Kia Sportage HEV and PHEV 2022 Review: Nice Tech, Great Cabin

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Remember when Kia was an underdog to the established automobile manufacturers? How instances have modified. Kia and its sister marque, Hyundai, are actually two of the largest names within the automobile market. Kia alone accounts for a 7 p.c market share within the UK. In the US, Hyundai-Kia had been the fifth biggest participant in 2021, comfortably beating VW and BMW, and Kia alone set a brand new market share report at 4.7 p.c. The Sportage is a serious contributor to that. It’s the Korean model’s greatest promoting mannequin globally—not surprisingly, because it’s persistently been a fantastic, well-priced, dependable midsize SUV—which makes this revamp all of the extra necessary.

This new mannequin sticks to these core values, however it additionally makes some large leaps. First of these is the drastic change in styling. Subjective as ever, it’s as much as you whether or not you just like the look of the Kia Sportage, however to those eyes it seems to be very trendy but additionally relatively over-styled, significantly across the confusion of angular LED headlights.

As for engines, the Kia Sportage gives one thing for everybody, except you’re after a pure electrical automobile—through which case, you would possibly wish to have a look at the Kia EV6, Kia Niro EV, Hyundai Ioniq 5, or Skoda Enyaq iV. The Sportage caters to everybody else, with petrol or diesel engines in addition to the hybrid engines we’re specializing in right here, together with a “full” hybrid and a plug-in hybrid badged Sportage HEV and Sportage PHEV. 

Photograph: Kia

The full hybrid gives related expertise to a Toyota Rav4, which is one other of the Sportage’s many and diverse rivals. A small 1.5-kWh battery offers brief stints of pure electrical operating at low speeds, or while you’re off the throttle and coasting alongside, however you possibly can’t plug it in and you don’t get greater than a minute or so of pure electrical operating at a time. 

The plug-in hybrid will get a much bigger 13.8-kWh battery, which you cost through a Type 2 AC socket and might be topped up from flat to full in beneath 5 hours at a most charge of three.3 kW—a bit of gradual in comparison with some rivals, however not a deal breaker. That battery brings a claimed WLTP pure electrical vary of 43 miles, however I managed round 36 miles fairly simply in real-world driving. Winter circumstances will doubtless see that drop to round 30 miles. 

Both the HEV and PHEV use a turbocharged 1.6-liter, four-cylinder petrol engine and a six-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox along side the electrical motor, and they flick between electrical and petrol with out an excessive amount of noise and vibration. They’re additionally comfortable and assured to drive, and quiet, supplied you’re not revving the coarse-sounding petrol engine too arduous. Just keep away from the large 19-inch wheels in case you can, as they’ll make the low-speed experience a contact uneven. 

Photograph: Kia

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