We tested the plug-in hybrid Kia Sportage, we’ll list its strengths

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The Korean compact SUV plays the preferred card with a consequent supply of engines for its variety of power and transmissions it offers.

There is a 150 hp micro-hybrid petrol unit with manual or automatic gearbox, a 136 hp micro-hybrid diesel engine with two- or four-wheel drive, only associated with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, as well as a full (non-rechargeable) hybrid version that combines a 180 hp petrol engine with a 60 hp electric unit for a 230 hp set, a six-speed automatic transmission and the option of two- to four-wheel drive.

To align with its cousin Hyundai Tucson with which it shares its technical platform, it lacked a plug-in hybrid offering. A space now filled with the range, with this version of 265 hp (180 hp + 91 hp), necessarily associated with the six-speed automatic gearbox and a four-wheel drive. The style does not change, it is still original with its large boomerang-shaped daytime running lights.

These are his three main strengths.

An additional cost contained

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Kia Sportage PHEV (2022) | Photos of our plug-in hybrid SUV driving test
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Kia Sportage plug-in hybridPhoto Credit – Kia

Provided that it can be compared to the 230 hp Hybrid Sportage with four-wheel drive, this plug-in hybrid Sportage, also equipped with all-wheel drive, limits its additional cost to € 3,800.

A sum certainly not negligible but less than the differences frequently observed by this technology, which can sometimes exceed € 5,000.

During a period of use of at least three years, playing the game of daily recharging and driving as much as possible in fully electric mode, the initial effort made for the purchase, therefore, can be potentially amortized in the long run by to a certain.

Still, it needs all-wheel drive.

An efficient electric mode

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Kia Sportage PHEV (2022) | Photos of our plug-in hybrid SUV driving test
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Kia Sportage plug-in hybridPhoto Credit – Kia

Since all-electric driving is essential for the interest of a plug-in hybrid model, it is important that this mode of driving is as efficient as possible by limiting its energy consumption and offering comfortable electric range.

The Kia Sportage announces a range of 70 km in the combined cycle WLTP and 78 km in the city. According to our survey, despite a stretch of motorway where we were able to temporarily reach the maximum 120 km / h authorized for this mode, we were able to cover 58 km.

That the figure is lower than announced was predictable, however it is significant, especially because competitors who manage not to turn on the thermal part at such a distance usually have a higher capacity battery. The Sportage is in the middle, with 13.8 kWh, which generally allows the competition a range of about forty kilometers.

A virtually unaltered habitability

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Kia Sportage PHEV (2022) | Photos of our plug-in hybrid SUV driving test
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Kia Sportage plug-in hybridPhoto Credit – Kia

Battery integration is done under the back seat. The charger addition is placed next to the small 12 V battery, instead of the spare wheel. As for the fuel tank, it loses 10 liters to retain 42.

With all these elements, the trunk is 47 liters smaller compared to the non-rechargeable hybrid Sportage, but paradoxically it is slightly larger than the 100% thermal versions and, above all, quite generous with a good volume of 540 liters remaining.

There is no need to deplore any modifications to the passenger installation. At the back, they still have the same leg, shoulder and head space and benefit from a reclining backrest, from the most upright position to a fairly large angle, which is pleasant to travel on.

What can make you doubt

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Kia Sportage plug-in hybridPhoto Credit – Kia

Unlike companies, for which the tax advantages of buying a plug-in hybrid model are numerous, an individual must enter a very specific pattern of use to end up finding a financial interest. Having a refueling station at home and only occasionally making long trips, for example for holiday outings, may be able to offset the higher purchase price by saving fuel after a few years.

As for this plug-in hybrid Sportage, you will also need to justify the use of a four-wheel drive vehicle, which is mandatory here. Because, if you don’t need it, the extra cost compared to a 230 hp non-rechargeable hybrid two-wheel drive Sportage, lighter and a little more dynamic, also equipped with a larger trunk, amounts to € 5,800, immediately. increasingly difficult to make profitable.

In general, the choice of the Korean SUV will have to take into account its range construction in terms of equipment. The endowment is provided, from the entry level, but certain equipment or options are only available moving to the top finish, not always prudent when you only want to add a single very specific item.

Prices, between € 29,990 and € 46,490 excluding the rechargeable hybrid, range from € 43,290 to € 50,290 excluding options for this plug-in version.

To sum up

Kia completes its engine range for its Sportage SUV with a plug-in hybrid version that we tested in late March 2022. We show you its strengths and weaknesses.

Quentin Cazergues

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