2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid: First Look Review

  • Kia Sportage Hybrid gets its first update in the U.S.
  • Loses heated windshield and gains standard-fit seat-mounted rear airbags
  • Still returns an EPA-est. fuel economy of 43 MPG (FWD)/38 MPG (AWD)
  • Priced from USD 28,590 (excl. USD 1,375 destination fee)

In 2021, the hybrid compact SUV segment welcomed the first-ever Kia Sportage Hybrid as an MY2023 vehicle. Now, the 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid has arrived with a few updates and replaced it in the U.S. Recently, I saw a Fusion Black-colored unit of the 2024 Sportage Hybrid in the range-topping SX Prestige trim. Here’s an overview of the new model, along with a brief of its revisions and my first impressions:

Design

The 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid looks like a proper compact crossover from its shape, and it has some quirkiness that gives it a truly distinctive styling. Big, boomerang-shaped DRLs form the perimeter of the vertically stacked headlamps and flank a massive radiator grille. I think these elements give the SUV a dominating look from the front. Unlike in the previous model, LED projection headlights are standard.

On the sides, the blacked-out lower body and the broad shoulders lend the 2024 Sportage Hybrid its much-needed ruggedness. However, having seen the 2024 Sportage Plug-in Hybrid with 19-inch wheels, I feel the 18-inch wheels don’t properly fill the 2024 Sportage Hybrid wheel wells. At the back, I think the faux skid plate adds to the SUV’s toughness, while the slim tailgate applique that connects the notch-shaped tail lights emphasizes the SUV’s width.

Interior

I think the 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid has one of the fanciest interiors in its segment, replete with an elegant dashboard, premium technologies, and classy color schemes. If you were to ask me, its cabin looks the best in the combination of Triton Navy and Misty Gray colors, not this Black/Carmine Red color scheme. Save for the dual-function touchpad with climate and audio controls, I think there’s little to dislike about its interior.

Kia has used faux leather seat covers in the 2024 Sportage Hybrid, and I felt it uplifted the premium feel of the cabin. The switchgear on various parts in the cabin gave tactile feedback, and overall, I felt that the quality of parts and materials in the cabin was acceptable for this price range.

The 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid features a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, both integrated into a curved panel for a neat, unified look. I think their resolution is excellent, and their user interface is easy. I did find it inconvenient that I had no choice but to use a cable if I wanted to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, though.

The compact steering wheel, which was attached to a column with manual tilt and telescopic adjustment and featured a heating function, felt grippy to hold. Unlike in the previous model, the heating function isn’t included in the mid-range EX grade, only in this top-end SX-Prestige grade.

The 2024 Sportage Hybrid is available with a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with 2-way lumbar support and 2-position memory, heating, and ventilation functions, 4-way manually adjustable front passenger seat with heating and ventilation functions, and a 60:40-split rear seat with a reclining function.

I’m six feet tall, and in my experience, ingress and egress in the 2024 Sportage Hybrid is fairly straightforward. In the front, my head wasn’t brushing up against the headliner. I had adequate lumbar support, but under-thigh support could have been better.

In the back, the default angle of the backrest was comfortable. I had enough headroom. The legroom and knee room were good, but I think three average-height adults would be a bit of a squeeze. That said, the Sportage HEV has a fairly large passenger volume.

The 2024 Sportage Hybrid has either a tire repair kit in the base LX grade and a temporary compact spare tire in the EX and SX Prestige grades. Similarly, a height-adjustable smart power liftgate is available. There’s 34.5 cu. ft. of cargo space, expandable to up to 65.5 cu. ft.

Driving Impressions

The Kia Sportage Hybrid has received no mechanical changes with the 2024 model year update, so it should still drive the same. Reviews from the previous model year suggest it’s one of the best models in the hybrid compact SUV segment. Its powertrain packs sufficient punch for quick acceleration and effortless highway passes, and it smoothly engages the gas engine when needed. The transmission is quite responsive, which is rarely said for a hybrid model.

The Sportage Hybrid isn’t the most dynamic compact SUV on the market, but it handles well enough for an urban commuter. It offers impressive comfort, thanks to a smooth ride. The vehicle irons out bumps but doesn’t feel softer than necessary. The steering is adaptive enough to change behavior as per the drive mode and the driving situation, but it doesn’t offer much feedback. The brake pedal feels natural, which, too, is a rare thing among hybrids.

2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid side profile
The 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid delivers an EPA-est. fuel economy of 43 MPG (FWD)/38 MPG (AWD).

Price

The prices of the 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid start at USD 28,590 and go up to USD 37,490, excluding a standard USD 1,375 destination fee.

TopElectricSUV says

The 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid is a spacious, comfortable compact SUV with decent performance, good driving dynamics, and impressive ride quality. Plus, it offers one of the most aesthetically pleasing interiors in its segment, not to forget quite feature-loaded. I think it’s a great value for money, too, and thus, a highly recommendable model in its segment.

2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid FAQs

What is the 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid release date?

The 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid is available at U.S. dealerships.

What is the 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid price?

The 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid’s prices start at USD 28,590 (excl. USD 1,375 destination fee).

Which models are 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid rivals?

The 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid competes with the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and the Ford Escape Hybrid.