2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid: Everything we know [Update]

Update: ‘Design & Interior’ section added.

The 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid will soon join the compact SUV’s gasoline and hybrid variants in the United States. Kia had confirmed in an announcement on February 8, 2022, that it plans to launch the Sportage Plug-in Hybrid in the country in Q3 2022 (July-September 2022). Here’s everything we know about the America-bound plug-in hybrid electric SUV:

Design & Interior

The 2023 Kia Sportage, including the PHEV detailed in this story, is the fifth generation of the compact SUV and has a fully redesigned exterior. Kia created the fifth-gen Sportage based on its new “Opposites United” design philosophy. The latest model may not look all that different from the sides, but its front and rear, in stark contrast to the simplistic sides, are bold and striking. Kia says rugged, sheer forms offset smooth, soft surfaces on the new model.

The tiger-nose grille of the Sportage has become more technical with floating design, resting above a blacked-out grille graphic that covers the whole width of the front fascia. Vertical headlamps with dramatically-angled, boomerang-shaped DRLs flank the mammoth radiator grille. At the rear, the Sportage’s new identity is “notch-shaped” tail lights, connected by a thin black graphic in a subtle manner.

The interior of the fifth-gen Sportage, inspired by high-end outdoor products, furniture, and modern architecture, offers pleasant living space on wheels. The dashboard carries a more elegant design, and so does the center console. Plus, there’s a new dual curved display that seamlessly connects a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. This panel makes the interior look upscale compared to that of the fourth-gen model.

2023 Kia Sportage plug-in hybrid interior dashboard
The X-Line Prestige plug-in hybrid will be the range-topping configuration in the 2023 Kia Sportage line-up, packing all its high-end features. Image Source: Kia

Specifications

Like the Hybrid variant, the 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid employs a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine (177 hp/195 lb.-ft.), but with a 66.9 kW motor and a 13.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. A 6-speed automatic transmission transmits the power, and an AWD system is standard.

The battery pack, located under the vehicle floor, charges with a 7.2 kW onboard charger with what Kia claims to be a leading power density of 1.53 kW/l. Fully charging the 13.8 kWh battery pack using a Level-2 charger takes about two hours.

Considering the specifications of the sister model, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV, the Sportage in EV mode should cover over 30 miles (EPA est.). The fuel consumption rating may also be around 80 MPGe (EPA est.). EPA fuel economy ratings for the Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid will be out closer to the on-sale date.

2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid spec sheet

AspectSpecification
Engine Type1.6L Turbo Plug-in Hybrid engine
Displacement (cc)1,598 cc
Bore x stroke (mm)75.6 x 89
ConfigurationInline 4-cylinder
Compression Ratio10.5:1
Max. power (kW  @ rpm)132 kW @ 5,500 rpm
Max. power (hp @ rpm)177 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Max. torque (kg.m @ rpm)27 kg.m @ 1,500-4,500 rpm
Max. torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)195 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-4,500 rpm
BlockAluminum
HeadAluminum
Oil-panSteel
Valve system16V DOHC CVVT with Hydraulic Lash Adjuster
Fuel Injection Direct Injection
Fuel requirementRegular Unleaded (87 or higher)
Coolant Capacity (L)4.8 L
Emission Control SystemWCC + UCC 
Battery 68 AH(20 HR)
Alternator 13.5V 130A
Starter12V 2.0kW
Fuel tank capacity11.1 gal.
Electrical System
TypePermanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
Power (kW)13 kW
Power (hp)17.4 hp
Torque (Nm)43.2 Nm
Torque (lb.-ft.)31.9 lb.-ft.
Hybrid Battery System
TypeLithium-ion (Pouch)
Voltage (V)360 V
Capacity (Ah)38.3 Ah
Energy (kWh)13.8 kWh
Power (kW)88.0 kW
Weight (kg.)140.0 kg
Weight (lbs.)308.7 lbs
2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) specifications (U.S. market)

Features

Kia will sell the 2023 Sportage Plug-in Hybrid in the U.S. in X-Line and X-Line Prestige trims.

2023 Kia Sportage plug-in hybrid front three quarter
The 2023 Kia Sportage plug in hybrid will compete with the Hyundai Tucson plug in hybrid, Toyota RAV4 Prime, and Ford Escape plug in hybrid. Image Source: Kia

X-Line

The X-Line grade will include exterior features like LED headlights with LED DRLs, LED tail lights, heated ORVMs, 19-inch alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, and a smart power liftgate as standard. Inside, a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, dual-zone climate control system, 10-way power driver’s seat with 2-way lumbar support, front seat heating, wireless smartphone charger, leather-wrapped steering wheel, etc. will be part of the standard equipment.

On the safety front, Kia will include the following features in the X-Line grade’s Kia Drive Wise package:

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian & Cyclist Detection
  • Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Lane Following Assist
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Reverse parking sensors

X-Line Prestige

The X-Line Prestige grade will have a more attractive exterior with LED projector headlights, LED rear combination tail lights, and LED fog lights. Plus, it will feature a heated windshield as well. Interior features in addition to or better than those of the X-Line grade will include a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster, 8-way power front passenger’s seat, memory function for the driver’s seat and ORVMs, front-seat ventilation, heated steering wheel, LED ambient lighting, and an 8-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

The Kia Drive Wise safety suite of the X-Line Prestige trim will include the following additional or better features:

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Junction Turning, Junction Crossing
  • Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go
  • Highway Driving Assist
  • Surround View Monitor
  • Blind-Spot View Monitor
  • Front parking sensors
  • Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist – Reverse
  • Remote Smart Parking Assist

Price

The first-ever Sportage Plug-in Hybrid in America could cost around USD 35,000 onwards.

2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid FAQs

What is the 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid release date?

The 2023 Sportage Plug-in Hybrid will be launched in the U.S. in the coming weeks.

What will be the 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid price?

The base Sportage Plug-in Hybrid could cost around USD 35,000.

Which models will be the 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid rivals?

Featured Image Source: Kia