2023 Kia Sportage PHEV X-Line Prestige AWD
“Kia’s newest Sportage model ever better”
By Arv Voss
Kia is moving up in the world of automotive production, particularly noted with their Sportage model lineup which comes with three propulsion sources, all of which are 5-door (hatch) compact SUVs, and are a vast improvement over their first foray into the U.S.marketplace in1995, which represented a respectable value, but lacked a positive image due to a myriad of quirky negative issues. Now quality, dependability and visual appeal are all on a much higher scale. One may chose from gas, hybrid or plug-in electric hybrid. Pricing ranges from $26,290 to $44,285
My test Sportage was the top of the line PHEV X-Line Prestige AWD. The Exterior was sprayed Vesta Blue, while the interior was finished in black. The price was set at $42,990., which came to $44,285 after adding the inland freight and handling charge. Essentially, the vehicle had no options and came with loads of features and equipment that enhanced the overall driving experience.
Motive force comes from a 1.6-liter Turbocharged & intercooled DOHC 16-valve Plug-in Hybrid inline four-cylinder, plus 1 AC motor – 90 hp w/224 lb-ft. (combined output: 261 hp, 258 lb-ft; 13.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack; 7.2-kW onboard charger). Horsepower is rated at 177 and torque is rated at 195.
The front mounted engine and motor delivers power to all four wheels via a six speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and Drive Mode Select. Maximum towing capacity with the optional trailer hitch receiver is 1,653 pounds.
The Sportage PHEV doesn’t allow for DC fast-charging, but its 7.2-kW on-board charger is able to top off the battery at a Level 2 charge station roughly two hours.
The fifth generation Kia Sportage has undergone a complete redesign and is now a highly attractive SUV that has grown in stature from a compact to the mid-size level. Its face presents a bolder look and the interior provides more space with the lengthened body. There is seating for five and there are two new off-road trims – the X-Line and X-Pro that join the regular LX, EX, SX, SX –Prestige and X-Line.
The “dogbone” shaped grille is now larger tying in with the vehicle’s increased overall proportions. Faux intake scoops reside beneath the outer edges of the grille which is flanked by the boomerang Daytime Running Lights. The hood creases are smoothed out to the edges and subtle black cladding runs over the round wheel arches continuing rearward with the LED rear taillights bridging the tailgate.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE:
This latest Sportage focuses on providing comfort, featuring elevated levels of sophisticated simplicity. The Prestige delivers additional driver aids such as adaptive cruise control, Highway Driving Assist, Remote Smart Parking Assist, and blind-spot monitoring. Headlights, taillights are upgraded, and fog lights are LED. The interior showcases multicolor ambient lighting, a Harman Kardon sound system, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, memory for the power driver’s seat, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a heated windshield, and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster.
There are four drive modes, allowing the driver to select the mode best suited to the conditions at hand. The new Kia Sportage PHEV shares its platform with the Kia Sorento. It is now wider, taller and longer. The cabin is quieter and more refined than its conventional gas counterpart.
SAFETY AND DRIVER ASSISTS:
The new Kia Sportage is loaded with standard safety equipment and features that assist the driver in both avoiding and withstanding crash situations. The surround view camera system comes with a bird’s-eye view feature that’s handy for urban parking as well as off-road scenarios. The driver assist features keep an eye on the road and aid in keeping the vehicle on the road.
INFOTAINMENT AND CONNECTIVITY:
Keeping in touch with modern world developments and enjoying one’s favorite tunes is a breeze with the Sportage’s suite of communication and entertainment devices. Choose your favorite media from the wide selection that’s available.
The new Kia Sportage PHEV is fun to drive with added peppiness, but its not in danger of being ranked as a sports vehicle. It is more than adequate in its acceleration and handling characteristics. It is exceptionally well-equipped to deliver comfortable and reliable driving pleasure along with economical operation.
THE FINAL TAKE:
The 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV X-LINE Prestige AWD is an ideally sized SUV that is easy on the eyes, and drives well. It is one of the best values in the compact vehicle class. As an added advantage, it provides perhaps the best warranty in the business: a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain and battery and 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV X-Line Prestige AWD
Base Price: $42,990.
Price as Tested: $44,285.
Engine Type and Size: 1.6-liter Turbocharged & intercooled DOHC 16-valve Plug-in Hybrid inline four-cylinder. Plus 1 AC motor – 90 hp w/224 lb-ft. (combined output: 261 hp, 258 lb-ft; 13.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack; 7.2-kW onboard charger).
Horsepower (bhp): 177 @ rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 195 @ rpm
Transmission: Six speed automatic with paddle shifters and Drive Mode Select
Drive Train: Front mounted engine and motor / AWD
Suspension: Front – Strut
Rear – Multilink
Brakes: Power-assisted front and rear vented discs.
Tires: Michelin Primacy A/S 235/55R-19 101V M+S mounted on black five-spoke alloys with Machine face tips.
Wheelbase: 108.5 inches
Length Overall: 183.5 inches
Width: 73.4 inches
Height: 66.9 inches
Curb Weight: 4,250 lbs..
Fuel Capacity: 11.1 gallons – 430 mile range
EPA Mileage Estimates: 36 mpg city / 35 mpg highway / 35 mpg combined
Combined Gasoline + Electricity: 84 MPGe
EV Range: 34 mi.
0 – 60 mph: 6.9 seconds
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