Let’s set the scene right away: in the middle of July 2022, we planned a small family trip to see the Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid in its prime… Unfortunately, a heat wave happened there, so a change of plan let the children cool down.
So it is on the roads of Champagne, that the new Sportage transported us for a few days during a gourmet journey, to discover the gastronomy of the district.
Discovering the Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid
To accompany us during our stay, the Korean manufacturer has provided us with the Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid in GT-Line finish, the most advanced model of its SUV family.
We already had the opportunity to test it when it was released, and Ludovic really enjoyed this Sportage, so I will not go into detail about the technical aspects, but about everyday life on board.
Released in early 2022, the Sportage is slowly starting to arrive on our roads. It’s available with a wide choice of engines, and the Diesel, a hybrid or even a full hybrid, is the most advanced, plug-in hybrid we’ve tested.
A little technique
With 265 hp and 350 Nm of total torque, it has a 180 hp 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine, and is supported by a 91 hp electric motor, and a 6-speed direct DCT transmission.
The kit draws its power from a 13.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and a 42L gas tank, cut down a bit to make room for the power plant.
And the cabin?
Without going into detail on the passenger compartment that we will discuss later, with its 4.52m, the new Sportage is a good compact SUV that offers space for a family of 3 or 4 people and allows for its 540L to be loaded safely for a vacation. .
Equipment is plentiful and the only option offered on the GT-Line trim is harman/kardon equipment for 500€ which provides accurate, unobtrusive presentation.
On the streets of champagne
On the plan, a small road trip from Paris to Aube in Champagne, to discover the southern terroir of the department, and the products that come from it; a good way to test the Sportage on several types of roads.
The departure is direct from the center of Paris, to join the A5 and from Troyes, which we will avoid this time. The battery is 100% charged and after a few detours in Paris, a journey of 240 km awaits us at the end, more than half of which is on the highway.
A Parisian trip, made 100% electric allows us to introduce ourselves to this new Sportage. If the interior is new, I was able to test the new Niro a few weeks ago, and there are some similarities in this Sportage.
The family SUV glides through Parisian traffic noiselessly in electric mode; the weather is good but not too hot, so we take advantage of the large sun roof (double with a second panoramic glass roof) that provides good light. The ventilated seats are more comfortable (they are also heated in the front and back), the kilometers are moving forward and we only regret the stiff, German-style suspension of the Sportage, well paid for this said comfort. of the seat. Composed of a combination of synthetic leather and suede, the seats cover and provide good support.
Finally we leave the city to attack almost immediately the highway, almost empty in the middle of a summer day. The opportunity to stop at 130 km / h and test the Sportage’s driving equipment. The latter has Level 2 autonomous driving, combining adaptive cruise control with lane correction. Easy to adjust thanks to the many buttons on the steering wheel (which will require 2-3 days to adapt and remember the use of each of them), the autonomous driving system is not sudden.
We also really appreciate the blind spots that appear with the camera display placed under the side mirrors, and which allow you to see at a glance what is happening behind you, once you turn on the Blink.
A little air noise near the mirrors or the front bonnet is heard, the engine is very reasonable, including during acceleration, and everything is well wrapped up with the sound system. For this part of the journey, we trusted Kia’s infotainment and GPS, which work well and are responsive.
After more than 3 hours on the road, we make our first overnight stop in Troyes, with a consumption reading of 7.5L/100 km, and a battery close to zero; always drive at the legal speed.
Rule Aube in Montgueux
Leaving Troyes the next morning for our Champagne loop of just under 140km, passing through Montgueux, Chaource and its forest, then Gyé-sur-Seine then back to the D671 and to Bar-sur-Seine on the way. return to Troyes.
Having recharged the Sportage overnight, we leave with 100% battery and Auto mode. When enabled, it allows the car to choose the best mode of movement based on the road, battery charge level and scheduled route.
Located a few kilometers west of Troyes, Montgueux is a community known in the region for its champagne vineyards, with less than 200 hectares planted. Overlooking Troyes, it’s also a great place to watch the July 14 fireworks.
