Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea’s electrified offensive continues

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plug-in hybrid SUV

From €43,290

265 hp combined power

kia like hyundai It never ceases to amaze us with each new generation of vehicles as both advance considerably across the board. The Korean group quickly established itself as one of the references in the field of partial or total electrification, imposing itself among generalists since the arrival of the first Ioniq of the name in 2016. It is then more in terms of design that its models were left behind, with very classic lines that are even consensual and even in bad taste. But that was before. Line up your current production alongside that of the previous generation and it’s day and night. And that’s the case with this fifth-generation Sportage based on the same N3 platform as the last tucson and brimming with personality.

Test - Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea's electrified offensive continues

What incredible progress Kia has made in terms of design in just one generation!

The front end is restrained across its full width by a massive mesh grille that ends on each side with diamond-shaped headlights surrounded by boomerang-shaped daytime running lights. The back is reminiscent of theEV6 with its small lights and hollow tailgate while the sides are hollowed out and muscular.

Test - Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea's electrified offensive continues

The dashboard is less original in its style than the exterior but impresses with its quality and modernity.

The interior is less furiously original but just as futuristic, with a dashboard that also does more than evoke Kia’s great electric car with its dual digital dashboard made up of two 12.3-inch screens, all facing the driver and underlined by a multifunction touch panel. . What a break again with previous generations! The habitability is just as remarkable at the front as at the rear, but we will have to regret the 47 liters of cargo volume in the trunk compared to the the simple hybrid versionwith 540 litres, and accepts a 10-litre tank amputated, to 42 litres, for the installation of the 12V battery, the on-board charger and an additional crossbar under the boot floor.

Test - Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea's electrified offensive continues
Test - Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea's electrified offensive continues

The rear space will be able to satisfy even the largest passengers, but the trunk volume, reduced by about fifty liters compared to the simple hybrid, is average, nothing more.

It must be said that space had to be made for the installation of the lithium-ion polymer battery with a capacity of 13.8 kWh of this rechargeable hybrid version, which can be recharged from 10 to 100% in a period ranging from 5:27 a.m. on a 2.3 kW outlet until 1:45 a.m. on a 7.2 kW Wallbox. It powers a 91 hp and 304 Nm electric motor mated to a 1.6 turbocharged T-GDI four-cylinder that delivers 180 hp and 265 Nm, for a total of 265 hp and 350 Nm. The six-speed automatic takes up the challenge, all then being sent to all four wheels via an actual driveshaft, which is rare these days.

A power of 265 hp in a vehicle that barely exceeds 4.50 m seems all the more substantial, but the empty mass of between 1,905 and 1,997 kg serves as a spoiler to remind us of the most basic laws of physics. 8.2 s for 0 to 100 km/h and 5.5 s for 80 to 120 km/h are nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s only one and two tenths less than the four-wheel drive mono hybrid version which by the way has 35 hp less under the hood but is also almost 200 kg lighter.

Test - Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea's electrified offensive continues
Test - Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea's electrified offensive continues

Unimpressive battery capacity in 2022 is offset by controlled electrical efficiency, with 60 km easily accessible without emissions.

Steering wheel in hand, at no time does one have the impression of having such an abundant cavalry, the inertia is flagrant and underlined by a gearbox sometimes lacking in reactivity. And this clumsy aspect is also found in the corners, with a vehicle that seems heavy on its supports, which is not helped by the large 19-inch wheels of the GT Line Premium finish of our test model as well as a very lacking information direction. . feedback. The simple hybrid version offers a much better compromise in this area.

Test - Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (2022): Korea's electrified offensive continues

On the road, with an additional 200kg overweight, the Sportage Plug-in Hybrid is clumsier than the other versions.

We got it: this Sportage Hybrid Rechargeable is appreciated at a leisurely pace, where it’s then comfortable and quiet. It also shows a good electric range despite the fact that today the battery capacity seems unremarkable, with 60 km easily achievable without paying much attention. What a pity that the paddles on the steering wheel are used to manually change the gear ratios of the gearbox, which seems totally expendable in such a vehicle, and not to adjust the regeneration on several levels as Kia usually knows how to do so well! To recover energy, it is indeed the minimum, as soon as you take your foot off the accelerator, not even in B mode. Once the battery has reached its minimum threshold of around 17%, the system then switches to simple hybrid and we can It has an average consumption of around 7 l/100 km, which is not excessive but not exceptional either.

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