Is the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid a Good SUV? 6 Pros and 4 Cons

Is the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid a Good SUV? 6 Pros and 4 Cons Compact SUVs like the Kia Sportage tick a lot of boxes for a wide range of buyers, making them some of the most popular cars in showrooms today. The good news is that fierce competition brings continuous improvements, and the newly redesigned Sportage 2023 is one of the best cars available.

Is the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid a Good SUV? 6 Pros and 4 Cons

The Sportage is larger and more spacious than before, is fun to drive, is well-equipped for the money and brings great value to the table. The redesign also includes an available hybrid powertrain; We found it smooth, refined, and fast. There’s only one problem, and unfortunately, it’s a big one: The average fuel economy during a road trip was disappointing for a hybrid. This is a serious drawback considering that savings on gas is a big reason why people buy hybrid cars in the first place.

While we found a lot of things to love with the Sportage Hybrid, there are a few other things that need work as well. For the full Jennifer Geiger review, click on the link above; For a quicker look, here are six things we love about the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid and four things we think could be improved.

The things we love

1. Fast off-line

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Is the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid a Good SUV? 6 Pros and 4 Cons

The Sportage Hybrid is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a 1.49 kWh battery and a 44 kW electric motor for a combined total of 227 hp. Matched with a six-speed automatic transmission, acceleration is instant and quick, easily outperforming rival Honda CR-V Hybrid and at least compatible with Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

2. Methods for moods

Choosing driving modes lets drivers decide how much they care about the green, with Sport mode for faster acceleration and response or Eco mode to constrain things a bit. However, whichever mode you choose, you won’t find the Sportage Hybrid a fuel economy champion.

3. A good travel companion

Smooth driving, a relatively quiet interior, complex handling and precise steering combined with good feedback give the Sportage Hybrid a comfortable blend of comfortable feel and steering interaction. Choosing the Sport mode increases the sporty feel and adds more heft to the steering wheel. Linear braking response is also welcome, with no over-feeling on some of the regenerative braking systems.

4. Gang room

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Is the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid a Good SUV? 6 Pros and 4 Cons

The restyled Sportage has a more spacious interior; It is now one of the largest in the class. Inside, you’ll find plenty of head and legroom in the front and rear, and there’s more room for passengers and overall luggage than the competing CR-V or RAV4 by manufacturer numbers. There’s also plenty of room for two car seats in the back, and easily accessible Latch anchors help make installation easy.

5. Smart Storage Options

Nice interior touches include adjustable cup holders to secure beverage containers of various sizes, a deep center console, seat back coat hangers built into the headrests and hooks for shopping bags. The cargo area’s thoughtful thinking continues, with spring-loaded handles to release and fold the rear seat backs and a bi-level cargo floor to secure small items.

6. Solid value

Starting at $28,585 for the base LX with front-wheel drive, the Sportage Hybrid is competitively priced. It includes a generous variety of safety and convenience features. Both the CR-V and RAV4 hybrids come standard with all-wheel drive, but even when you add AWD for $1800, the Sportage Hybrid still costs less than either of these alternatives.

1. mpg

Kia Sportage Hybrid 2023-02 Dynamic Exterior

Is the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid a Good SUV? 6 Pros and 4 Cons

Front-wheel drive versions of the Sportage Hybrid are EPA rated at 42/44/43 mpg city/highway/combined. While not terrible, that’s below estimates for the standard CR-V or RAV4 hybrids with all-wheel drive (AWD). When equipped with AWD, the Sportage Hybrid drops even further, with a combined rating of 38 mpg; Worse, we only saw 33.8 mpg during a long road trip with the AWD Sportage Hybrid in the EX model.

2. No EV mode

Unlike some competitors, the Sportage Hybrid does not give drivers the option to save gas using electric mode to allow it to travel using electric power alone. However, better news may come with a plug-in release later in 2022, which should be good for 32 miles of all-electric range.

3. Control issues


Is the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid a Good SUV? 6 Pros and 4 Cons

There’s not much to distinguish the hybrid’s controls from the conventionally powered Sportage, and that’s a good thing – the Sportage’s controls are very straightforward, with the only noticeable difference from the gas version being a rotary gearshift knob rather than a lever. But the two knobs under the touchscreen double as audio and climate controls, which can confuse you. More than once, we turned up the temperature when we thought we were turning up the volume for a favorite song.

4. Not much love for Android

Pairing an Android phone proves to be easy enough, but the Android Auto interface only uses about two-thirds of the touch screen. Not only does this waste space, but it also makes the screen more difficult to see and use. Apple CarPlay users do not face such a problem, since the screen occupies the full width of the screen.

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