American-Made Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid Looks Great In The Metal

2022 Chicago Auto Show / 7 Comments

Kia's newest product is grabbing lots of attention at the 2022 Chicago Auto Show.

The 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV has been revealed in the metal at the 2022 Chicago Auto Show. The plug-in hybrid model was introduced this week as a new powertrain option for the crossover range. Although it sources power from a more advanced system, there isn't much that visually separates it from the combustion and hybrid offerings.

The PHEV is available with two trim options. The entry of the range features tasteful details such as satin chrome applications within the front bumper contrasted by gloss black details for the alloy wheels, door mirrors, roof racks, and window surrounds. For a distinctive front face design, a pair of boomerang LED DRLs aligns with the brand's Opposites United design philosophy.

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Like the hybrid derivative, Kia's PHEV compact crossover sources power from its 1.6-liter four-cylinder powertrain, which is good for 177 horsepower. This is supported by a 66.9-kilowatt electric motor that gets its energy from a 13.8-kWh battery pack and is sent to an all-wheel drive system via a six-speed automatic transmission. The crossover's EV mode is fairly modest with the brand claiming an electric-only range of 32 miles. Charging is executed via a 7.2-kW onboard system that takes two hours to replenish energy through a Level 2 charger.

The PHEV is packed with some handy comfort and safety features as well. In base-guise, the Sportage offers its owners security via the standard fitment of forward collision avoidance, driver attention warning, intelligent cruise control, a backup camera with intuitive parking lines, and blind-spot collision and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance. The higher Prestige trim is more conclusive with the cruise control benefiting from cloud-based navigation readings and boasting the ability to detect curves in the road.

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Within the cabin, the Kia Sportage shows off a pair of panoramic curved digital displays that stretch 12.3-inches wide. This system supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto throughout the range, but the 360-degree surround-view option is only available for the Prestige, together with a Harman Kardon premium speaker system and WiFi hotspot.

The Kia Sportage range has already kicked-off production as of this month at the brand's West Point, Georgia plant where it joins the Telluride, Sorento, and K5. The first model that was put together was an X-Pro Prestige model finished with a Jungle Green shade. Although the Sportage is new to the plant, this facility has been operational for almost 13 years.

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