Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea’s Electrified Offensive Continues

In brief

Plug-in hybrid SUV

From € 43,290

265 hp combined power

I like kia hyundai continue to amaze us with each new generation of vehicles as they both make significant progress in all areas. The Korean group quickly established itself as one of the references in the field of electrification, partial or complete, and has held the upper hand since the arrival of the generalists. the first Ioniq of the name in 2016. It is more in terms of design that his models lagged behind, with very classic lines that are even consensual and even tasteless. But that was before. Put current production next to the previous generation and it’s night and day. And that’s the case with this fifth-generation Sportage, based on the same N3 platform as the last Tucson and brimming with personality.

Test - Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea's Electrified Offensive Continues

What incredible strides Kia has made in design in just one generation!

The front is barred across its width by a huge mesh grille terminating on either side with diamond-shaped headlamps, surrounded by a boomerang-shaped daytime running light. The back is reminiscent of that of theEV6 with its small lights and its concave tailgate, while the sides are hollowed out and muscular.

Test - Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea's Electrified Offensive Continues

The dashboard is less original in style than the exterior, but impresses with its quality and modernity.

The interior is less furiously original but just as futuristic, with a dashboard that is also more reminiscent of Kia’s large electric car with its dual digital panel consisting of two 12.3-inch screens, all focused on the driver and underlined by a multifunction touch panel. . What a break with previous generations! The space in the front is just as remarkable as in the back, but it will be necessary to mourn the 47 liters of cargo space in the trunk compared to the simple hybrid versionwith 540 liters, and accept a tank amputated from 10 liters, to 42 liters, because of the installation of the 12V battery, the on-board charger and an extra cross member under the boot floor.

Test - Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea's Electrified Offensive Continues
Test - Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea's Electrified Offensive Continues

The space in the back will satisfy even the largest passengers, but the trunk volume, which is reduced by about fifty liters compared to the simple hybrid, is average, nothing more.

It must be said that space had to be made for the installation of the lithium-ion polymer battery with a capacity of 13.8 kWh of this rechargeable hybrid version, which can be charged from 10 to 100% in a time frame of 05:27 hours. on a 2.3 kW socket until 01:45 a.m. on a 7.2 kW Wallbox. It drives an electric motor of 91 hp and 304 Nm, mated to a 1.6 turbo T-GDI four-cylinder that produces 180 hp and 265 Nm, for a total of 265 hp and 350 Nm. is then sent to the four wheels via a real transmission shaft, which is rare these days.

A power of 265 hp in a vehicle of just 4.50 m seems to be all that is most substantial, but the empty mass of between 1,905 and 1,997 kg serves as a bummer to remind us of the most basic laws of physics. 8.2s ​​for 0-100km/h and 5.5s for 80-120km/h are nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s only one and two tenths less than the single four-wheel-drive hybrid that can do at least 35 horsepower has less under the hood but which is also almost 200 kg lighter.

Test - Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea's Electrified Offensive Continues
Test - Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea's Electrified Offensive Continues

The unimpressive battery capacity in 2022 is offset by controlled electrical efficiency, with 60km easily accessible with zero emissions.

With the steering wheel in hand, you never have the impression of having such an abundant cavalry, the slowness is blatant and underlined by a gearbox that sometimes lacks reactivity. And this clunky aspect is also reflected in corners, with a vehicle that looks heavy on its supports, which does not benefit the large 19-inch rims of the GT Line Premium finish of our test model, as well as a steering that is very lacking. to information feedback. The simple hybrid version offers a much better compromise in this area.

Test - Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea's Electrified Offensive Continues

On the road, the Sportage Plug-in Hybrid is more inconvenient than the other versions with an additional excess weight of 200 kg.

We got it: This Sportage Plug-in Hybrid is appreciated at a leisurely pace, where it is then comfortable and quiet. It also shows good electric range despite a seemingly inconspicuous battery capacity today, with 60km being easily reached without really paying attention. What a shame that the paddles on the steering wheel are used to manually change the gearbox ratios, which seems totally unnecessary on such a vehicle, and not to adjust the regeneration at different levels as Kia normally knows how to do so well! Energy recovery is indeed the bare minimum, just as you take your foot off the accelerator, not even in position B. Once the battery has reached its minimum threshold of around 17%, the system then switches to simple hybrid and we can then count on an average consumption of around 7 l/100 km, which is not an exaggeration, but also not exceptional.

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