Tested: Kia Sportage with plug-in hybrid

ÜOpinions differ about plug-in hybrids, skeptics believe that electrification is only used to collect the subsidy premium. That can be true, moving them as an electric car is often unfortunate: too weak, too little range. But they are getting better, and in some ranges the PHEV is the top motorization. This also applies to Kia, who are now equipping their SUV Sportage, which we drove as a diesel version in April, with a chargeable hybrid drive. It is available from around 45,000 euros, our test car 1.6 T-GDI PHEV AWD AT GD came to 53,000 with a few bells and whistles.

Driving is enjoyable. 180 hp from the 1.6-liter turbo petrol engine go into a cleanly tuned connection with the 67 kW of the electric motor, which strengthens the entire drive and not, as with many competitors, only serves the rear axle. Both add up to a system output of 265 hp and 350 Nm of torque, which is easy with the 1.9 tonne car.

The Kia is powerful and accelerates to a limited 202 km/h, which is eleven more than promised on the face of it. It remains pleasingly quiet, but the Sportage seems a bit nervous at high speeds.

The battery has a gross capacity of 13.8 kWh. We were able to recharge from 18 to 100 percent with 14.42 kWh and covered 74 kilometers electrically on the country road, which is a good value for a PHEV. The shifting operations of the six-speed automatic transmission, which can also be felt in electric mode, are unusual but not annoying. The performance is enough to keep up with the traffic, so the Kia is also suitable as a pure electrician. Single-phase charging is possible with up to 7.4 kW, but only if the wall box is fused with 32A. Even without electricity from the socket, the Sportage needs little petrol: We came up with 6.3 liters in our consumption round, afloat on the highway it is only 8.5. That’s a good argument for the hybrid.

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