Plug-in option for

Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage PHEV, 2022, front
Kia Sportage PHEV, 2022, nose
Kia Sportage PHEV, 2022, interior
Kia Sportage PHEV, 2022, rear seats
Kia Sportage PHEV, 2022, tail
Kia Sportage PHEV, 2022, rear
Kia Sportage PHEV, 2022, side
Kia Sportage PHEV, 2022, boot
Kia Sportage PHEV, 2022, front, upright

THE Kia Sportage line-up is now complete with the arrival of a model with plug-in hybrid technology.

It joins the already launched Sportage with petrol, diesel, mild-hybrid and hybrid powertrains and it is the ideal choice for business drivers with Benefit in Kind ratings as low as eight per cent.

As well as excellent tax savings, the Sportage PHEV can deliver a combined 256.8mpg with carbon emissions of just 25g/km under WLTP testing.

This fuel economy figure would only be achievable if the vehicle was used in EV-only guise for the vast majority of its miles and charged regularly. The car has an electric range of 43 miles.

The Sportage PHEV combines a 1.6-litre T-GDI petrol engine with a 66.9kW electric motor and 13.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

It delivers 261bhp and 350Nm of torque and this results in a 0-60mph sprint time of 7.9 seconds and top speed of 119mph.

It features a six-speed automatic transmission and a new 7.2kW on-board charger means the vehicle can have its power levels boosted quicker than other rivals - a 10 to 100 per cent charge takes between 1 hour 45 mins and 5 hours 27 minutes depending on the charger.

The five-door Sportage PHEV is priced from £38,395 to £44,595 and there's a choice of four trim levels called GT-Line, 3, 4 and GT-Line S and all models are very easy on the eye.

All-wheel drive is standard across the line-up but customers can specify duo-tone paint work as an option.

The latest fifth-generation Sportage was recently launched and it boasts a bolder, more muscular look than its predecessor with a longer, wider and higher stance, plus a modern interpretation of Kia's distinctive Tiger Nose grille, chrome front and rear skid plates and rear privacy glass.

The Sportage PHEV is offered with a choice of alloy wheel designs and the GT-Line S can be specified with an optional black roof for bi-tone colour schemes.

The interior is truly upmarket with twin 12.3-inch screens behind a curved panoramic glass display and there is plenty of high-end tech to explore, including a Harmon Kardon premium sound system on top models, a reversing camera with sensors, Bluetooth with music streaming, sat nav, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity with voice control.

We tried out the range-topping GT-Line S model costing £43,795 and this vehicle also featured three-zone climate control, a 10-way powered driver's seat, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated outer rear seats, suede-leather upholstery and GT-Line badging.

When it comes to performance, the Sportage PHEV is a delight to drive. The elevated driving position results in excellent all-round visibility and all controls and readouts are easy to access on the fly in the driver-focussed cockpit.

The acceleration is instant out the starting blocks and the Sportage can cruise effortlessly at 70mph on motorways with plenty more to spare. It is well balanced on twisting country lanes and the grip is assured too meaning you can attack curves with confidence.

The steering is perfectly weighted with ample driver feedback and there is the added reassurance that the AWD system brings to the mix.The steering wheel-mounted paddles mean you can change gears manually for added fun.

Drive modes called Eco and Sport alter the responses of the car and also the instrumentation with Sport gaining a red glow and a rev counter dial.

In addition, there are EV and HEV modes to flick through. EV will prioritise the battery power and HEV blends power from the engine too which is more efficient on longer journeys.

And the AWD means there are terrain modes too called Snow, Mud and Sand to help cross rougher ground. This vehicle is also capable of towing a trailer weighing up to 1,350kg.

The Sportage is a family SUV and needs to cover all the practicality bases well. And it does just that with ample space in the back of the car for a trio of passengers to sit comfortably.

The boot, which is accessed via a powered tailgate, can swallow 540 litres of kit, increasing to 1,715 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat and there is a glovebox, deep door pockets, a practical centre console storage box, seat back pockets and adjustable cup holders for added convenience.

When it comes to safety, the Sportage is packed with features and driver assistance aids to help protect occupants, other road users and also help prevent accidents from happening in the first place.

Our car was equipped with anti-lock brakes, downhill brake control, electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance assist with city, pedestrian, cyclist and junction turning.

There is intelligent speed limit assist, blind spot collision avoidance, highway driving assist, parking collision avoidance and remote smart parking that allows you to move the car forwards or backwards using just the key fob. This is a fabulous feature if you have a narrow garage or get blocked in by other drivers in a car park.

These are just a few of the safety features on the car and it's worth remembering that every Kia comes with an outstanding seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty package as standard.

All in all, the PHEV is the perfect addition to the Sportage line-up, which is the best-selling Kia in the UK. As yet, there are no plans to offer a fully electrified version, but never say never.

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