2023 Kia Sportage PHEV debuts with 32-mile electric range estimate
The plug-in hybrid arrives later this year with a bigger battery and a more potent electric motor than the conventional Sportage Hybrid.
Antuan GoodwinReviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
ExpertiseReviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainmentCredentials
North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) Awards Juror
portfolio of electrified vehicles grew by one this morning with the announcement of the 2023
PHEV, a plug-in hybrid version of the automaker's compact SUV with a target electric-only range of 32 miles.
Under the hood, you'll find a 177-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a 66.9-kW electric motor working in tandem via a standard six-speed automatic transmission to power the SUV. That's less combustion power, but a more potent e-motor than the conventional hybrid version. Total system output hasn't been stated so, since hybrid math is never as simple as addition, we'll be keeping an eye out for more complete specs closer to the Sportage PHEV's launch.
Kia has specified that it is targeting 32 miles of electric range from a 2-hour recharge at a level 2 home or public charger before the combustion engine steps in. The plug-in Sportage will feature a 7.2 kW high-efficiency onboard charger at the business end of its J1772 plug, feeding a 13.8-kWh lithium polymer battery. It also looks like that battery may intrude into the cabin slightly, if the Sportage PHEV's 39.5 inches of rear legroom (1.8 inches less than the non-PHEV) and 34.5 cubic-foot cargo capacity (down 2.1 cubes) are accurate.
The Sportage PHEV will be available in two trims, X-Line and X-Line Prestige, which should be equipped identically to nonhybrid specs of the same name with standard features like the dual 12.3-inch display infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and optional upgrades like a 360-degree surround-view camera system. Both trims feature standard all-wheel drive, selectable drive modes and Downhill Brake Control. Kia also says the PHEV's Integrated Electronic Brake system is able to combine hydraulic braking with regenerative braking for a higher energy recovery rate than its competitors, which should help boost electric range and overall fuel efficiency.
Estimated economy and pricing will be announced closer to the 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV models' launch in the third quarter of this year.