Is the 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid a Good Car?

The brand-new 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid variant is expected to provide all-wheel drive, advanced safety features, and up to 32 miles of driving range.
Written by Mariza Morin
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Jul 12, 2022
Set to go on sale at the end of 2022, the all-new 2023
Kia Sportage
Plug-in Hybrid variant is expected to come with an even mightier electric motor, larger battery, and excellent fuel economy compared to standard hybrids. 
Looking for a rugged compact SUV for your daily commute and hitting the trails? Then the latest plug-in hybrid from the new Sportage generation might be for you. With an estimated starting price of $35,000, the Sportage PHEV is proposed to come with up to 32 miles in EV mode, standard all-wheel drive, and plenty of advanced safety features. 
Ready to learn more? Here to give you the rundown on the new 2023 Kia Sportage plug-in hybrid is
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2023 Kia Sportage plug-in hybrid

The long-running Kia Sportage has a regular gas engine and hybrid model as part of its lineup, but now the Korean automaker has rounded out the popular compact SUV with a brand-new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). 
The redesigned 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid will ride on the same platform as the
Kia Sorento
SUV, but at a much lower anticipated price point. Though all the details are not out yet, you’ll have plenty to look forward to in terms of fuel efficiency and standard safety features for the latest Sportage variant. 

Pricing

Kia has not announced an official starting price, but according to the experts at Kelley Blue Book, the 2023 Sportage plug-in model is expected to start at $35,000
The new Sportage may not be the most affordable PHEV on the market (though this could change!), but it will definitely be cheaper compared to the midsize Sorento plug-in hybrid SUV. It starts at a heftier $45,190 while also boasting the same 32-mile range battery. 
But if you’re looking for extra savings, don’t forget that all new Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid purchases will be eligible for a
federal tax credit
!

Performance and fuel economy

Like the Sportage hybrid model, the plug-in hybrid model is expected to be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a 66.9-kW electric motor that will likely boast 261 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque
But unlike the standard hybrid, the oh-so-powerful electric motor on the Sportage plug-in hybrid comes equipped with a much larger 13.8 kWh battery that is expected to provide 32 miles of electric range when fully charged. Kia will also supply a 7.2-kWh high-efficiency onboard charger that is said to fully charge within two hours when using Level 2 charging. 
The Sportage PHEV is also set to come with a six-speed transmission and standard all-wheel drive for all trim levels. 

Exterior styling

The rugged new Sportage PHEV—made of ultra high-strength steel—will mostly look like a regular Sportage compact SUV. However, it will sport Kia’s famous “Tiger Nose” grille with LED daytime running headlights in the front and LED taillights in the back. The new Sportage generation, including the plug-in model, is also projected to be bigger than its predecessor. 

Interior and comfort

The only downside to most plug-in hybrid models is the space you’ll lose in the back thanks to the powerful battery. While the Sportage gas counterpart features 41.3 inches of rear legroom and 39.6 cubic feet of cargo space, the PHEV model is expected to have 39.5 inches of legroom and 34.5 cubic feet of cargo space. However, this is still much roomier compared to the PHEV competitors. 
While the exterior may look rugged, the interior will be more lavish with a premium audio system, synthetic leather seats, and superior driver assistance features—depending on the trim level. 

Technology

The new Sportage plug-in hybrid will come standard with a fantastic dual-panoramic screen infotainment system featuring a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 12.3-inch touchscreen. You can also expect a touchpad unit for climate and audio control. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration will also come standard on all models. 
When it comes to standard safety features, Kia delivers every time. And the 2023 Sportage plug-in hybrid is no different—it’s set to include the following:
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Pedestrian/cyclist detection
  • Blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert
  • Safe exit warning
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Automatic high beams
Even more tech features, like a 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control, Harman Kardon® sound system, and Wi-Fi for up to five devices are available as additional options for higher trim levels. 

Trim levels and options

The 2023 Kia Sportage plug-in hybrid will be available in two trim levels: X-Line PHEV AWD and X-Line Prestige PHEV AWD. As mentioned above, the base model is expected to come with a futuristic dual-panoramic screen and a host of stand driver-assistance safety features—also known as Kia Drive Wise
But if you upgrade to the high-end Prestige trim, you’ll get additional safety technology like a blind-spot view monitor, front parking sensors, and remote parking assistance. You’ll also get a navigation-based cruise control system that uses map data to automatically change vehicle speed as road conditions change.  

The bottom line

Unfortunately, until the new 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid comes out at the end of the year, we can only go by what Kia has shared with the public so far. 
But based on the details they have released, we can expect a powerful plug-in hybrid compact SUV with stellar fuel economy and more space than the average plug-in hybrid with plenty of standard driver-assistance safety technology features. We’re as eager as you are to see if the new Sportage PHEV lives up to the hype!

2023 Kia Sportage PHEV vs. 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime

How does the 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV stack up compared to the 2022
Toyota RAV4 Prime
Keep in mind that Kia has yet to release all the details of the Sportage plug-in hybrid and that these expected features are subject to change. But so far, we know the RAV4 Prime is more expensive and provides a longer driving range, though it does require more charging time.
As of July 2022, here’s how the two PHEV powerhouses will likely compare:
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid
$35,000
N/A
N/A
32 miles
2 hours
N/A
2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime
$40,300
38 mpg
94 MPGe
42 miles
4.5 hours
10 years or 150,000 miles
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2023 Kia Sportage PHEV vs. 2022 Ford Escape PHEV

Another top competitor for the Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid is the 2022
Ford Escape PHEV
Again, we don’t have all the details on the latest Sportage PHEV, but the Escape PHEV will certainly give Kia a run for its money. It’s in the same price range but offers 37 miles of driving range compared to the expected 32 miles from the Sportage.
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid
$35,000
N/A
N/A
32 miles
2 hours
N/A
2022 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid
$35,455
40 mpg
105 MPGe
37 miles
3.3 hours
8 years or 100,000 miles

How to save money on car insurance

If you’re looking to save a few bucks at the pump, going with a plug-in hybrid is the way to go. But if you want to save even more on
car-related expenses
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