What is the value of the hybrid SUV on a long journey?

Particularly efficient in the city, is the hybrid car also efficient on a long trip? During a “road trip” between Paris and Monaco, we were able to take control of the new Kia Sportage hybrid.

As gasoline and diesel car registrations collapse, the hybrid is consolidating with electric as a real trend in the automotive market, accounting for 20% of new vehicle sales. Hailed in urban areas, is hybrid technology also relevant on a long journey where the electric motor is less stressed? To find out, we took the wheel of the new Kia Sportage hybrid to the high-end GT Line finish for a “road trip” between Paris and the Principality of Monaco.

The new Kia Sportage in terms of style: a revolution!

Forget the very consensual lines of the previous generation. Like other Korean brand models, the Sportage is undergoing a revolution. Aesthetically, the changes are radical. Completely redesigned, the front is characterized by an enlarged grille that incorporates the brand’s new logo and surrounded by boomerang lights. Ditto the back with shapes reminiscent of the Kia EV6, recently voted car of the year 2022. Very divisible aesthetic options reminiscent of those made by Toyota a few years ago. At a time when design is the first criterion for buying cars, the Korean crossover plays with excitement. Like it or not, we don’t care.

In terms of size, the Korean crossover gains a few inches compared to its predecessor and now exceeds 4.52 m in length. A way of approaching the Peugeot 3008 and the Ford Kuga, the two European benchmarks in the segment.

Inside, the design is largely inspired by what has been introduced with the Kia EV6. There are, therefore, two 12.3 ″ screens which, placed side by side, appear to form a single slightly curved slab. At the level of the on-board computer, the design of the different menus has been reworked. The set is quite fluid and the navigation is correct. We still end up preferring to connect our smartphone to access applications like Waze or Google Maps, which are always more enjoyable to use over long distances.

The choice of hybridization

100% electrified, the new range of Sportage engines ranges from mild-hybrid to plug-in hybrid. For this first long-distance test, it’s the basic “full hybrid” version we have on hand.

With 230 horsepower accumulated, it combines a 1.6 l T-GDi petrol engine with 180 horsepower with a 60 horsepower electric unit. With a power capacity of 1.49 kWh, the battery runs on a permanent charge and discharge cycle. A configuration that allows the electrical mode to intervene regularly, especially in cities where the phases of deceleration and braking facilitate the recharging of the battery.

Between Paris and Monaco

For this long distance race, we embark on a road trip between Paris and Monaco where the 17th edition of the EVER show was organized. An epicurean journey that, between national roads and highways, led us to discover sometimes unusual places such as the Molphey Cross gas station, which, run by a fan of Johnny and old American cars, takes us back to the 1960s. .

In terms of driving, this new Sportage is a real sedan. Rather comfortable despite its slightly firm suspensions, the Korean crossover also benefits from the electric motor that brings its total theoretical power to 230 horsepower. Without dazzling in terms of announced power, accelerations are still enough to move forward.

Kia Sportage PHEV

Well soundproofed, it also offers a full range of driving aids. Everything falls quite easily thanks to the controls cleverly placed on the right side of the steering wheel. However, attention must be paid to the chosen finish. While lane keeping assistance, traffic jam assistance, signal recognition, and cruise control are all part of the standard equipment, others are reserved for our GT Line finish. high range. This is especially the case with adaptive cruise control and blind spot display system. Very practical, it shows the rear side view of the vehicle in real time on the dashboard. A device we had already been able to experience during our test of the plug-in hybrid Kia Sorento.

Fuel consumption: 6.4 l / 100 km

When we arrived in Monaco, our overall consumption balance was 6.4 l / 100 km. A correct value for this beautiful baby of 1.7 tons that remains in the nails of the figures proposed by the WLTP cycle. Of course, the Sportage is not the most frugal of hybrid cars. The Toyota Auris and Hyundai Ioniq will do better, but we don’t play in the same league when it comes to space. This is precisely where the Kia model stands out, while most hybrids sacrifice part of their trunk because of the battery, the hybrid Sportage announces a volume of 587 liters, in the high average of the segment. To this is added a towing capacity of up to 1,650 kilos.

In terms of price, the Korean SUV is also well located. Sold from 37,490 euros in its basic Active version, it is more affordable than the Ford Kuga hybrid, which is offered from 40,650 €. Designed with identical mechanics, the Hyundai Tucson hybrid, however, does better with a basic version billed from € 32,950.

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