2023 Kia Sportage PHEV Plugs-in to Electrified Line-up

Earlier today, Korean car brand Kia unveiled the new-for-2023 Kia Sportage PHEV, the latest plug-equipped model to join the carmaker’s growing line up of electric and electrified cars. Based on the existing Sportage, the turbocharged Sportage PHEV is equipped with a 13.8-kWh battery and offers an all-electric range of 32 miles (about 50 km).

“The first Sportage PHEV to be introduced in the US demonstrates that Kia is listening to our consumers who are asking for electrified solutions and super-efficient powertrains, and Sportage delivers on that promise in a sophisticated, refined package,” said Sean Yoon, president and CEO, Kia America and Kia North America. “As Kia continues to implement our Plan S strategy and push toward carbon neutrality, models like Sportage PHEV are paving the way.”

“Sportage” is one of the longest running nameplates in the industry, with the first Kia Sportage having been introduced to the US in the late 1990s. This latest update – the fifth generation body fist shown in November – represents its most significant change to date. Developed as part of Kia’s new global brand transformation, the 2023 Sportage follows the “Opposites United” design language of the “compelling” EV6, but slots below that vehicle in the Kia lineup.

Kia says the vehicle’s interior design is inspired by high-end outdoor products, furniture, and modern architecture. The announcement read, “the interior of the Sportage PHEV transforms the cabin into a pleasant living space. The futuristic driver cockpit with available dual panoramic curved display3 connects two screens for nearly 25-inches of viewing (12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 12.3-inch infotainment screen).”

It’s nice …

Sweeping dash, courtesy Kia.

… but I’m not sure I really feel the “expensive patio furniture” vibe that Kia seems to be going for, but maybe my patio furniture just isn’t nice enough?

That said, the clever use of glass and smaller monitors to create a much larger visual experience in this Kia seems like a deft touch. When I get the chance to drive one, I’ll definitely be looking for a seam, or some other indication that this is really two small screens instead of one.

As for the car, itself, the new Kia Sportage PHEV will be available in two, design-focused X-Line trim levels that both come standard with all-wheel drive. Power for the new Sportage PHEV comes courtesy of a 1.6-liter, 177-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine and 66.9-kW electric motor that send power to a 6-speed automatic transmission with selectable drive modes, which include standard traction control for inclement weather, as well as Downhill Brake Control (DBC).

Under the hood, courtesy Kia.

Charging the Kia is accomplished through a 7.2 kW high-efficiency on-board charger, with power density at 1.53 kW/ℓ. When connected to a Level-2 charger, the Sportage PHEV will take approximately two hours to fully replenish its battery. The Sportage PHEV is planned to go on sale in the third quarter of this year and pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date.

Kia Sportage PHEV

Charging the Kia Sportage PHEV, courtesy Kia.

Driving the new Kia Sportage PHEV should be interesting, too – especially with all the standard ADAS features. This list, below, is copy/posted directly from the press release …

  • Driver Attention Warning (DAW): Analyzes the driver attention level and provides a warning if a break is recommended. It may also provide a leading vehicle departure alert if the leading vehicle departs from a stop and the driver does not react within a certain time period
  • LED Headlights with High Beam Assist (HBA): Engineered to automatically dim the headlights when an oncoming or leading vehicle is detected, then return to high beams when vehicles are no longer detected
  • Lane Following Assist (LFA): Helps detect lane markings and vehicles ahead and provides steering inputs to help center the vehicle in the lane
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA): Helps detect lane markings and provides steering inputs to help prevent the vehicle from leaving the lane while driving
  • Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA) with Cyclist detection capability: Warns if there is risk of a collision with a vehicle, pedestrian, or cyclist in front of the vehicle while driving and may automatically assist with braking
  • Rear Occupant Alert (ROA): Provides a warning to the driver to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle
  • Rear View Monitor (RVM) with Dynamic Parking Guidance: Provides view of behind the vehicle, with guidelines that adjust to follow the direction the vehicle is turning
  • Reverse Parking Distance Warning (PDW-R): Detects certain objects behind the vehicle, issuing an audible warning when an obstruction is detected. The warning tone chimes faster as the vehicle gets closer to the detected object
  • Blind Spot Collision Avoidance (BCA) with Parallel Exit: May help avoid collisions with rear-side vehicles when exiting parallel parking spot by automatically assisting with braking
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance-Assist (RCCA): Helps detect approaching cross traffic when in reverse. When approaching cross traffic is detected, the system alerts the driver and may apply brakes
  • Safe Exit Warning (SEW): Provides a warning when a vehicle is approaching from the rear-side while someone is exiting the vehicle
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA): Uses speed limit information detected through the front camera or GPS navigation information (when activated) and issues warning if the speed is over the speed limit

… and includes a bunch of stuff that, even just a decade ago, was considered cutting-edge on high-end Volvo cars that are, you know, supposed to be all about safety. Diffusion of innovations, indeed!

I’m excited to see even more electrified product offerings coming to market at affordable-ish prices, even if they’re not “pure” BEVs. I’d rather see someone hesitant about a BEV get into one of these than keep on with a ten-year-old SUV that’s far from its prime. That said, I might just hold out for a supercar-baiting EV6 GT, you know? But maybe that’s just me – head on down to the comments and let us know how you feel!

Source | Images: Kia.


 

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