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Auto review: Kia Sportage Hybrid is a fancy family widget

Henry Payne, The Detroit News on

Published in Automotive News

So high-tech is Sportage that I almost forgot the hybrid drivetrain, which went about its duties in workman-like way. The hybrid marries a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-banger with a single electric motor for a healthy 226 horses. It made good acceleration out of stoplights, but when it came to tackling the twisties on my favorite M-32 west of Gaylord, the Kia wasn’t interested. It’s no Mazda CX-5.

The hybrid drivetrain is new to Sportage (there is also a plug-in model available with 32 miles of battery-only range) and claims a combined 38 mpg with all-wheel drive — a big jump over the non-hybrid’s 28 mpg. That’s welcome news as I passed by gas price signs of $4.51 (soon to rise above $5).

But in my week of driving, the Sportage hybrid returned a much more modest figure of 29 mpg. Oh well. That’s a rare miss in a vehicle that otherwise exceeds all expectations for the average family ute.

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

Vehicle type: Front engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, four-door five-passenger compact SUV

Price: $28,585, including $1,215 destination fee ($38,000 Hybrid SX-Prestige AWD as tested)

 

Powerplant: 1.6-liter turbocharged inline four mated to twin electric motors and 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack

Power: 227 horsepower, 258 pound-feet torque

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Performance: 0-60 mph, (8.0 sec., Car and Driver est.); towing, 2,000 pounds.

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