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2022 Chicago Auto Show: 2023 Kia Sportage gets a PHEV

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During the 2022 Chicago Auto Show, Kia Motor America unveiled the first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) of the Sportage for the newly redesigned 2023 model year.

“The first Sportage PHEV to be introduced in the U.S. 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,” said Sean Yoon, president and CEO, Kia America and Kia North America. “As Kia continues to implement our Plan S strategy and push toward carbon neutrality, models like Sportage PHEV are paving the way.”

2023 Kia Sportage PHEV power plant

The 2023 Sportage PHEV has a 1.6-liter, 177-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, and a 66.9-kW electric motor and 13.8 kWh lithium polymer battery. A 6-speed automatic transmission with selectable drive modes is standard, as is Downhill Brake Control (DBC). The supplemental electric motor provides an estimated range of 32 miles of gas-free driving.

Charging is accomplished courtesy of a 7.2 kW high-efficiency on-board charger. When connected to a Level-2 charger, the Sportage PHEV will take approximately 2 hours to fully replenish its battery.

EPA fuel economy ratings for the Sportage PHEV will be announced closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date which is expected to be the third quarter of this year.

X-Line

With the launch of the new Sorento, Kia introduced the more-rugged X-Line trim, and this will transfer over to the new Sportage PHEV, which will get two trims: X-Line PHEV AWD and X-Line Prestige PHEV AWD.

Some of the Sorento X-Line styling cues will include a unique front fascia and rear bumpers, a satin chrome surround, roof rack and windows finished in gloss black. The 2023 Sportage PHEV will also have 19-inch gloss-black alloy wheels. On the inside, you’ll see an ultra-modern driver cockpit with available dual panoramic curved display.

A Harman/Kardon premium audio system is standard on Sportage X-Line Prestige PHEV AWD.

Driver-assisted technology

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is becoming prevalent on today’s vehicles, and the 2023 Sportage PHEV will be loaded with it, including:

  • Smart headlights/smart high beams
  • Driver Attention Warning
  • Lane Following Assist
  • Reverse Parking Distance Warning
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance-Assist
  • Safe Exit Warning
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Assist

Some additional ADAS features will only be made standard on the higher trim Sportage X-Line Prestige PHEV AWD including Level 1 autonomy features such as navigation-based smart cruise control-curve, highway driving assist and remote smart parking assist.

The bottom line on 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV

There are a lot of great PHEVs on the road today that will help bridge the gap between the gas and electric worlds. Since PHEVs have all-electric range as well as a gas engine, it’s a win-win because you get pure electric driving without range anxiety. That will help save money at the pump, so it actually becomes a win-win-win.

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Jimmy Dinsmore

Jimmy is News Editor for PickupTruckTalk with an expertise in new vehicles. He is also a Ford Mustang historian having authored the book Mustang by Design (available on Amazon). His second book, about the history of Ford's F-Series truck comes out next year.

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