Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid: the SUV of reason?

A comfortable and well-equipped SUV, ready to perpetuate the success of the Sportage. This is the program of the new plug-in hybrid Kia Sportage. Our test after a week behind the wheel of the SUV in its high-end version.

1994. Kia launches its first SUV, versatile and available in 4 × 2 or 2 × 2 transmission. Better yet, there’s even a first-generation Sportage Cutback convertible version! With more than 6 million sold, the Kia Sportage is an absolutely must-have model for the South Korean manufacturer. The brand’s bestseller is now along the PHEV, which we’ve tested for you. From its high-tech equipment to its everyday performance, here’s the plug-in hybrid Kia Sportage.

The Kia Sportage hybrid plug-in on the side of the look: a rewarding SUV

Well-informed reader, you already know the fifth generation of Kia Sportage, launched in 2021. The flagship of the brand is now available in plug-in hybrid version, in addition to hybrids and microhybrids. Not surprisingly, the technical cousin of the Hyundai Tucson retains its original, very modern design. Nothing (or almost) betrays the rechargeable nature of our premium high-end version of the Kia Sportage GT. No specific badge, the sporty and unique look of the SUV is enough in itself. Our test model adopts a “fusion blue” decoration, also available with a two-tone ceiling.

A color that comes with large 19-inch wheels, brushed inserts and a nice honeycomb grille. Sports 1 and 2? They look alike. Sportage 3 and 4? Too. The Sportage 5, on the other hand, still seduces us with its refreshing personality, carried above all by its light signatures. Boomerang-shaped daytime running light on the front, EV6 ambiance on the back – works great in terms of design. As you may have noticed, the only small aesthetic evolution is found next to the cargo hatch on the right. Its dimensions: 4.51 m long, 1.86 wide and 1.65 high. The SUV is both compact and attractive, enhanced by its finishes and the brand’s new logo.

Life on board: fully equipped comfort

The plug-in Kia Sportage welcomes us to an equally flattering interior. Let’s start with the team. The atmosphere on board couldn’t be more techno, with two 12.3-inch screens each. The combined instrumentation and touch screen take place inside a large wide panel. The meters can be customized with different themes, including a clear landscape background, unique to the plug-in hybrid model. For its part, the touch interface, very complete, requires some time to adapt to full control. This is due to similar aspects between the system setup screen and the common applications and features screen, for example. Rather complete, the set only needs Apple CarPlay / Android Auto wireless connectivity (currently only wired). Heated (even in the back!) And ventilated seats, panoramic roof, cameras on all sides, electric gate, ADAS …

All that is missing is attendance at the park. The seats are very comfortable on long trips, both front and rear. The middle passenger also enjoys very good comfort, even with the integrated armrest. Finally, our 1.83 m passengers are also grateful for the free height. At the front, the seats offer good lateral support, effective in “dynamic” driving. Sportage, however, is not the most comfortable in these conditions, it must be acknowledged. His 1,905 kg in a vacuum and his generous volumes translate into an inevitable small roll of the body. The steering is flexible, as is the damping, though sometimes a little firm (19-inch rims require). In addition, the SUV is clearly designed for family use: easy, quiet, spacious and comfortable enough in everyday life.

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Performance and autonomy: family first

Therefore, our plug-in hybrid Kia Sportage is based on a thermal and electrical assembly. A 180-horsepower 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder and a 91-horsepower electric motor. All for a combined power of 265 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque. Flattering on paper, the cavalry is not so obvious behind the wheel of this beautiful baby of almost 2 tons. The Sportage is designed for more familiar and relaxed use and is therefore indistinguishable for its liveliness. In Eco mode, we appreciate the silence and flexibility of the SUV. The Sport mode, on the other hand, is a bit caricatured, making the engine roar without catapulting us forward. It takes 8.2 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h, which confirms our more flexible than sporty driving. The same observation on the side of the gearbox, whose management by pallets is far from essential due to lack of response.

The SUV can be enjoyed quietly every day or on long trips. Snow / mud / sand modes can be selected as needed, driving all 4 wheels on difficult terrain. Finally, let’s talk about autonomy. The plug-in hybrid Kia Sportage has a 42-liter tank and a 13.8 kWh battery. With a consumption measured at 6.8 l / 100 km in pure thermal mode and the approximately 60 km that we were able to cover in all-electric mode with a single charge, we benefited from a range of about 677 km. Satisfactory values ​​in everyday life, especially for 100% electric travel, very economical in the urban cycle. By not reaching the advertised 78 km, the battery works better than the 45-50 km of the best equipped competitors! In terms of load, we experimented with 14 to 100% in 2.3 kW (domestic plug) and 7.2 kW (wallbox). Count 5:20 and 1:38 recharge respectively.

Kia Sportage plug-in hybrid: from € 43,290

The plug-in hybrid Kia Sportage sells for € 43,290 (excluding bonuses) in its Active version. A price that goes up to € 46,490 in the finished design, and € 50,290 in the GT-line Premium. Our test model reached € 51,619 with the different caps and other thresholds of the aluminum doors. Kia also offers the installation of a reinforced power outlet at € 515, and announces a 3h20 recharge at 3.7 kW. In short, the Kia Sportage is a plug-in hybrid SUV ideal for the family. Performance, style and electric range make it an efficient and effective ally in everyday life, without looking for sportiness. Let’s not forget the very convincing comfort and spaciousness and the trunk from 540 to 1,715 l, more than adequate. A perfect choice to differentiate yourself from the automotive landscape, between exterior personality and high-tech interior experience.

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