Just a few short months after debuting it for the European market, Kia has announced on Tuesday that the 2023 PHEV (plug-in hybrid) variant of its venerated Sportage line of SUVs will be made available for sale in America as well. When the Sportage PHEV arrives in Q3 of this year, it will offer a 66.9 kW electric motor backed by a 13.8 kWh battery in addition to its 1.6-liter, 177-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Unlike the EV6 or IONIQ5, the new Sportage PHEV is not built upon Hyundai's E-GMPT platform. Rather, it rides atop the N3 chassis like the Sorento and Optima. All-wheel drive will come standard.
“The first Sportage PHEV to be introduced in the U.S. demonstrates that Kia is listening to our consumers who are asking for electrified solutions and super-efficient powertrains, and Sportage delivers on that promise in a sophisticated, refined package,” Sean Yoon, president and CEO, Kia America, said in a statement Tuesday. “As Kia continues to implement our Plan S strategy and push toward carbon neutrality, models like Sportage PHEV are paving the way.”
The small stature of the Sportage's battery means that though it can only provide enough juice to propel the vehicle around 32 miles on electricity alone, it can be recharged far more quickly than a full EV. Kia estimates that the 13.8 kWh battery will require only around two hours to fully fill using a Level 2 charger. The vehicle's regenerative braking system should help keep its cells topped off, though the company has not yet released EPA mileage or range estimates yet (but expect them to drop as we get closer to the Sportage's actual on-sale date).
The exterior of the PHEV version will look very much like its HEV and ICE counterparts, and its interior will feature all the same bells and whistles that consumers have come to expect from modern hybrid vehicles. The Sportage will offer a slew of driver assist systems, like what we saw recently in the EV6, 12.3-inch a instrument cluster — and equally-sized central infotainment system — as well as 4G Wi-Fi for up to 5 devices, stolen vehicle tracking, OTA map updates and access to the Kia Connect mobile app.