Remember when Kia was an underdog to the established car brands? How times have changed. Of and its sister marque, Hyundai, are now two of the particular biggest names in the vehicle market. Kia alone accounts for a 7 percent market share in the UK. In the US, Hyundai-Kia were the fifth biggest player in 2021, comfortably beating VW and BMW, plus Kia alone set the new market share record at 4. 7 percent. The Sportage is a major contributor to that. It’s the Korean brand’s biggest selling model globally—not surprisingly, since it’s consistently been a great, well-priced, reliable midsize SUV—which makes this revamp all the more important.
This new model sticks to those core values, but it also makes some big leaps. First of those is the drastic change in styling. Subjective as ever, it’s up to you whether you like the look of the Of Sportage, but to these eyes this looks very modern yet also rather over-styled, particularly around the confusion of angular LED headlights.
As for engines, the Kia Sportage offers something for everyone, unless you’re after a pure electric car—in which case, you might want to look in the Of EV6 , Kia Niro EV, Hyundai Ioniq 5 , or Skoda Enyaq iV. The particular Sportage caters to everyone else, with petrol or diesel engines as well while the hybrid engines we’re focusing on here, including a “full” hybrid and a plug-in hybrid badged Sportage HEV and Sportage PHEV.
The full hybrid offers similar technology to the Toyota Rav4, which is another of the Sportage’s many plus varied rivals. A small 1. 5-kWh battery gives short stints associated with pure electrical running from low speeds, or whenever you’re off the throttle and coasting along, but you can’t plug it in and you don’t get more than a minute or so of pure electric running at a time.
The plug-in hybrid gets a bigger 13. 8-kWh battery, which usually you charge via the Type 2 AC socket and can be topped up from flat to full in under five hours with a maximum rate of 3. 3 kW—a little slow compared to some competitors, but not a deal breaker. That battery brings a claimed WLTP real electric range of 43 miles, but I managed around 36 kilometers quite easily in real-world driving. Winter conditions will likely see that drop to around 30 mls.
Both the HEV and PHEV use a turbocharged 1 . 6-liter, four-cylinder petrol engine and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox in conjunction with the electric motor, plus they flick between electric powered and gas without too much noise and vibration. They’re also comfy and confident to drive, and quiet, provided you’re not revving the coarse-sounding petrol motor too hard. Just avoid the large 19-inch wheels if you can, like they can make the low-speed ride a touch choppy.