After the Xceed, Niro and Sorento PHEV, Kia’s lineup welcomes a new plug-in model, and the all-new Sportage. With a whopping 265 horsepower, this beautiful baby promises a 100% electric range of over 70 kilometers. The best example to convince drivers to adopt this type of engine? We were able to take the wheel during a test drive on the roads of La Rochelle and Île de Ré to get an idea.
The Kia Sportage is already a success
It’s been a few months since Kia was launched the fifth generation of its Sportage. An SUV that the manufacturer is very ambitious and that has already recorded very good figures according to the orders (even before the release of this new hybrid engine). However, Marc Hedrich, CEO of Kia France, prefers not to set estimated goals, after two difficult years and a period that still seems uncertain: the pandemic, the semiconductor crisis, the conflict in Ukraine…
However, the automotive industry is facing major changes in this first quarter of 2022. Especially on the SUV market… and even more on electric models (electric + hybrid). Kia is no exception, as the 7th manufacturer on the French market, with the new title of ” European Car of the Year and its EV6 (which is also selling very well), has already recorded more than 4,500 orders and 1,300 registrations for its new Sportage. Statistics that exceed expectations and thus encourage hope for the future.
The best-selling brand in France between 2010 and 2019, with 105,000 copies sold, the visitor will add his stone to the Kia building, while The Sportage / Niro / XCeed trio today represents 7.5% of the market share in the C-SUV segment.
Discovering the new Kia Sportage PHEV
It is on the most modern site of Žilina, in Slovakia, that Kia launched the production of its Sportage PHEV in February 2022. And today, it is on the side of the island of Ré that we will discover it …
New design, new logo
This fifth generation Sportage is built on the new N3 platform, designed to facilitate the integration of a plug-in hybrid engine and provide better interior space.
In size, The Sportage remains a good babywith a length of 4m52 (4 more than the previous generation), a width of 1m87 and a height of 1m65, with a wheelbase of 2m68 (like the Hyundai Tucson, its cousin and “official” rival).
Visually, there are many changes compared to the previous model. Immediately we see the new Kia logo, proudly displayed on the front and rear. The arch is supposed to show the new structure of the house, and the concept of poetry: “the union of opposites”. In real terms, the headlights, in the shape of a boomerang, give the car a very powerful face, while the grille ” tigernose “stretched on purpose” so that the Sportage stands in front of the first on the street“, says Olivier Bouelharrag, the manufacturer’s marketing director.
In profile, the chrome line that runs the length, gives the feeling of “carrying the roof” in the back and contributes to the feeling of speed, greatly enhanced by the presence of 19-inch rims. This is still the case on the rock where, along with the invisible wiper, hidden under the spoiler spoiler, the tapered lights seem to blend into the bodywork.
“modern modern” interior.
When you step into this new Kia Sportage, it’s clear that technology is everywhere. The view can only be admired double screen integrated in the front part of the driving position with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel (from the design model) and the same size screen for infotainment.
The desire was to simplify the passenger compartment as much as possible, to give a sense of space. It’s generally successful, and even if the whole thing is a little lacking in personality, the finish is very clean.
The round selector takes place on the central console, which is elegantly integrated at the front, along with traditional USB ports and induction charging for smartphones.
The rear passengers are not forgotten: with enough space (95.5 cm of legroom and 99.8 cm of roof clearance), they can benefit from hangers attached to the front head restraints, USB ports, three-zone climate control and the light emitted. near the sunroof. About the stem, and a Cargo volume of 540 litersit is not even bothered by the presence of electric batteries…
Comfortable and pleasant to live in, Kia Sportage has yet to prove itself on the road. Especially with this new plug-in hybrid engine, which has yet to be adopted.
Here, the 180-horsepower 1.6-liter T-GDi gasoline engine is paired with a 91-horsepower permanent magnet motor, for 265 horse power combined (i.e. 35 over version perfect combination) On paper, this should make it possible to travel up to 78 km in the urban cycle in electric mode (and 70 km according to the WLTP combination cycle). In terms of consumption, the figures announced are impressive at 1.1l/100km (and 25 grams of CO2/km).
In fact, our 150 km trip between Ile de Ré and La Rochelle, alternating city driving, expressways and secondary network, allowed us to completely drain the electric battery in about sixty kilometers with consumption below 4.5l/100km . For a short 90km loop, centered around the island’s small coastal roads, it even dropped to 2.3l/100km.
A true 4 × 4, the Kia Sportage has several driving modes adapted to the terrain (snow, mud, sand), as well. “Eco” and “Sport” modes.. The latter, with a well-used name, certainly provides powerful suspension and high torque, but above all it allows you to force the recharging of the electric battery when you drive on fuel. And it is by playing on these two “modes” that we were able to reduce the consumption of our SUVs by almost 2 tons…
In summary, our opinion on this Kia Sportage plug-in hybrid
After spending two days with him, we must admit that the Kia Sportage PHEV left us with a good impression in general. Already because it is born well, has good equipment and benefits from good aesthetics (which does not spoil anything!), but in addition because this hybrid engine does not lack interest when the price at the pump just goes up. But be careful: it all depends on your driving habits and usage.
If you have to travel a hundred kilometers a day or drive a lot on the highway and/or you can’t plug your car into your workplace, this car is definitely not for you. But if you have to make short daily trips and you have a terminal available, the idea of being able to travel 70 kilometers in all electric mode may seem attractive. Equipped with a 7.2 kW on-board charger (like the Hyundai Tucson), the Kia Sportage PHEV requires 1h45 of charging in a wall box installed at home (€515 including tax, installation included) and up to 5h30 in a standard socket.
While the MHEV petrol version of the Sportage (1.6 T-GDi 150hp) sees prices start at €29,990, those of the PHEV hybrid version are included. between €43,290 for the active version and €50,290 for the GT-Line Premium (and even €51,440 for the all-options version of our test), still with Kia’s 7-year warranty. Prices that still seem high, but are in line with the competition, be it the Hyundai Tucson PHEV 265hp (€50,450 in the N version Line) or reference Peugeot 3008 (€48,580 for the less powerful and less equipped. Hybrid 225 GT package).