as Sorento, designed to improve driving dynamics and reduce road, wind and engine noise within the interior. Now that the compact Seltos has joined the Kia lineup, the fifth-generation Sportage moves up in size. The crossover has a 3.4-inch-longer wheelbase and a 7.1-inch increase in overall length compared to the previous generation. The new Sportage is also a half-inch taller and a half-inch wider than the previous model.
A 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 177 horsepower powers the Sportage PHEV, teamed with a 66.9 kW (90 horsepower) electric motor for an estimated total output of 261 horsepower. Many hybrids on the market use a continuously variable transmission, but not the Sportage. Kia equips the PHEV with a 6-speed automatic — a great idea in our opinion.
The 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV has a 13.8-kWh lithium-polymer battery providing enough energy to enable an electric-only range of around 32 miles. When plugged into a Level 2 charger, the Sportage PHEV can be fully recharged in about two hours.
Kia will offer the Sportage PHEV as an X-Line or X-Line Prestige, and both variants will be exclusively all-wheel drive. The styling of the X-Line is in keeping with its non-electrified siblings, featuring unique front and rear bumpers with a satin chrome surround and satin chrome side trim. Side mirrors, the roof rack and window trim are finished in gloss black, and the roof rack has raised rails. The Sportage X-Line also receives exclusive 19-inch gloss-black alloy wheels.
The 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV features an interior designed to be more like a living space with available near-luxury features. The cockpit has an available dual panoramic curved display that connects two screens — a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch infotainment screen. Angular vents bracket the curved display for a simple dash layout. The asymmetrical console positions controls near the driver and incorporates smart storage solutions, including cupholders that can be repositioned to free up storage space.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard on all trim levels of the 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV. A touchpad positioned below the infotainment screen controls both climate and audio functions. An available Kia Connect Wi-Fi Hotspot connects up to five devices to 4G LTE-based internet. Available options include a 360-degree surround-view monitor with 3D view, a Harmon Kardon premium audio system (standard on X-Line Prestige), and a wireless charging pad.
Advanced Driver Assistance
The 2023 Sportage PHEV incorporates Kia’s Advanced Driving Assistance Systems. Standard features of the systems include driver attention warning, lane-following assist, lane-keeping assist, forward collision avoidance, and reverse parking distance warning. An innovative blind-spot view monitor projects a live video view of the adjacent lane into the driver display; the feature is standard on the X-Line Prestige, as are reverse parking collision avoidance and navigation-based smart cruise control.
Coming This Fall
The 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV will begin arriving in showrooms in the third quarter of 2022. Pricing and fuel economy figures will be released closer to the on-sale date.
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