2023 The Kia Sportage PHEV Breaks Cover With 32 Miles Of Electric-Only Range

Kia debuts its first plug-in hybrid Sportage with a larger battery pack, and it will be available in two trims

With the new fifth-gen Sportage announcements, Kia promised to bring the plug-in hybrid variant of the same, and they made it. The 2023 Sportage PHEV has been announced and it will get a 1.6-liter turbo-petrol engine along with a 13.8-kWh battery pack. It will be available in the X-Line and the X-Line Prestige trims, offering a more rugged and even aggressive stance than the standard Sportage.

Plug-in hybrid for the mass

2023 The Kia Sportage PHEV Breaks Cover With 32 Miles Of Electric-Only Range Drivetrain
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Compared to the standard hybrid, the Sportage PHEV has a larger battery of 13.8-kWh. It is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four engine that puts out 177 horsepower. The electric motor itself produces 66.9-kW which is roughly about 90 horses. So, yes, you will have ample power to play with daily. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox and AWD is standard. The 13.8-kWh battery pack comes with a 7.2-kW charger, but if you want any sort of fast charging, Level-2 charging is the way to go. Kia estimates the all-electric range (AER) of 32 miles, which is a decent number. As you know, the Ford Escape PHEV has an EPA-rated AER of 37 miles. But, that is mostly due to its front-wheel-drive configuration. We have to wait for the official EPA ratings before we make any judgments. We hope that Kia’s dream of “electrified solutions” be successful.

2023 The Kia Sportage PHEV Breaks Cover With 32 Miles Of Electric-Only Range Exterior
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2023 Kia Sportage PHEV specifications
Type 1.6L Turbo Plug in Hybrid engine
Displacement (cc) 1,598 cc
Bore x stroke (mm) 75.6 x 89
Configuration Inline 4-cylinder
Compression Ratio 10.5:1
Max. power (hp @ rpm) 177 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Max. torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm) 195 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-4,500 rpm
Type Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
Power (kw) 13 kw
Power (hp) 17.4 hp
Torque (Nm) 43.2 Nm
Torque (lb.-ft.) 31.9 lb.-ft.
Hybrid Battery System -
Type Lithium-ion (Pouch)
Voltage (V) 360 V
Capacity (Ah) 38.3 Ah
Energy (kWh) 13.8 kWh
Power (kW) 88.0 kW
Weight (kg.) 140.0 kg
Weight (lbs.) 308.7 lbs

X-Line: The best of both worlds (design and technology)

2023 The Kia Sportage PHEV Breaks Cover With 32 Miles Of Electric-Only Range Exterior
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Unlike the default Sportage with a lot of trims on offer, the PHEV models will be offered in two trims: X-Line AWD and X-Line Prestige AWD. Now, both the trims share a lot of things in common, like the rugged exterior design, the high-tech interior, and the 19-inch alloy wheels. The X-Line Prestige adds a few more advanced driver-assistance features to the standard list. The exterior of both the trims has the sleek and aggressive design philosophy of the new-gen Sportage. The boomerang-shaped DRLs and the headlamp designs are identical to the standard Sportage. The front and rear bumpers, coupled with the beautiful 19-inch alloy wheels, lend a rugged look. Kia calls both, the X-Line and the X-Line Prestige, to be more off-road-oriented, but they will serve well even as a sportier-looking road car. Those chrome satin trim around the bumpers along with the black inserts on the window surrounds and the roof racks give the overall look a sportier touch.

2023 Kia Sportage PHEV exterior dimensions
Wheelbase (in.) 108.5 in.
Length (in.) 183.5 in.
Width (in.) 73.4 in.
Height (in.), with roof rails 66.9 in.
Track, front (in.) 63.6-in.
Track, rear (in.) 63.9-in.
Overhang, front (in.) 35.6 in.
Overhang, rear (in.) 39.4 in.
Minimum ground clearance (in.) 8.3 in.
Bumper Approach angle (degrees) 18.9
Bumper Departure angle (degrees) 26.6
Breakover angle (degree) 19.3
2023 The Kia Sportage PHEV Breaks Cover With 32 Miles Of Electric-Only Range Interior
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With the exterior design inspiration, the cabin of the 2023 Sportage is equally stylish and futureproof. It houses two 12.3-inch displays, one is a touchscreen unit and the other is a fully digital driver’s display. Both the displays are ergonomically placed for the driver’s convenience. Interior space is something you wouldn’t be worried about as there is plenty of headroom and legroom on offer. Kia claims that the Sportage’s 39.5-inch rear legroom is segment-leading and the figures look promising as it is quite big in comparison to the outgoing Sportage. Behind the rear seats, you will get 34.5 cubic feet of cargo space, which is again impressive. Harman Kardan’s premium sound system comes installed with the X-Line Prestige, while a 360-degree surround-view camera along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes fitted as standard on the X-Line.

2023 Kia Sportage PHEV interior dimensions
Headroom -
Front (in.) 37.8 in.
Rear (in.) 38.0 in. 
Leg room -
Front (in.) 41.4 in.
Rear (in.) 39.5 in.
Shoulder room -
Front (in.) 57.5 in.
Rear (in.) 55.6 in.
Hip room -
Front (in.) 54.8 in.
Rear (in.) 53.4 in.
Dual-level cargo floor: high (behind 1st row) 65.5 in.
Dual-level cargo floor: high (behind 2nd row) 34.5 in.

Full driver safety suite at your disposal

2023 The Kia Sportage PHEV Breaks Cover With 32 Miles Of Electric-Only Range Interior
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As standard, there are loads of advanced driver assistance features packed with the X-Line. You will have:

  • High Beam Assist
  • Driver Attention Warning
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Lane Following Assist
  • Forward Collision Avoidance
  • Reverse Parking Distance Warning
  • Rear Occupant Warning
  • Rear View Monitor with Dynamic Parking Guidance
  • Blindspot Collision Avoidance with Parallel Exit
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance-Assist
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Assist
  • Safe Exit Warning
2023 The Kia Sportage PHEV Breaks Cover With 32 Miles Of Electric-Only Range Exterior
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In addition to the existing driver assistance features, the X-Line Prestige adds quite a few more features like:

  • Forward Collision Avoidance with Junction Turning capability
  • Forward Parking Distance Warning
  • Blind-Spot View Monitor
  • Highway Driving Assist
  • Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control-Curve
  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go
  • Remote Smart Parking Assist

Should you consider the new 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV when it arrives?

2023 The Kia Sportage PHEV Breaks Cover With 32 Miles Of Electric-Only Range Exterior
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We would strongly recommend the Sportage PHEV as it is a breakthrough in the mid-size SUV segment. It has bolder looks, definitely better than the Sportage it will replace. It is Kia’s first plug-in hybrid SUV and in that sense, a lot is going on. The gas engine is turbocharged so there is ample power on offer while checking on your fuel economy. The cabin comes loaded with features and is one of the most-advanced cabins you will get to see in the mid-size SUV segment. The new Sportage will start reaching the dealerships in the latter part of this year and we hope that it will be what it promises. We will update you guys when we get our hands on the new Sportage PHEV.

Amreetam Basu
Amreetam Basu
Automobile Journalist
After working predominantly as a freelancer at CarHP/CarIndigo, Amreetam joined the TopSpeed team as a journalist in September 2021. In a world where SUVs are booming, he favors sedans and adores BMWs and Mercedes, with a special spot for Lexus and Genesis. He is currently pursuing Master of Arts in History and is 23 years old.  Read full bio
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