like the hybrid, plus the EV mode

A logical continuation of the development of the range, the Kia Sportage is available in a plug-in hybrid version PHEV. Its performance is no different, but its larger battery promises great savings.

The star SUV of the Korean brand, the Kia Sportage has just hit the roads with a whole new generation. More modern, it takes the technical foundations of the Hyundai Tucson, with which the comparison is inevitable. Therefore, the supply of engines is modeled directly on the latter, and it is the turn of the rechargeable hybrid version to see the light.

Kia Sportage PHEV

An electric range close to 60 km in reality

Unlike the simple hybrid version (also available in 4 × 4 transmission, which is not the case with the Tucson equivalent), the Sportage PHEV uses substantially the same mechanical configuration. So we find the 1.6 hp 1.6-liter gasoline engine associated with a 91 hp electric motor. In total, it develops 265 hp for 350 Nm of torque, using all-wheel drive by mechanical shaft.

Plug-in hybrid

On the floor, between the two rows of seats, is the 13.8 kWh battery with a net capacity. Again, nothing new except to read the data sheet: because according to the measurements according to the WLTP protocol, the Kia Sportage PHEV is capable of announcing a range of 70 km when the Tucson claims 62 km. Neither heavier than its cousin (1,997 kg versus 1,999 kg), nor more aerodynamic in addition (brands have not reported any Cx value), it does it better. Asked about this, Kia teams indicated that an upgrade of the power management system between these two models explains the differences. This allows it to further lower its indices to an average of 1.1 l / 100 km per 25 g / km of CO2.

In use, however, we did not notice any noticeable difference. The Kia Sportage was able to cover 57 km on a mixed course, which is as much as the Tucson went on our measurement loop. Which puts him in the top half of the category, allowing him to elbow with the Ford Kuga Plug-In or the Suzuki Across. But keep in mind that it shows the best efficiency compared to its competitors, inhabited by 14.4 kWh and 18.1 kWh units respectively.

Like the Tucson, Kia’s plug-in hybrid SUV has no extra heating and could light its candles to keep the cab warm in the winter, and we still regret the absence of a reinforced regenerative braking mode (mode B).

Highly controlled overconsumption in the Kia Sportage PHEV

In terms of consumption, there are no surprises either. Because like the plug-in hybrids of the Toyota group, the Sportage chooses to operate as a simple hybrid vehicle by default. HEV mode, which is activated when the battery can no longer animate EV mode, allows low discharge capacity and is similar to eSave mode: the charge level will remain strictly the same throughout the miles. To take advantage of a traditional system, it will be necessary to select the Automatic mode that will alternate between the HEV and EV modes depending on the roads traveled.

We have not had the opportunity to measure consumption more than in the less favorable mode. On the highway, the appetite can go up to almost 8.0 l / 100 km. At a much slower pace, consumption can drop to 6.0 l / 100 km. Expecting an average consumption of between 7.0 l and 7.5 l / 10 km is perfectly possible, regardless of the battery charge level. The difference with the two-wheel drive hybrid version is significant (about 1.0 l / 100 km), but the loop is tightened with the 4 × 4 version.

Therefore, two cycles of evolution in EV mode would be enough to lower the average consumption threshold of the simple hybrid version. That is within reach of any plug-in hybrid user. Especially because it brings home the point in terms of recharging, as it is equipped as standard with a 7.2 kW charger that allows you to refuel in 1:45 in a terminal. On the other hand, with the less favorable average, it will be necessary to consider driving 85% of the time in all-electric mode to publish a balance similar to the WLTP standard at the end of the month … At this rate, it may not be possible a Kia EV6?

On the road, the Kia Sportage PHEV also does not stand out from its counterpart. Lazy in its support changes without degrading the behavior, speeding at low speed without being uncomfortable, the SUV plays the card of commitments. Chaining miles on the highway will be an easy game. Maybe a little less on the more winding side roads. Sure, it’s better sitting than the Tucson, which prefers an even smoother setup, but the behavior would benefit from taking advantage of the controlled shock absorbers available in other markets. In addition, the reminders are not his forte, and at 80-120 km / h in 6.7 s a striking engine is added when asked too much.

A chest that loses some practicality, nothing more

On board, nothing changes and the Sportage has a compelling interior atmosphere. If ergonomics can be complex with certain functions, we end up finding our pads. The appearance of the larger battery under the floor does not sacrifice the rear space and the comfort of the seats is always pleasant with the reclining bench seat.

As usual, the retention is fusible and makes 47 liters in the hybrid version. If the useful volume does not differ above the ground, it is below that everything changes. This PHEV version carries the 12 V battery and the on-board charger in the trunk. Large equipment that reduces underground storage space, where charging cables only find their place. In addition, with this changing compartment, it is no longer possible to store the luggage cover underground, which was then a dedicated location. These are some sacrificed practical details that will not change the lives of users, however.

Kia Sportage PHEV: to remember

The conclusion could be a carbon copy of the Hyundai Tucson Plug-In. If you have options for charging and operating electric vehicles, the Kia Sportage PHEV is a reasonable choice. If, on the other hand, it will only serve to smooth the asphalt of the motorways of France and Navarre, it will undoubtedly be necessary to be more interested in the simple hybrid version with two-wheel drive, more accessible, less greedy, more powerful. and (barely) more agile.

The comparison is more difficult with the 4 × 4 version that has the merit of existing with the 230 hp hybrid engine. The slight overconsumption could be eliminated from the first top-ups, while the additional fee of € 3,800 at all levels of finish could be quickly recouped. Especially because the Sportage can enjoy a bonus of € 1,000 until June 30 (except GT-Line Premium) and the usual benefits for companies.

  • Shocking visual identity
  • Satisfactory electrical efficiency
  • Uncomplicated hybrid system

  • Practical aspects of the sacrificed safe
  • No controlled depreciation in France
  • Lack of agile behavior

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