2023 Kia Sportage Adding First-Ever Hybrid Option

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Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - November 18, 2021

With Hyundai offering the Tucson with a hybrid powertrain, it only makes sense for Kia to have a hybrid version of the Sportage. That’s exactly what’s happening, as the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid made its official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new addition helps Kia expand on the fully redesigned 2023 Sportage lineup — that now includes an off-road-ready X-Pro trim — and gives Kia a competitor against hybrid versions of the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Ford Escape.

The Sportage Hybrid comes with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with a 44-kW electric motor. The combined output is rated at 226 horsepower, while Kia claims the SUV will be able to get up to 39 mpg, though the automaker doesn’t specify if that’s combined, in the city, or on the highway. Either way, the automaker claims that the Sportage Hybrid will have a driving range of more than 500 miles. Since highway figures tend to be the highest, we suspect it’s on the highway. Front-wheel drive will be standard with all-wheel drive being an option.

For comparison’s sake, the regular Sportage comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that’s rated at 187 hp. Whereas the regular Sportage comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the hybrid will utilize a six-speed automatic. Additionally, the Sportage Hybrid has a rotary dial shifter, while the regular Sportage has a traditional lever. The powertrain in the Sportage Hybrid sounds nearly identical to the one found in the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid. In the Blue trim, the Tucson Hybrid can get up to 38 mpg combined. With the same powertrain, we expect to see something similar from the Sportage Hybrid.

On the inside, the Sportage Hybrid will be available with a ton of tech that includes a curved display that consists of two 12.3-inch screens — one for the infotainment system and the other for the digital instrument cluster. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be standard. Kia Connect (the 2023 Sportage Hybrid is the first vehicle to be offered with the system), a wireless charger, and multi-connection Bluetooth, will also be included in a lengthy list of standard equipment.

Just like the regular Sportage, Kia claims the Sportage Hybrid is one of the larger SUVs in its class. The SUV offers up to 39.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 41.3 inches of rear legroom. The extra space comes from a wheelbase that’s 3.4 inches longer than before and a body that’s half an inch taller and wider.

Kia hasn’t said anything about pricing yet, but the Sportage Hybrid will be available in LX, EX, and SX-Prestige trims. We don’t know when the SUV will officially arrive at dealerships, either, but with the regular Sportage expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2022, we think the hybrid will follow after.

Based on Kia’s 39 mpg figure for the 2023 Sportage Hybrid, we think the SUV will fall below the Escape Hybrid (41 mpg combined) and RAV4 Hybrid (40 mpg combined), but alongside the CR-V Hybrid (38 mpg combined) and Tucson Hybrid (38 mpg combined). With a daring design, a spacious interior, and loads of tech, the Sportage Hybrid isn’t relying on fuel economy to draw consumers in, as it has a lot to offer.

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Pictured: 2022 Kia Sportage

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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