Kia has confirmed its new Sportage plug-in hybrid will go on sale to customers in the United States in the third quarter of this year with two trim options, but has yet to reveal full specifications.
Following the reveal of the fifth generation SUV last November, the Sportage PHEV is one of the latest additions to Kia’s ‘Plan S’ electrification strategy, which will see the Korean brand offer 11 EVs by 2025 amid plans for 40 per cent of its global sales to comprise electrified vehicles by 2030.
“The first Sportage PHEV to be introduced in the US 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,” president and CEO of Kia America Sean Yoon explains in an official statement. “As Kia continues to implement our Plan S strategy and push toward carbon neutrality, models like Sportage PHEV are paving the way.”
The Sportage’s PHEV drivetrain mates a 177 hp 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with a 66.9 kW electric motor and a 13.8 kWh lithium-ion battery, with power sent to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. Oddly though, Kia has yet to confirm peak output for the system, though the ICE and electric outputs suggest combined power will be around the 260 hp mark, in line with the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the Toyota RAV4.
The battery meanwhile is said to provide up to 52 km of targeted all-electric range. An onboard 7.2 kW charger means the Sportage PHEV will take approximately two hours to “fully replenish” when connected with a Level 2 charger.
As opposed to the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) on which Kia’s new EVs will be built, the Sportage PHEV uses the same ‘N3’ chassis as the Sorento SUV.
From launch, the Sportage PHEV will be available in one of two ‘X-Line’ aesthetic packages, both of which feature “unique” front and rear bumpers with chrome accenting, and gloss black side mirrors, roof rails, window surrounds, and 19-inch wheels. The most notable element of the cabin is the panoramic curved display, which integrates a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch infotainment screen.
The entry level X-Line and the more premium X-Line Prestige go big on the driver assist front too, with driver attention warning, blind sport detection and lane keep assist among the dozen systems equipped as standard. The ‘Prestige’ though features an additional eight ADAS systems – most notably remote parking, adaptive cruise control, and ‘Blind-Spot View Monitor’ – and will also be sold with the more upscale Harman/Kardon audio system as standard.
US pricing details for the Sportage PHEV have yet to be released, but given the competitors in its segment, speculation suggests MSRPs could start in the mid-US$30K range.