After recently debuting the all-new fifth generation Sportage, Kia has unveiled an electrified version of the brand’s longest running nameplate at the Los Angeles Auto Show (LAAS). The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid (HEV) is the third model in an ongoing cadence of eco-minded offerings guided by Kia’s global EV strategy, ‘Plan S.’ This newest Kia follows in the footsteps of the recently launched EV6 and the Sorento PHEV to serve as another example of Kia’s multiple pathways to electrification.
Arriving early next year, the Sportage Hybrid will deliver an ideal mix of fuel efficiency and power along with an abundance of room for gear. Significantly larger than the previous generation Sportage, the Hybrid will allow owners to enjoy class-leading rear seat legroom and rear cargo capacity2. The “Opposites United” design language employed on Sportage brings a bold blend of modern styling and sporty visual elements, while its interior offers the latest in technology, including an expansive list of ADAS features and dual panoramic display screens (12.3-inch instrument panel display and 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen display) for nearly 25 inches of viewing.
This Sportage’s electrified performance comes from a seamless hybrid powertrain combining a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with a 44-kilowatt motor to achieve up to 39 mpg (targeted). Together, engine and motor make 226 horsepower channeled to either the front wheels or an active all-wheel-drive system. The result is a fuel-sipping compact SUV that delivers an engaging driving experience.
“The new Sportage Hybrid SUV marks yet another step in Kia’s advance on sustainable mobility, as part of our global ‘Plan S’ efforts,” said Sean Yoon, president and CEO, Kia America, Kia North America. “In addition to paving a new pathway to electrification, the Sportage Hybrid also delivers superb driving dynamics, cutting-edge design, and a vast array of technology for a world-class in-car experience.”
The Sportage Hybrid is offered in three trim levels: LX, EX, and SX-Prestige.
Underpinned by the same all-new 3rd generation “N3” platform found in the Sorento line of vehicles, the Sportage Hybrid chassis provides a rigid base to achieve:
- Better driving dynamics via expanded use of hot-stamped parts and ultra-high-strength steel for increased average tensile strength and torsional stiffness
- Minimized road, wind, and engine noise via greater application of sound absorbing and insulating materials
The Sportage has gone from one of the smallest SUVs in its class to one of the largest:
- Overall length is 7.1 inches longer than the previous generation, with a 3.4-inch longer wheelbase
- Taller and wider by a half inch compared to the previous generation
- Class-leading rear legroom with 41.3 inches of room1
- Best-in-Class rear cargo capacity of 39.5 cu-ft. of space1
- Dual level cargo floor
Best of Both Worlds Power and Efficiency
The Sportage Hybrid blends performance and efficiency with an optimized powertrain:
- 1.6-liter turbo GDI engine
- 44kW permanent magnet electric motor
- High-output 1.49 kWh lithium-ion battery
- 6-speed automatic transmission with rotary style shifter
- Combined 226 horsepower (targeted)
- Up to 39 mpg in FWD (targeted)
- Class-leading 2,000 lb towing capacity
- Active AWD is standard on EX and SX-Prestige trims, while LX is available with a choice of FWD and Active AWD
- Active AWD system2 uses electro-hydraulic coupling with center-locking differential to actively distribute power between front and rear wheels depending on road and driving conditions
- E-Handling uses the hybrid motor to deliver a confident driving experience
- Standard paddle shifters and Drive Mode Select with ECO, Sport, Smart and Snow modes.
“Opposites United” Design
Closely mimicking the exterior of its gas-powered counterpart, the Sportage Hybrid bears all the elements of Kia’s new “Opposites United” design philosophy, developed as part of the Kia global brand transformation, “Movement that Inspires.”
