New 2022 Kia Sportage plug-in hybrid has 43-mile electric range

Kia Sportage PHEV offers higher electric range than most rivals

  • Bold styling makeover
  • Available with a choice of hybrid powertrains
  • PHEV starts at £38,395

The plug-in hybrid version of the new Kia Sportage is now available to order. With the largest battery of any Sportage, the PHEV offers the longest electric range; up to 43 miles is achievable on electric power between recharges. That compares quite well with other plug-in hybrid SUVs, although it’s the most expensive Sportage. Prices start from £38,395; first deliveries are set for April.

Rivals include the Ford Kuga, Hyundai Tucson and Volkswagen Tiguan, all of which are available with petrol and plug-in hybrid powertrains like the Sportage.

2022 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid: range, charging and BiK cost

The 43-mile electric range is undoubtedly impressive for a SUV of this size, but it’s tempered by the price. A Sportage GT-Line starts from less than £30,000 with a petrol engine, but add an electric motor and a 13.8kWh battery and you need to pay around £8,500 more. Prices rise to £43,795 for the GT-Line S PHEV, at which point road tax will cost nearly £500 a year until the car is six years old - negating the potential fuel savings.

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The Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid will make the most sense for company-car drivers, because its low 25g/km CO2 emissions result in a Benefit-in-Kind rating of just 8% for 2022/23.

The car can accept up to 7.2kW when recharging, which makes it Kia’s fastest-charging plug-in hybrid. A full charge at this speed takes an hour and 45 minutes.

Together, the power sources produce 261bhp. They’re linked to a six-speed automatic gearbox, and enable the car to get from 0-62mph in a brisk 7.9 seconds.

UK prices and specifications

The new Sportage lineup starts with a trim level called ‘2’. This entry-level model features LED headlights, automatic wipers and lights, parking sensors, a reversing camera, 17-inch alloy wheels and an eight-inch touchscreen. The screen features DAB radio, plus Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Lane-follow assist and autonomous emergency braking (called Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist) are among the standard safety features.

The ’3’ trim kicks off at £30,945 and features two 12.3-inch screens inside, plus heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control and rear privacy glass. The high-spec ‘4’ gets a panoramic sunroof, wireless phone charging, adaptive headlights and a Harman Kardon stereo, not to mention extra driver aids like blind-spot monitoring and self-parking ability. At £36,645, the ‘4’ is quite expensive.

GT-Line starts at £29,745, so slots between ‘2’ and ‘3’. Over the ‘2’, it includes sportier styling, bigger wheels, keyless entry, aluminium interior trim and suede leather upholstery. GT-Line S sits right at the top of the range, costing from £38,445, and includes ventilated and power-adjustable front seats and a powered tailgate on top of the ‘4’ specification.

You can only choose the standard petrol engines and a manual gearbox with the ‘2’ trim. Other versions can be ordered with mild-hybrid, hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines, plus automatic gearboxes, while the ‘4’ comes with all-wheel drive as standard unless you choose the hybrid.

Design and dimensions

The styling of the new Kia Sportage has been inspired by the electric EV6, with large ‘C-shaped’ daytime running lights, stacked headlights and distinctive foglights. Elsewhere, Kia’s bold ‘Tiger Nose’ front grille spans the entire width of the nose, making it the boldest version seen on a Kia to date. Above this, a pair of air intakes sits in front of an angular bonnet.

The SUV's side profile is slightly sportier than before, thanks in part to a sharper roofline, a crease line in the front and rear doors and sharply flared rear wheel arches, giving it a more muscular look than the old car. The UK version of the Sportage also gets a redesigned C-pillar, losing the small rear window of the longer international version. At the back, a new angular hatch design features slim LED lights, with a gloss black trim insert across the rear hatch and a redesigned bumper unique to the UK model.

The new car is 30mm longer than the old model, with a 10mm longer wheelbase that should not only help improve passenger space, but also provide extra room for batteries in the hybrid models.

Interior, technology and practicality

The interior of the new Sportage has undergone a radical makeover, including a new digital setup. That consists of a vast curved digital display housing a pair of 12.3-inch screens for the digital dial cluster and infotainment screen.

A new steering wheel design sporting Kia’s new logo is also fitted, along with a pair of physical rotary dials. Uniquely, the rotary dials can be set to operate either the infotainment setup or the ventilation controls, which is adjusted via the touch-sensitive panel. Below this, the centre console houses the automatic gear selector along with switchgear for the car's hill descent control, 360-degree camera view, heated seats and steering wheel controls.

According to Kia, the latest Sportage will boast 591 litres of boot space, which expands to 1,780 litres with the rear seats folded flat. The PHEV gets a still-generous 540 litres of space.

Engines and powertrains

Below the plug-in hybrid, a new hybrid powertrain is also offered, combining a smaller 1.49kWh battery with a 1.6-litre petrol engine to produce 227bhp. This version doesn't require plugging in to a charger, instead harvesting energy as the car slows down.

Beneath this, a 148bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine features mild-hybrid electrical assistance. This engine is paired with the group’s Intelligent Manual Transmission, a clutch-by-wire system that allows for in-gear, engine-off coasting to improve economy. This engine can also be specced with an automatic gearbox, with the DCT-equipped version getting a higher power output of 178bhp.

High-mileage drivers will be catered for with a pair of diesel engines. Both are powered by the same 1.6-litre diesel engine, with the manual getting 113bhp and the DCT automatic producing 134bhp.

Want to find out more about the current Kia Sportage? Click here to read our full review.

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