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RAV4 Prime Put on Notice by Upcoming 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid

RAV4 Prime Put on Notice by Upcoming 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid

Kia says it should deliver 32 miles of electric range

  • New plug-in Sportage variant with 32 miles of estimated electric range
  • Small battery pack means it can recharge in about two hours
  • Part of the fifth Sportage generation introduced for 2023

What is the Sportage Plug-In Hybrid?

The Kia Sportage compact SUV is all-new for 2023, with an edgy new exterior design and tech-focused interior. We already know the new Sportage will be available in standard and hybrid models at launch, but there's a powertrain a little further down the line that might be worth waiting for. Today, Kia pulled the wraps off the 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid (or PHEV), which will offer a targeted 32 miles of electric range when it goes on sale later this summer.

What's under the Sportage Plug-In Hybrid's hood?

The 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV primarily draws power from a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder, which produces 177 horsepower on its own. The engine is paired with a 66.9-kW electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery pack with 13.8 kWh of capacity. Kia hasn't confirmed how much power the Sportage PHEV produces, but the Sportage's big brother, the Sorento, offers a PHEV variant with similar specs and it makes 261 horsepower. If that output carries over, that would make the Sportage PHEV less potent than the Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in, but only by about 40 hp. A six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard.

2023 Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid.

2023 Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid.

Since PHEVs use smaller battery packs than fully electric vehicles, they don't take nearly as long to charge fully from an empty battery. Thanks to that, plus a relatively quick 7.2-kW onboard charger, the Sportage PHEV can fully recharge its pack in about two hours using a typical Level 2 station.

What are the Sportage Plug-In Hybrid's trim levels?

The PHEV trim lineup draws inspiration from the standard Sportage's offerings. The PHEV will start at the X-Line level, which is differentiated from other Sportages by its more ruggedly styled bumpers, black exterior trim and roof rack. It will also come with a suite of standard safety features that include blind-spot monitoring and safe exit assist — helpful so you don't open your door into traffic coming from behind.

There will also be a loaded X-Line Prestige, which packs the Sportage PHEV with a Harman/Kardon premium audio system, navigation-linked adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree parking camera and remote vehicle parking, which is activated from outside the vehicle. We know that a digital instrument panel and touchscreen setup with dual 12.3-inch screens will be available, but we don't know if it will be included on the X-Line Prestige or as part of a stand-alone package.

Edmunds says

The 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid expands the lineup with a model focused on delivering performance and fuel economy in equal measure.