Powerful, Fuel-Efficient 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid Makes Its Debut

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid
The Kia Sportage Hybrid gets up to 39 mpg in FWD. Kia America

Kia unveiled an electrified version of the fifth-generation Sportage at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week. The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is the third model — after the recently launched EV6 and the Sorento PHEV — in Kia's global Plan S electric vehicles strategy.

"The new Sportage Hybrid SUV marks yet another step in Kia's advance on sustainable mobility, as part of our global 'Plan S' efforts," said Sean Yoon, president and CEO, Kia America, Kia North America. "In addition to paving a new pathway to electrification, the Sportage Hybrid also delivers superb driving dynamics, cutting-edge design, and a vast array of technology for a world-class in-car experience."

The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid will be offered in three trim levels: LX, EX, and SX-Prestige.

This Sportage's electrified performance comes from its hybrid powertrain combining a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine with a 44-kilowatt electric motor and a 1.49-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery to achieve up to 39 mpg. The engine and motor combine for 226 horsepower channeled to either the front wheels or an active all-wheel-drive system.

The new Sportage variant is more powerful than Sportage models with an internal combustion engine. The traditionally powertrained version of the 2022 Kia Sportage comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that achieves up to 30 mpg. Paired with a six speed transmission, this Sportage gets up to 181 horsepower and is available in front- or all-wheel drive.

The Sportage Hybrid comes standard with ECO, Sport, Smart and Snow drive modes.

The interior of the Sportage Hybrid is inspired by outdoor products, furniture and modern architecture. The cabin has thoughtful features such as a stitched and detailed pattern on the seats that creates a feeling of luxury in the SX and Prestige models, along with faux leather in the EX and above.

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A molded hanger is affixed to the front seat headrests. The integrated hook allows for shopping bag storage or charging cord organization.

The Sportage Hybrid is significantly larger than the previous generation Sportage, which will give owners more rear seat legroom and rear cargo capacity.

The driver benefits from an available personalized profile that remembers seat position, outside mirror location, infotainment preferences and phone connection pairings.

In front of the driver, a curved display houses two screens, one for typical gauge cluster information and the other for infotainment system features. Together, they provide up to 25 inches of viewing.

The infotainment system can be paired with an available Harman-Kardon premium audio system, multi-connection Bluetooth that simultaneously links two smartphones, a wireless charging pad inside the upper tray and Kia Connect services that can provide up to five devices with 4G LTE-based internet.

Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard on all trims along with a new touchpad that controls climate and audio functions.

The Kia Access App allows Apple- and Android-based smartwatch wearers who own a Kia to access features like remote climate control, door lock/unlock and includes over the air map updates for eligible vehicles.

With Smart Speaker Integration customers can use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers or devices to remotely control some functions like remote start.

The Sportage Hybrid comes standard with driver attention warning, LED headlights with high beam assist, lane following assist, lane keeping assist, forward collision avoidance, rear occupant alert, rear view monitor, and reverse parking distance warning.

The Sportage Hybrid also has a list of available advanced driver assistance systems: blind-spot view monitor, blind spot collision avoidance with assist, blind spot collision avoidance, rear cross traffic collision avoidance with assist, forward collision avoidance, forward parking distance warning, 360-degree surround-view monitor, highway driving assist, intelligent speed limit assist, navigation-based adaptive cruise control, reverse parking collision avoidance, safe exit warning, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go.

The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid does not have an official release date but is expected to arrive to market early next year. Pricing will be announced at a later date.