Keep in mind when Kia was an underdog to the established automobile manufacturers? How instances have modified. Kia and its sister marque, Hyundai, at the moment are two of the largest names within the automobile market. Kia alone accounts for a 7 p.c market share within the UK. Within the US, Hyundai-Kia had been the fifth greatest participant in 2021, comfortably beating VW and BMW, and Kia alone set a brand new market share document at 4.7 p.c. The Sportage is a significant contributor to that. It’s the Korean model’s greatest promoting mannequin globally—not surprisingly, because it’s constantly been an incredible, well-priced, dependable midsize SUV—which makes this revamp all of the extra vital.

This new mannequin sticks to these core values, however it additionally makes some large leaps. First of these is the drastic change in styling. Subjective as ever, it’s as much as you whether or not you just like the look of the Kia Sportage, however to those eyes it seems very trendy but additionally fairly over-styled, significantly across the confusion of angular LED headlights.

As for engines, the Kia Sportage affords one thing for everybody, except you’re after a pure electrical automobile—by which case, you would possibly wish to take a look at the Kia EV6, Kia Niro EV, Hyundai Ioniq 5, or Skoda Enyaq iV. The Sportage caters to everybody else, with petrol or diesel engines in addition to the hybrid engines we’re specializing in right here, together with a “full” hybrid and a plug-in hybrid badged Sportage HEV and Sportage PHEV. 

{Photograph}: Kia

The complete hybrid affords comparable expertise to a Toyota Rav4, which is one other of the Sportage’s many and diversified rivals. A small 1.5-kWh battery provides brief stints of pure electrical working at low speeds, or whenever you’re off the throttle and coasting alongside, however you’ll be able to’t plug it in and also you don’t get greater than a minute or so of pure electrical working at a time. 

The plug-in hybrid will get an even bigger 13.8-kWh battery, which you cost through a Kind 2 AC socket and might be topped up from flat to full in below 5 hours at a most fee of three.3 kW—slightly sluggish in comparison with some rivals, however not a deal breaker. That battery brings a claimed WLTP pure electrical vary of 43 miles, however I managed round 36 miles fairly simply in real-world driving. Winter circumstances will seemingly see that drop to round 30 miles. 

Each the HEV and PHEV use a turbocharged 1.6-liter, four-cylinder petrol engine and a six-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox at the side of the electrical motor, and so they flick between electrical and petrol with out an excessive amount of noise and vibration. They’re additionally cozy and assured to drive, and quiet, supplied you’re not revving the coarse-sounding petrol engine too exhausting. Simply keep away from the large 19-inch wheels if you happen to can, as they will make the low-speed journey a contact uneven. 

{Photograph}: Kia

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