New 2022 Kia Sportage plug-in hybrid SUV: prices, specs and on-sale date

Order books for the fifth-generation mid-size family SUV open later this month, with prices for the plug-in hybrid starting from £38,395

Kia has announced UK pricing and specifications for the Sportage family SUV, which is available for the first time with plug-in hybrid power. It takes on the likes of the new Nissan Qashqai, the Citroen C5 Aircross, the Ford Kuga and the recently facelifted Vauxhall Grandland.

While prices for the entry-level Sportage start from just under £27,000, the plug-in hybrid version that'll join the line-up early in 2022 starts from between £38,395 and £43,795 depending on trim level.

This is also the first time Kia has launched a European-specific version of the Sportage. It retains much of the international version’s styling and interior, but has a slightly shorter wheelbase and overall is more compact, making it better suited to European roads.

New Kia Sportage powertrains

It’s the first time that the Kia Sportage has been available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, the system consisting of a 1.6-litre petrol engine, electric motor and a 13.8kWh lithium-ion battery that we first saw in its sister car, the Hyundai Tucson. Total power output is 261bhp but Kia has yet to announce electric driving range, fuel economy or emissions figures for the plug-in hybrid Sportage.

Given that under the skin the new Sportage shares much of its technology with the latest Hyundai Tucson, we can expect that the Sportage PHEV will be able to return around 200mpg on the WLTP combined cycle, emit roughly 30g/km of CO2 and be capable of more than 30 miles of pure-electric driving.

For those who aren’t able to charge their car up regularly, the new Sportage is also available with a full-hybrid powertrain that uses a 227bhp 1.6-litre petrol hybrid coupled with a smaller 1.49kWh battery and electric motor. There’s a mild-hybrid petrol powertrain option as well but there are currently no plans for Kia to produce a fully-electric version of the new Sportage.

Sportage buyers get a choice of several drive modes from default to Comfort, Eco or Sport, and an all-new Terrain Mode, for situations involving snow, mud or sand. 

Interior, technology and practicality

Inside, the new Sportage features two 12.3-inch displays – one central touchscreen for the infotainment, and another information display ahead of the driver - much like the setup in the EV6. There’s also a wireless smartphone charging pad on the centre console below.

The Sportage also gets Kia’s DriveWise ADAS package, which includes several safety features like Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist System with Junction Turning functionality, Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist and Highway Driving Assist which can maintain a set speed and distance from the car in front on the motorway, and keeps the car in the centre of its lane.

The new Sportage is also compatible with the Kia Connect app, which allows you to check if the car is locked, and can tell you where you last parked it, too. While the Remote Smart Parking Assist system allows you to remotely park or get out of a parking space from outside the car.

While the Sportage in the UK is smaller than the model sold in other territories, according to Kia, the European version still offers more luggage capacity, headroom and legroom than the outgoing model. Specifically, Kia claims it will feature best-in-class legroom for the rear passengers.

The Euro-spec Sportage will offer up to 591 litres of boot space – 100 litres more than the current generation. Plus, folding the 40:20:40 split rear seats down allows for 1,780 litres of space in total. However, Kia has yet to confirm if those same figures will apply to the plug-in hybrid version, which may well lose storage space to accommodate its larger battery pack.

Trim levels and equipment

GT-Line (£38,395) is the first trim level you can get the plug-in powertrain with; it has 19-inch alloy wheels, gloss black exterior trim, rear privacy glass, suede and leather upholstery, LED headlights and daytime running lights, plus keyless entry and start and a 12.3-inch central infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Upgrading to 3 spec adds the 12.3-inch digital instrument display, black cloth and faux leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats and steering wheel, plus smart cruise control and highway driving assist. Grade 4 gets a panoramic sunroof, Harman Kardon sound system, wireless phone charger, LED adaptive headlights and additional safety features. The plug-in hybrid Sportage is priced from £39,595 and £41,795 respectively in 3 and 4 spec. 

At the top of the range is GT-Line S trim, which starts from £43,795 with plug-in hybrid power and adds artificial leather and suede upholstery, as well as ventilated front seats, the option of a two-tone black roof, a smart powered tailgate and 10-way driver’s and eight-way front passenger’s power-adjustable seats.

Design

This latest evolution of the Sportage has been developed collaboratively by Kia's design teams in Asia, the US and Europe.

Speaking about the new Sportage's design, the head of Kia's Global Design Centre, Karim Habib, said: "Reinventing the Sportage gave our talented design teams a tremendous opportunity to do something new; to take inspiration from the recent brand relaunch and introduction of EV6 to inspire customers through modern and innovative SUV design."

The Sportage is the latest model to use the firm's 'Opposites United' design philosophy. Its front end features dramatic arrow-shaped daytime running lights, which separate the diamond-shaped headlights from the rest of the grille. Kia's recently refreshed logo design is prominent in the middle of the bonnet, while the window line tapers sharply as it approaches the rear of the car.

Inside, the design is clean and simple, with sculpted air vents shaped around the edges of two large screens that run together to create the illusion of a single large dashboard display extending behind the steering wheel. A number of physical controls can still be seen under the central air vents and on the centre console, however.

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