The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is the most understandable

In a drive across the California desert, the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid performed more powerfully and more efficiently than the non-hybrid, and it was much smoother and quieter. Its hybrid components have devoted only one cubic foot of space to the Sportage which has grown in size on each scale. And it costs about $ 1,300 more than a similarly equipped gas model.

The Sportage Hybrid and its 43 mpg combined EPA rating are different for buying Sportage – whether you drive in the desert or any other large metro area. Not to be outdone by the 2023 Sportage plug-in hybrid coming out this summer.

Not only the first Sportage hybrid The best sportIt challenges hybrid competitors such as Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4As well as related 2022 Hyundai Tucson.

Hybrids can be found in the LX, EX, and SX-Prestige trims, which lack the exclusive new X-Line and X-Pro grade off-road cosmetics for gas models. The Sportage Hybrid is more subtle than the Rugby, and it’s not as bold as the new Tucson.

The dogbone grille is wider than the previous generation, and the large lower cutout shows fog light. LED lighting is standard, and moving lights boomerang at an angle. The fine black cladding runs over the round wheel arches beneath the rocker, and most hybrid 18-inch alloy wheels with a distinct design from the rest of the Sportage family. The compact crossover design makes it look confident without having to try too hard to rewrite the book. Inside, the main difference is the dial of a gear shifter on the hybrid console instead of the mechanical shifter in the non-hybrid.

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

The wide edges reflect a larger proportion of the new Sportage. Sharing a platform with the three-row Kia Sorrento, the five-seater is half an inch wider and longer than its predecessor, 7.1 inches longer and 3.4 inches longer at the wheelbase.

The fifth-generation Sportage is larger, rumier and smoother, though it doesn’t have a sporting edge, regardless of the powertrain or trim level. Working with a single electric motor and 1.49-kwh battery pack, the hybrid drives best with a 1.6-liter turbo-4 petrol engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The system produces 227 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque, similar to and similar to the 2022 Sorrento Hybrid Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, Which comes with standard AWD. Towing capacity is over 2,000 pounds.

The Base Sportage LX comes with front-wheel drive, though AWD is an option. This is standard on the EX and SX-Prestige trims, which I drove while climbing from the desert valley of Palm Springs.

The Sportage Hybrid can jump from a stop, thanks to the complementary torque off the line by an electric motor. With an approximate 0-60 mph time of 7.0 seconds it falls short of being fast. The impressive dynamic was how smoothly the system maintained the balance of gas and electric power supply. The 6-speed has changed non-stop which is not to be forgotten, and the added insulation and sound absorbing elements push the wind and engine noise. The gas model was a capable, uninterrupted powertrain with a low-powered 187-hp 2.5-liter inline-4. Its rough, embarrassing 8-speed automatic hybrid makes it a wonder to compare.

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All-wheel-drive versions employ a propshaft on the rear wheel – a strategy shared with the Honda CR-V hybrid – extra rear axle motors that can’t take up much space. A center locking differential torque divided by 50/50 to lock the front and rear axles, but otherwise the AWD system divides the torque based on the inputs. Turning reduction reduces motor torque and shifts the load to the front axle for more grip, and the opposite happens when leaving a turn.

This system works, the Sportage Hybrid plows when pushed, but it stays planted on winding mountain roads. The steering wheel is not sharp but straight, but it is compatible with Sportage Portage.

The ground clearance of the AWD model is 8.3 inches, compared to 7.1 inches on the FWD only. It’s similar to the off-road-oriented X-Pro models, although those models have 17-inch wheels wrapped around all-terrain tires. Kia didn’t let the hybrids go in its off-road course, but the X-Pros performed like a subaru outback.

The EPA rated the AWD model 38 mpg across the board, following the Toyota RAV4’s 40-mpg integrated average and Ford Escape AWD The hybrid trip meter averaged 31-mpg as a result of the ascent and the way it was driven. The regenerative braking system lacks a pedal shifter or EV-only mode, making it easy for drivers to switch to a hybrid for the first time.

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

Thanks to the clever packaging and battery placement under the back seat, the cabin keeps it simple with plenty of space. The rear seats are the most rugged in the classroom with a 41.3-inch legroom, and the 60/40-seated seats can lean for more comfort. Behind the seats, a tiered cargo floor can hide some things or drop a few inches for 39.5 cubic feet of cargo space, more than a Volkswagen Tiguan, with or without a third row. Fold the seats with a convenient latch on the hatch and the space expands to 73.7 cubic feet. The non-hybrid has 74.1 cubic feet, which is only 1.4 cubic feet compared to the Kia Sorrento.

A hybrid that can seat five and with their gear (I imagine a college road trip home trip on holidays) Kia has achieved a rare feat in the compact crossover class. With a starting price of $ 28,545 including the destination and a 5-year / 60,000-mile new car warranty, the pot just gets sweeter.

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

Hybrid models other than the Base LX get a 12.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (it still needs a cord to connect despite having a wireless smartphone charging) and a dynamic climate control panel at the bottom. Touch the arrow button on a touch-sensitive display and the temperature dials change volume and tuning and the climate buttons turn into a menu bar for the touchscreen, e.g. Kia EV6.

The SX-Prestige I tested topped out at $ 37,500, but it had everything from cool front seats to Herman Cardon sound. The mid-grade EX struck me as the best balance with AWD, synthetic leather instead of cloth seats, heated side mirrors, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel for 32,245. This makes the similarly equipped Hyundai Tucson Hybrid $ 1,000 less. The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE Premium is priced at $ 34,650, and the Honda CR-V Hybrid EX-L and Ford Escape SEL Hybrid are priced even higher.

Kia expects Hybrid Sportage to account for 20% of sales. They can be underestimated. Dollar for dollar, the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is not only the best Sportage, it may be the best value for all compact crossover hybrids.

Kia paid for the airfare and accommodation Green Car Report You bring this first hand report.

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