Kia Corp is really kicking some butt lately. With multiple models taking the second highest-ranking spot in their respective categories – according to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS) – and the Kia Forte taking top honors, all eyes are on the South Korean automaker and its plans for electric vehicle (EV) production with the Hyundai Motor Group. Even with a large focus on EV development, having shifted all of its resources to EVs and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), gasoline combustion engines are still plenty popular. The Kia Sportage just had its best sales ever in June, posting a record monthly sales total of 14,153 units. Also entering an age of electrified models, the Sportage PHEV is also hitting the streets, following the success of the Sorento PHEV and Kia EV6.
“With our wide range of sedans, SUVs and electrified vehicles, Kia has the most well-balanced model line-up in the industry…The ongoing popularity of the EV6 and strong initial sales performance of the all-new Sportage SUV continue to push the brand on its upward trajectory. We are confident that Kia will continue to outpace the industry well into the third quarter and through the rest of the year.” – Eric Watson, vice president, sales operations, Kia America
Fuel Up or Go Green
The 2023 Kia Sportage makes the choices easy for consumers. Standard throughout the lineup is a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine, able to generate up to 187 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. Offering consumers a fuel economy of 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway when equipped with front-wheel drive, the SUV has always been a great staple of the Kia name. Offering premium materials, such as Syntex, and a new dual panoramic curved display standard on all trims, the 2023 Kia Sportage has some of the tech developments for future Kia models.
A plug-in hybrid, the Kia Sportage PHEV is powered by a 1.6-liter turbo GDI engine and a 44kW permanent magnet electric motor that is powered by a high-output 1.49 kWh lithium-ion battery. Able to recharge the battery via a charging station, 120V outlets, and 240V outlet installations, consumers can drive 32 miles with zero carbon emissions before activating the gasoline engine. Offering the same upgraded tech and premium materials, the Sportage PHEV is more or less the same as the original Kia Sportage. Both also offer similar features.
Style and Convenience
Consumers can find a lot of great features standard on the 2023 Kia Sportage. These include sound-absorbing windshield glass, rear privacy glass, heated rear glass, LED headlights, LED DRLs, LED taillights, automatic headlights, and power-adjustable mirrors – with LED turn signal indicators past the base trim. A panoramic sunroof offers plenty of natural sunlight (found on high-end trims), and past the base trim, consumers can get Syntex or premium Syntex upholstery. Syntex is the synthetic leather Kia uses in place of animal leather in many of its upcoming and upgraded models. Standard tech incudes a 12.3-inch touchscreens for the instrument cluster. Depending on the trim, this is either in contrast to an 8-inch touchscreen, for a total of 20.3”, or another 12.3-inch touchscreen for the full 25-inch display for vehicle diagnostics and infotainment.
The 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV reflects many of these option choices, and continues to offer class-leading rear legroom with 41.3 inches of room and a best-in-class rear cargo capacity of 39.5 cubic-feet of space. This is in thanks to the longer wheelbase offered with the large battery. Google Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth wireless tech, and a rear view monitor are all standard tech, with the option to upgrade to a Harman-Kardon premium audio system on select trims. Always placing a focus on safety, both models come standard with include Driver Attention Warning with leading vehicle departure alert, a parking distance system with warning for the rear, Land Departure Warning, Lane Keeping and Following Assist, and Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection. Both are covered by the Kia 10-year/100,000 mile warranty program, consisting of a 10-year/1000,000 mile limited powertrain warranty, 5-year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty, 5-year/100,000 mile limited anti-perforation warranty, and 5-year/60,000 mile roadside assistance plan. Kia Corp is doing well in the race to release EVs and BEVs while releasing plug-in hybrid variants of some consumer favorites. According to the 2030 CEO Investor Day for Kia Corp, the automaker intends to expand the lineup with 14 BEV models by 2027, launching at least two BEVs per year between 2023 and then. We’ll see how it goes, and until then, great options to experiment with the idea of going green remain, such as the Kia Sportage PHEV and Sportage Hybrid at Miami Lakes Automall.