2023 Kia Sportage PHEV Arrives With 32 Miles of Electric Range

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【Summary】The first plug-in hybrid powertrain for the Sportage arrives with a larger electric motor than the Sporty Hybrid for 32 miles of all-electric range.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Mar 22, 2022 7:55 AM PT
2023 Kia Sportage PHEV Arrives With 32 Miles of Electric Range

Kia's lineup of electrified vehicles continues to grow. This time, the South Korean automaker didn't introduce an all-electric vehicle, but finally released the plug-in hybrid version of the 2023 Kia Sportage. Kia debuted the all-new, fifth-gen Sportage before the end of last year before unveiling the Sportage Hybrid. Now, a new Sportage PHEV joins the lineup, bringing another electrified version to the compact SUV's lineup.

PHEV Powertrain Arrives

Just like the Sportage Hybrid, the Sportage PHEV utilizes a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. Where the Sportage PHEV differs from the Sportage Hybrid is that it comes with a 66.9-kW electric motor and a 13.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Kia hasn't said how much total power the configuration makes, but the four-cylinder engine is good for 177 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque on its own. In the Sorento PHEV, the same powertrain is rated at 261 horsepower.

Power isn't nearly as important as fuel economy or range with affordable plug-in hybrid like the Sportage PHEV. On that front, Kia is targeting a range of 32 miles on a single charge. With a standard 7.2-kW onboard charger, the Sportage PHEV can get a complete charge back in two hours when plugged into a Level 2 charger. Kia didn't provide any estimated fuel economy figures for the Sportage PHEV yet.

Compared to its rivals, the Sportage PHEV isn't a segment leader. The Toyota RAV4 Prime leads the way forward for the class with an all-electric range of up to 42 miles. Even the Hyundai Tucson PHEV, which is a twin to the Sportage PHEV, has a better all-electric range with up to 33 miles. The outlier of the class, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, has the worst range of all at 24 miles. The reason for the difference is that Toyota fits the RAV4 Prime with an 18.1-kWh battery pack compared to the Sportage PHEV's 13.8-kWh battery pack.

More Figures To Come

While we're still waiting for Kia to release fuel economy figures for the plug-in hybrid, we have an idea of what kind of figures it should get because of the Tucson PHEV. Hyundai's plug-in hybrid can get up to 35 mpg when running on gas and 80 MPGe when running on electricity. If the Sportage PHEV matches the Tucson PHEV, it will still lag behind the RAV4 Prime that's rated at 38 mpg and 94 MPGe.

When the Sportage PHEV goes on sale, it will be available in two trims: X-Line and X-Line Prestige. Both trims will come with standard all-wheel drive, have Downhill Brake Control, and selectable drive modes. Kia claims that the Sportage PHEV's Integrated Electronic Brake system combines a hydraulic braking system with regenerative braking for a higher energy recovery rate than other PHEVs. This should boost the efficiency of the vehicle and give it more real-world range.

Look for the 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV to arrive at dealerships before the end of the year.

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