Alongside the EV9 concept at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show, Kia is showcasing the Hybrid version of the 5th gen Sportage that is expected to go on sale in the U.S. market in the first quarter of 2022 as a 2023 model. The Sportage Hybrid will be offered in three trim levels: LX, EX, and SX-Prestige.
The Sportage Hybrid looks just as funky as the regular Sportage models sporting Kia’s new Opposites United design language. Differentiating factors would include an HEV badge on the tailgate and unique 17- and 18-inch wheel designs.
The list of features remain the same, obviously, which would include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch infotainment system, wireless Android Auto & Apple CarPlay connectivity, and standard Advanced Driver Assistance Systems such as Forward Collision Avoidance, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Occupant Alert and so on. The list of options is big too, which includes Kia Connect, Harman-Kardon audio system, a 360-degree Surround-View Monitor with 3D view, and more ADAS.
Alright then, let’s move on to the juicy bits of the story. The hybrid powertrain comprises a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, a 44 kW (60 metric hp) electric motor and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The combined output figure is estimated to be 168.5 kW (229 metric hp/226 bhp). The lithium-ion battery pack is of a fairly small 1.49 kWh capacity.
The Active AWD system is standard on EX and SX-Prestige trims while is optional for LX. The system uses electro-hydraulic coupling with centre-locking differential to actively distribute power between front and rear wheels depending on road and driving conditions. But for those who would rather have an FWD, Kia estimates a fuel efficiency of up to 39 mpg.