- Tiger nose grille gets more technical with floating design
- Distinct “boomerang” daytime running lights
- Angular fenders
- Crisp shoulder line
- Muscular shoulders around the rear flow into futuristic “notch-shaped” taillights, which are seamlessly connected by a thin black graphic across the tailgate
- Unique 17- and 18-inch HEV wheel designs
- HEV badging
A Modern, Spacious, Tech-Savvy Interior
Inspired by high-end outdoor products, furniture, and modern architecture, the interior of the Sportage highlights a new concept for Kia, transforming the cabin into a pleasant living space, complete with near-luxury, thoughtful features:
- Available dual panoramic curved display3 seamlessly connects two screens for nearly 25-inches of viewing (12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 12.3-inch infotainment screen)
- Angular air vents
- Asymmetrical console puts controls and buttons at driver’s hand with ease
- Real stitching and detailed pattern on the seats create a feeling of luxury (SX-Prestige), along with animal-free leather (EX and above)
- Innovative coat hanger molded behind front headrests with integrated hook for shopping bags or for organizing charging cables[iv]
To match the high-tech interior, the Sportage Hybrid is packed with standard and available infotainment to keep drivers connected and informed of what’s going on around them:
- Standard Wireless Android Auto[v] and Apple CarPlay[vi] on all trims
- Intuitive new touchpad with climate and audio controls sits beneath the infotainment screen
- Available 360-degree Surround-View Monitor with 3D view (first time on Sportage) provides a bird’s-eye view of vehicle surroundings[vii]
- Available Harman-Kardon[viii] premium audio system
- Multi-connection Bluetooth[ix] simultaneously links two smartphones (EX and SX-Prestige trims)
- Personalized profile to remember seat position, outside mirror location (SX-Prestige only); infotainment preferences, phone connection pairings (EX only)
- Available wireless charging[x] pad built inside the upper tray
- Available Kia Connect[xi] services (first Kia application) provide advanced embedded connectivity:
- Wi-Fi Hotspot[xii] connects up to five devices to 4G LTE-based internet
- Includes over the air map updates for eligible vehicles
- Refreshed Kia Access App with newly added compatibility through Apple- and Android-based smartwatches to access features like remote climate control, door lock/unlock and more[xiii]
- Peace of mind with the recently introduced stolen vehicle tracking and immobilization capability
- Connected Routing: Cloud-based system calculates the optimal route using real-time maps and predicted traffic info based on historical information and AI to learn the preferred routes of users
- Smart Speaker Integration lets customers use Amazon Alexa[xiv] or Google Assistant[xv] enabled smart speakers or devices to remotely control some functions (such as remote start)
Advanced Driver Assistance Technology
The Sportage Hybrid has no shortage of standard Advanced Driver Assistance Systems:[xvi]
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW)[xvii]: Analyzes the driver’s attention level and provides a warning if a break is recommended. It may also provide a leading vehicle departure alert, if the leading vehicle departs from a stop and the driver does not react within a certain time period.
- LED Headlights with High Beam Assist (HBA): Engineered to automatically dim the headlights when an oncoming or leading vehicle is detected, then return to high beams when vehicles are no longer detected
- Lane Following Assist (LFA): Helps detect lane markings and vehicles ahead and provides steering inputs to help center the vehicle in the lane
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA): Helps detect lane markings and provides steering inputs to help prevent the vehicle from leaving the lane while driving
- Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA) with Cyclist detection capability: Warns if there is risk of a collision with a vehicle, pedestrian, or cyclist in front of the vehicle while driving and may automatically assist with braking
- Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)[xviii]: Provides a warning to the driver to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle
- Rear View Monitor (RVM) with Dynamic Parking Guidance: Provides view behind the vehicle, with guidelines that adjust to follow the direction the vehicle is turning
- Reverse Parking Distance Warning: Detects certain objects behind the vehicle, issuing an audible warning when an obstruction is detected. The warning tone chimes faster as the vehicle gets closer to the detected object
Available Advanced Driver Assistance Systems:
- Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM)[xix]: Projects live video view of adjacent lanes in the instrument cluster when activated via the turn signal
- Blind Spot Collision Avoidance-Assist (BCA): May help avoid a collision with rear-side vehicles in changing lanes
- Blind Spot Collision Avoidance (BCA-PE) with Parallel Exit (first Kia application): May help avoid collisions with rear-side vehicles when exiting parallel parking spot by automatically assisting with braking
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance-Assist (RCCA): Helps detect approaching cross traffic when in reverse. When approaching cross traffic is detected, the system alerts the driver and may apply brakes
- Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA-JT) with Junction Turning capability: Helps avoid collisions with an oncoming vehicle while turning left at an intersection
- Forward Parking Distance Warning (PDW-F): Detects certain objects in front of the vehicle, issuing an audible warning when an obstruction is detected. The warning tone chimes faster as the vehicle gets closer to the detected object
- Highway Driving Assist (HDA)[xx]: Uses federal highway speed limit information from the navigation system and, under certain conditions, will automatically adjust speed to be within the posted speed limit and maintain distance with the vehicle detected in front and helps center the vehicle in the lane
- Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA): Uses speed limit information detected through the front camera or GPS navigation information (when activated) and issues warning if the speed is over the speed limit
- Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control-Curve (NSCC-C): Leverages the navigation system to help lower the vehicle’s speed proactively before upcoming curves
- Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control-Zone (NSCC-Z): Leverages the navigation system to help lower the vehicle’s speed proactively before upcoming changes in speed limits
- Reverse Parking Collision Avoidance (PCA-R): May help avoid collisions with rear pedestrians or objects detected during reverse parking, potentially automatically assisting with emergency braking if the risk of a collision increases after warning
- Safe Exit Warning (SEW)[xxi]: Provides a warning when a vehicle is approaching from the rear-side while someone is exiting the vehicle
- Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Stop and Go: Helps maintain distance from the vehicle ahead and drive at a speed set by the driver, including in certain stop-and-go driving conditions
The following systems are new to Sportage: BCA, BVM, FCA-Cyclist, FCA-JT, LFA, HAD, NSCC-Curve, NSCC-Zone, PCA-R, ROA, and SEW.
