First-ever Kia Sportage Hybrid Debuts With Familiar Powertrain

The Los Angeles Auto Show is historically known for putting the focus on green vehicles and technologies, so it came as no surprise that the hybrid variant of the all-new 2023 Kia Sportage made its debut there on Wednesday.

The model follows in the footsteps of the larger Sorento as well as the Hyundai Tucson, which both offer electrified options with their latest generation.

Familiar Powertrain

Built on Kia’s new N3 chassis, the 2023 Sportage Hybrid pairs a turbocharged 1.6-litre Smartstream engine with a 44-kilowatt electric motor and a 1.49-kWh lithium-ion battery. Total system output is rated at 226 horsepower along with 258 pound-feet of torque.

Photo: Kia

U.S. customers will be able to choose a front-wheel-drive model, but Canadians will likely get the all-wheel drive model only. This one uses an active system with E-Handling technology improving driving dynamics. We’ll have to wait for official fuel consumption ratings from Natural Resources Canada. To give you an idea, the new Tucson Hybrid achieves a combined 6.4 L/100 km.

What’s certain is that towing capacity is no more than 2,000 pounds. Also, the transmission is a six-speed automatic with a rotary-style shifter, standard paddle shifters and Drive Mode Select with ECO, Sport, Smart and Snow modes.

Photo: Kia

Cutting-edge Styling and Tech

As far as styling is concerned, the Kia Sportage Hybrid is almost a carbon copy of the conventionally powered Sportage. Each one embodies Kia’s new “Opposites United” design philosophy, developed as part of the Kia global brand transformation. The main differences are Hybrid badging and unique 17- and 18-inch wheels.

Inside, the cabin impresses with high levels of refinement and cutting-edge technology. Check out the available panoramic curved display that seamlessly connects two screens for nearly 25 inches of viewing (12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 12.3-inch infotainment screen). Wireless Android Autoand Apple CarPlay compatibility is standard on all trims.

Photo: Kia

Furthermore, the Sportage Hybrid comes with a laundry list of advanced safety and driver assistance features, such as a 360-degree Surround-View Monitor with 3D view, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Following Assist, plus Forward Collision Avoidance with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection. Blind Spot Collision Avoidance-Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance-Assist, Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control-Curve and Highway Driving Assist are just some of the other available features.

The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid will arrive early in 2022. Pricing and equipment details for Canada will be announced closer to launch. Similar to the Tucson, a plug-in hybrid variant is expected to follow, with the promise of around 50 kilometres of EV range.

Watch: 2023 Kia Sportage Overview

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