Kia Sportage plug-in hybrid (2022) evaluation

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► Spacious, well-equipped and quiet
► Actual-world gasoline economic system of round 80mpg…
► … however provided that you retain the battery topped up

Kia has taken a assured step upmarket with the brand new Sportage. The automotive’s high quality and know-how has improved dramatically over the previous-generation mannequin – now, the SUV is preventing for house with the Volkswagen Tiguan and Mazda CX-5 slightly than extra reasonably priced alternate options such because the Nissan Qashqai and Vauxhall Grandland.

This new plug-in hybrid model of the Kia Sportage provides one other string to the SUV’s bow, providing spectacular real-world gasoline economic system figures, low CO2 emissions and an organization automotive pricing that blows the equal Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid out of the water.

Sure, it’s uncommon for us to even trouble mentioning finance – however the deal is so good, we thought you must find out about it. We received’t bore you with it for too lengthy, we promise.

Kia Sportage PHEV rear

Right here’s the brief model. The Sportage PHEV’s benefit-in-kind charge is available in at eight p.c, which is significantly lower than nearly all of its rivals. Which means you’ll be quite a bit higher off within the top-spec Sportage GT-Line S PHEV than you’ll be within the flagship Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid R-Line, for instance, which has a BiK ranking of 14 p.c.

It seems a bit much less interesting when you think about the Sportage PHEV’s money worth. Our GT-Line S take a look at automotive was priced at £43,795 on the street, which is greater than £3,000 costlier than the costliest Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid. 

Even the subsequent most cost-effective Sportage 4 is round £1,800 costlier than the Tiguan R-Line – and costs for the 2 vehicles solely degree out on the decrease ends of their pecking orders with each simply eking beneath the £40,000 threshold. Nevertheless, Kia’s PHEV system is quite a bit higher than Volkswagen’s system, which helps clarify the distinction in worth.

Elaborate on that. I’m sick of this finance twaddle

Put it this manner – if you’d like a household SUV that’s tooled-up for the driving force (which appears like an oxymoron, however they’re on the market), go for the Mazda CX-5 or the SEAT Ateca. For those who simply need one thing large that’ll waft you round in consolation, go for the Kia Sportage PHEV.

In Eco mode, the PHEV system operates in a form of “tremendous hybrid” mode. It’s a lot keener to disengage the petrol engine and run the automotive on electrical energy alone than the likes of the Vauxhall Grandland Hybrid4 or the Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid, which suggests the cabin is a really quiet place to be.

You can too drive the system to run on electrical energy alone – and it’ll fortunately push the automotive as much as 60mph with none interference from the petrol engine. That’s, offering you don’t mash your foot by way of the firewall like a neanderthal. Be light with the throttle, and you must be capable to come near Kia’s claims of a 43-mile electric-only vary.

Kia Sportage PHEV side

There are some drawbacks, although. For starters, it’s nearly 400kg heavier than the usual petrol-powered Sportage due to the battery pack and the electrical motor – and you may really feel that distinction on the street. There’s a good bit of roll in case you pitch it right into a nook exhausting, and the chassis feels prefer it’s working quite a bit more durable to regulate the physique.

The damping is kind of agency, too, which suggests the automotive can get right into a swaying rhythm on sluggish, rutted again roads, jigging you round in your seat all of the whereas. This problem is aggravated additional by the big 19-inch alloys on the GT-Line S mannequin. Fortunately the journey smooths out when you’re in control – it’s a really snug cruiser on the motorway.

Kia’s PHEV system additionally has a stunning quantity of poke. The 1.6-litre petrol engine and electrical motor have a mixed output of 261bhp and 258lb/ft of torque, which Kia says is sufficient for a 0–62mph time of seven.9 seconds. In-gear acceleration is affordable, too – and also you get four-wheel drive, which evokes a bit extra confidence in poor circumstances.

Kia Sportage PHEV front

There’s a caveat, although – you received’t extract any form of efficiency from the Sportage PHEV in Eco mode. In that setting, the throttle is about as uninteresting as a four-hour lecture on the assorted species of Amazonian moss, whereas the gearbox is much less responsive than a hungover teenager. Sport mode makes the Sportage much more sprightly.

However there’s additionally a caveat to the caveat. For those who’re recurrently working the Sportage PHEV in Sport mode, your gasoline economic system will lower dramatically. Preserve the selector locked in Eco mode, and also you’ll be capable to screw 80mpg out of the powertrain with out actually making an attempt, offering you retain the battery pack charged up.

For those who’re consistently ragging round in Sport mode, you’ll be chewing by way of your electrical energy sooner, which suggests the petrol engine has to work more durable to maintain the automotive transferring, which burns extra gasoline, which suggests you spend extra money on the pumps. We noticed the economic system gauge dip as little as 25mpg after a very spirited driving stint.

Eco mode except overtaking. Obtained it. The rest I ought to know?

Bouncy low-speed journey apart, the Sportage’s inside is a bloody beautiful place to be. It’s greater than a match for its German rivals when it comes to high quality, and the range-topping GT-Line S mannequin has extra tools than most drivers will know what to do with.

Heated steering wheel? Verify. Heated rear seats, so the children don’t bitch about being chilly on winter morning college runs? Oh sure. A elaborate adaptive cruise management system that may routinely creep the automotive alongside in stop-start site visitors jams? Clearly.

Kia Sportage PHEV interior

The ergonomics are nice, too. I’m a humorous formed bloke – I’m tall, however my legs are quite a bit longer than my arms, which suggests I typically have to decide on between overreaching for the wheel or scrunching my legs up beneath the dashboard. However there’s sufficient adjustment within the Sportage’s column and seats for me to get snug, so regular folks needs to be high quality.

There’s additionally tons of house within the again, with even six-footers discovering sufficient house for his or her legs and heads. The PHEV poewetrain does eat into the Sportage’s boot house, although – however it is a needed evil. The electrical gubbins wanted to go someplace, and Kia determined the perfect place for them was beneath the boot flooring. Capability falls from 591 litres in the usual petrol-powered mannequin to 540 litres within the PHEV consequently.

Kia Sportage PHEV: verdict

The Kia Sportage PHEV is a well-rounded bundle, providing a protracted electric-only vary, good gasoline economic system and extra know-how than you may shake an iPhone at. Pair that with good firm automotive finance offers and a cabin that’s greater than spacious sufficient to maintain the household glad, and it seems like a really compelling provide certainly.

Money patrons could be delay. The highest-spec GT-Line S variant we examined is round £3,000 costlier than the range-topping Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid. The Sportage’s low-speed journey additionally suffers due to these large 19-inch alloy wheels. They give the impression of being nice, however in case you dwell down a slim nation lane, see in case your Kia seller can match the smaller 18s.


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