Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld
KIA Sportage PHEV
This week we are reviewing the 2022 KIA Sportage PHEV. Our vehicle was assembled at the West Point plant in the United States and had an MSRP of CAD $51,659.00.
Fun Factor: 6/10
While the KIA Sportage PHEV might not be the most exciting vehicle, it offers a smooth, comfortable ride perfect for road trips. Under the hood, you'll find a 1.6L turbocharged engine that produces 177 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, complemented by two electric engines, one making 89.7 hp and 224 lb-ft, and the second is 17.4 hp and 31.9 lb-ft. The total output is 261 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It results in a smooth acceleration of 7.2 seconds to 100km/h, which is reasonable for such a big vehicle. Equipped with a 13.8kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, it announces a 55km range. The 0-100 figure we tested in a real-life scenario was 7.1 seconds. Suspension-wise, the ride is comfortable and well-balanced, even with the additional weight of the battery. Stopping the vehicle at a safe distance was also possible without upsetting its balance. The turning radius is very wide, and we often made 3-point turns which would not have been necessary with other vehicles.
Can it Family: 9/10
The Sportage has grown and is now in the same segment as the Toyota RAV4 prime and the Ford Escape PHEV, which feel smaller in every way. With Sportage's growth, passengers and cargo have increased space. The most noticeable change is the space in the 2nd row; it's vast, with a ton of legroom and headroom. If that wasn't enough for your liking, these seats could make you feel like a reclining sofa at home. These seats are made of synthetic leather but do a good job of imitating them. Exterior styling has evolved and now resembles other vehicles in the KIA lineup. It can almost feel like a baby Sorento.
As a plug-in hybrid, the KIA Sportage PHEV is incredibly fuel-efficient. It can achieve an all-electric range of 55 kilometres and an impressive 2.8L/100km combined figure when running on gas. The only hiccup here is during the winter. When turning on the heating, the vehicle will barely function in electric mode. You would have to use the heated car seats and steering wheel to keep you warm to get the best mileage possible during winter. Once the battery is depleted, the fuel economy you can expect is 6.6L/100km in the city, 6.7L/100km on the Hwy and 6.7L/100km. We finished the week with a fuel economy of 2.8L/100km thanks to the warmer weather during our test and being able to maximize the electric range.
On longer trips, the additional kit that the Sportage offers, such as semi-autonomous driving, is effective. While you still need to keep your hands on the steering wheel, we felt secure that the vehicle always kept us in a safe position. Additionally, activating your turn signal; will activate a view of your blind spot so you can merge safely. The whole suite of safety features work as intended and rivals those of premium and luxury brands. Something else that KIA does well are the driving modes; often, these can be cumbersome or feel like they need to be better balanced. In this case, it offers an automatic mode that will adjust based on your driving style.
Karaoke Friendly: 7/10
The KIA Sportage PHEV's sound system is decent. You'll be able to enjoy your favourite tunes, but don't expect a concert-like experience. Similar to the KIA EV6 we tested, the screens are huge. They're divided into two 12.3-inch screens that almost look like continuous screens. The interface is simple and easy for phone mirroring; you'll have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Strangely, if you want wireless mirroring with your smartphone, it's only available with the base models with smaller screens. This fully equipped version required a cable to use these features. A great addition for road trips with the family is that the vehicle can serve as a hotspot. The biggest grief we have, which might be nitpicking, is the ventilation controls shared with the audio controls. If you don't pay attention, you could inadvertently change the temperature or increase the sound system's volume.
With plenty of room for car seats and strollers and a range of safety features, the KIA Sportage PHEV is an excellent choice for parents. Installation is simple; the lower anchors are visible and latch with ease. The rear-facing car seat didn't take away space from passengers sitting in front. The only difficulty we saw was with booster seats, where were had to remove the headrest.
City Cruising: 8/10
The KIA Sportage PHEV's compact size and fuel efficiency make it an excellent choice for city driving. The 360 camera helps squeeze the Sportage in tight parking spots. This is important as the turning radius will require several adjustments to get the vehicle where you want it, as mentioned earlier.
Why would we buy the KIA Sportage PHEV, or what we liked about it?
Its fuel efficiency and spacious interior make it an excellent choice for families. The Sportage comes nicely equipped; no need to go for the fully equipped version. The electric range is impressive.
Why would we not buy the KIA Sportage PHEV, or what did we not like about it?
Range in electric mode during the winter is limited, turning radius, top trim doesn't have wireless Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Order time can be long for this model.
In closing, we want to thank KIA Canada for lending us this vehicle as a press vehicle. Our review reflects our opinion and is not influenced by any affiliation with the manufacturer.
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