[i] Best-in-class interior room, cargo room, and rear seat legroom claims based on comparison of 2021 and 2022 Mass Market Subcompact SUVs as of October 2021. Mass Market Subcompact SUV class as determined by Kia Segmentation.
[ii] No system, no matter how advanced, can compensate for all driver error and/or driving conditions. Always drive safely
[iii] Distracted driving can result in the loss of vehicle control. When operating a vehicle, never use a vehicle system that takes your focus away from safe vehicle operation.
[iv] Always stow cargo safely and securely.
[v] Android Auto vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play store and an Android compatible smartphone running Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android, Android Auto, and Google Play are trademarks of Google LLC.
[vi] CarPlay runs on smartphone cellular data service. Normal data rates apply. Apple and CarPlay are trademarks of Apple, Inc.
[vii] When engaged, 360-degree Surround-View Monitor is not a substitute for safe driving and may not display all objects around vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution.
[viii] Harman Kardon is a registered trademark of Harman International Industries, Inc.
[ix] The Bluetooth word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG Inc., and any use of such marks by Kia is pursuant to license. A Bluetooth enabled device is required to use Bluetooth wireless technology.
[x] Charging system only works with select devices. Refer to the vehicle’s Owner’s Manual for warnings and instructions.
[xii] Wi-Fi Hotspot requires enrollment in Kia Connect. Trial or paid subscription data plan required. Wi-Fi Hotspot services require vehicle cellular connectivity and availability of vehicle GPS signal; certain services may collect location information. Wi-Fi Hotspot available only in the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia. Wi-Fi Hotspot may be unavailable for model year 2022 and newer vehicles that are purchased or sold in Massachusetts.
[xiii] Remote features require a Kia Connect subscription, a compatible smartphone, and a wireless signal with good coverage. Normal cellular service rates may apply. Do not use remote climate control or remote start if vehicle is in an enclosed area (e.g., closed garage) or a partially enclosed area without ventilation. Close all doors leading from adjacent living areas to the vehicle area before executing a remote climate control or remote start command.
[xiv] Amazon devices are sold separately and require a Wi-Fi internet connection. Amazon, Alexa, and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
[xv] Google devices are sold separately and require a Wi-Fi internet connection. Google, Google Assistant, and all related logos are trademarks of Google, Inc.
[xvi] These features are not substitutes for safe driving and may not detect or display all objects surrounding vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution.
[xvii] When engaged, Driver Attention Warning is not a substitute for safe driving and may not detect all instances of driver fatigue or inattentive driving practices. Failure to pay attention to travel conditions and vehicle operation could result in loss of vehicle control. Always drive safely and use caution.
[xviii] When engaged, Rear Occupant Alert is not a substitute for one’s attention and may not detect all movement within the vehicle. Always check the vehicle interior when exiting the vehicle.
[xix] These features are not substitutes for safe driving and may not detect or display all objects surrounding vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution.
[xx] When engaged, Highway Driving Assist is not a substitute for safe driving, may not detect all objects around the vehicle, and only functions on certain federal highways. Always drive safely and use caution.
[xxi] When engaged, Safe Exit Warning is not a substitute for one’s attention and may not detect all objects surrounding the vehicle. Always pay attention to traffic and to the area around your vehicle when exiting the vehicle