The newcomer undercuts rivals almost everywhere.
First seen last year, the Kia Sportage and its Sportage Hybrid sibling are set to take the compact SUV segment by storm. In a category as saturated as this, manufacturers have to pull out all the stops to ensure their entrants are appealing enough. The all-new Sportage has many appealing attributes; not only is it striking to look at but it's produced locally, too.
But handsome looks and all the tech in the world mean nothing if it doesn't offer value for money. We've already gleaned insight into what the Sportage will cost and were left impressed by the competitive pricing. Now, it's the turn of the Hybrid and, again, we're left dazzled by the affordability compared to key rivals.
The entry-level Sportage HEV LX weighs in at just $27,290 for the front-wheel-drive version and $29,090 for the all-paw derivative. The FWD model undercuts key competitors such as the AWD Toyota RAV4 Hybrid LE ($29,075) and front-wheel driven Escape SE Hybrid, at $29,170.
This highlights the Kia's affordability, especially considering it's the latest model in the segment. Interestingly, that old warhorse known as the CR-V Hybrid comes in at $31,610. The mid-range Sportage HEV EX is only available in all-wheel-drive and isn't that much more expensive than the LX. At $30,990, it may just be the sweet spot in the range, with regards to price and standard specification.
The most expensive model, the SE-Prestige, weighs in at $36,190. This is well-priced when you look at the competition; a top-of-the-range RAV4 Hybrid Limited is priced at $37,575 but boasts a flotilla of standard features to justify that price. A range-topping CR-V Hybrid has an MSRP of $37,400. It's clear to see that the Sportage Hybrid represents rather excellent value in its segment. The above prices do not include destination fees ($1,215 for the Sportage models).
Expected to go on sale in spring 2022, the Sportage Hybrid will undoubtedly place rivals in a quandary. Upmarket styling and premium cabin aside, it represents great value and is promising superb gas mileage. Kia says the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and 44-kW electric motor can achieve up to 39 mpg, which is around the same figure the EPA estimates for the RAV4 and CR-V Hybrids.
For interest's sake, the Toyota is rated at 41/38/40 and the Honda at 40/35/38 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles. Aside from frugality, Kia is making a big fuss about how the Sportage is the biggest vehicle in its class and, therefore, the most spacious. The Korean brand says that cargo space and rear legroom is best in class, which will count for a lot in this segment.