2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid Joins the Party

kia-sportage-hybrid-2023-18165-black-dynamic-exterior-front-angle-suv 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid | Manufacturer image

Following last month’s debut of the redesigned 2023 Sportage compact SUV, Kia revealed the Sportage’s hybrid variant at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show. Kia claims the 2023 Sportage Hybrid will achieve up to 39 mpg and have over 500 miles of total driving range.

Related: More 2021 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

The 2023 Sportage Hybrid will go on sale early 2022 in three trim levels: LX, EX and SX-Prestige. The LX will come with standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive, while AWD will be standard on the EX and SX-Prestige.

Power and Fuel Efficiency

According to Kia, the Sportage Hybrid’s 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine combines with a 1.49-kilowatt-hour battery and 44-kilowatt electric motor for a targeted total system output of 226 horsepower. For comparison, the 2023 gas-only Sportage was announced with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that Kia estimates will make 187 hp. The Sportage Hybrid will use a six-speed automatic transmission, while the gas-only version uses an eight-speed automatic.

While full EPA-rated fuel economy figures aren’t yet available, nor are they for the gas-only version, Kia says the FWD Sportage Hybrid is targeting a maximum of 39 mpg. The similarly sized and powered 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid gets an EPA-rated 38/38/38 mpg city/highway/combined in its base Blue guise, which comes only in AWD and is rated 12 mpg more than an AWD gas-only version. A Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is rated at 40 mpg combined, while the Honda CR-V Hybrid is rated at 38 mpg combined; both come with AWD standard.

Despite the focus on efficiency, Kia also says the Sportage Hybrid should have a 2,000-pound maximum towing capacity.

Low-Key Hybrid Looks

The Sportage Hybrid won’t look too different compared to its non-hybrid sibling, but will feature unique 17- and 18-inch wheel designs as well as hybrid-specific badging. Otherwise, it benefits from the same interior and exterior redesign as the gas-only Sportage, including significant overall increases in length and wheelbase. That also includes features like standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and an available dual panoramic display with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and 12.3-inch touchscreen display, though upgrading to the larger touchscreen means Apple CarPlay and Android Auto no longer work wirelessly. Be sure to check out our coverage of the 2023 Sportage for more details.

One key difference between the Sportage Hybrid and the gas-only version is the gear selector: In the hybrid, it’s a rotary dial, while in the gas-only version, it’s a more traditional lever.

Pricing and Release Date

The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid should go on sale in early 2022, according to Kia. Pricing isn’t yet available, but expect the hybrid to be a bit more expensive than the comparable gas-only Sportage.

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