The first plug-in hybrid versions of the new Kia Sportage will be delivered to customers next month, Kia has confirmed. The plug-in family SUVs will start at £38,395 in their cheapest guise, with top-of-the-range versions coming in at almost £44,000 before options.
Kia has already launched its mild-hybrid- and hybrid-powered Sportages, and the new plug-in hybrid, or PHEV, versions complete the line-up. Using a 1.6-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, as well as a 13.9 kWh battery pack, the newcomer will manage up to 43 miles on electrical power alone, allowing CO2 emissions of just 25 g per kilometre.
On the official economy test, the car achieved a weighted average of 252 mpg, although customers will have to charge regularly and make most of their journeys relatively short if they want to achieve such economy. Nevertheless, the low emissions and long electric range mean company car drivers will pay just eight percent in company car tax during the 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25 tax years.
Despite this low-emission and potentially very economical powertrain, the Sportage PHEV will produce a total of 261 bhp and 258 lb-ft of torque. That is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox, allowing a 0-62 mph time of 7.9 seconds and a 119 mph top speed.
The PHEV does, however, sacrifice some boot space relative to its mild-hybrid and hybrid siblings. Where the mild-hybrid versions offer 591 litres of luggage capacity, the Hybrid reduces that to 587 litres and the plug-in hybrid has just 540 litres of space behind the back seats. Nevertheless, the Sportage PHEV’s boot is still more spacious than those of some more conventionally powered rivals.
Sportage PHEV customers get a choice of four different trim levels, with the normally mid-range GT-Line specification representing the cheapest option. Starting at £38,395, that model comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation and keyless ignition, as well as parking sensors, two-zone climate control and LED headlights.
Stepping up to the £39,595 ‘3’ model adds heated seats and part-leather upholstery, not to mention heated seats and a digital instrument cluster. And the even more luxurious, £41,795 ‘4’ model comes with a panoramic sunroof, a Harman Kardon sound system and some extra safety equipment. Finally, the GT-Line S crowns the range with suede upholstery, ventilated seats and a power-operated tailgate, plus a two-tone paint scheme.
The Kia Sportage PHEV is now available to order with the first deliveries slated for April 2022.