Time for us to better discover the original lines of this family SUV to which we will return. It’s time to rest in the vineyards and it’s time to leave for Chaource a few hundred kilometers away, to discover the cheese of the same name.
On small country roads with random terrain markings, the Sportage is often heard, via an audible warning and / or vibration in the steering wheel, to get the driver back on track. It is very practical on the highway if you are sitting or if you are distracted, but in this case, it is only a matter of time.
Gourmet retreat in Chaource
Rather than pleasant to handle, on the other hand, we have no illusions about its performance (even if 0 to 100 km / h is done in 8.2 seconds), because for almost 2 tons on the scale, 265 hp seems far, and. 350 Nm torque makes it even better. We can still rely on adequate reminders, and when the accelerator is crushed, the kickdown is activated and allows you to cross in complete safety.
The turns follow each other with greater comfort, the Sportage is nevertheless an SUV with a calm appeal, designed to put kilometers at a legal speed (by the way, 80 or 90 km / h, you never know …) .
We arrived at Chaource in the rain that invited us to our test, resting in front of the church before heading out Mussy craft milk cheese making a stock of Chaource and other local cheeses, which will be eaten in the evening.
The 360° camera is very good in helping us in our driving and the view from above is unbeatable.
The Champagne Way
It’s time to leave for our last stop, on the Champagne route, towards the small town of Gyé-sur-Seine, in the southernmost part of the department. Crossed secondary roads are narrow and slippery with rain, but the Sportage turns smoothly.
In automatic mode, we always have about half of the battery left, enough to arrive and change in the city in electric mode.
We had an appointment to discover Champagne Dominique Cousinsa small Harvester-Manipulant family farm that operates its vineyards according to the High Environmental Value standard.
The tour is conducted by the owner, a true enthusiast who is happy to explain the process of making his champagne and who is proud to present his production tool.
After a few purchases, from Blanc de Blanc champagne to rosé and vintage, it’s time to take the road to Troyes via the D671 which is part of this famous Champagne road, bringing together several champagne producers from Dawn. This time, we connect the iPhone to enjoy Carplay and test the harman/kardon audio system to the fullest.
The road is wide and straight, and we allow ourselves to be taken to Troyes in less than 40 minutes, stuck at 80 km/h in the regulator, to conclude this little road trip.
We could also tell you about the Sportage’s 4-wheel drive and different terrains, but Aube being a very flat department, that will be for another time!
Conso report of our trip
Little consumption information on arrival, with 137 km traveled, and still 18% battery left, we used 3.3L/100 km; this is a very encouraging statistic. During the rest of our test, considering a journey of about 1000 km, and more than a third of the road, and recharging as quickly as possible at home (never outside), our average consumption was 5.5L/100 km.
If we add the possibility of driving around 60 kilometers in electric mode without considering, we are dealing with an ideal car for everyday life, the French reach an average of fifty kilometers per day.
Our opinion on the Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid GT-Line
These few days with the Sportage have been wonderful. Well-designed, well-finished and over-equipped, the Korean SUV is well-armed against the 2022 competition, and only its cousin, the Hyundai Tucson, is trying to eclipse it.
Offered for €52,940 in GT-Line trim (with Color option for €650 and Harman Kardon for €500 included), the Kia Sportage leaps over other models by being more powerful, better equipped, or all-round modern more.
Small parts on the design, with the Tiger Face grille inherited from the EV6 and taken from the new Niro. During our visit to the villages of Aubois, the Sportage caught the eye and made many positive comments.
The new mark of Kia also has a lot to do with it, because many do not know yet, and I got a few questions about the manufacturer of the model, some thinking of the new brand.
This Sportage has no mistakes, with a faint black piano that is a little on the body work but also on the interior, comfort that is sometimes very solid, or even just a 42L tank; but the whole is far compensated by the features of this family-oriented SUV.
During our other tests, our young rear passengers also appreciated the seat comfort and USB ports available in each seat, as well as their climate settings.
It’s a safe bet that if Kia can keep up with the production rate, the Sportage will be a real success in the coming years, well deserved success from what we’ve seen!