2023 Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid Arrives Just in Time To Miss EV Tax Credits
Kia’s plug-in hybrid Sportage punches in just under $40K.
The new Kia Sportage has been out for a bit already—after all, I've already driven and written it—but the versions currently roaming the streets don't have plugs. On Wednesday, Kia finally told us how much the plug-in-hybrid variant will cost when it hits the streets. The 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV will start at $39,785 after delivery, which makes it more expensive than the top trims of the gas and hybrid versions, as expected. Don't expect any help from the feds; the Sportage PHEV misses out on tax credits while at least one of its competitors still qualifies.
The 2023 Sportage PHEV gets just two trims as opposed to the hybrid HEV (which gets three) and the ICE model (which gets seven) and only comes with all-wheel-drive. The top trim, the X-Line Prestige, comes in at $44,285 and adds a medley of goodies for comfort, including a power-adjustable passenger seat, and a premium Harman-Kardon sound system, cooled front seats, and a heated windshield and steering wheel. More importantly, it also gets the full suite of Kia's driver-assistance offerings.
The sub-$40,000 price undercuts the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime, which also doesn't get any help from tax credits, but is higher than the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid and the 2022 Ford Escape SE Plug-In Hybrid. Ford has an ace compared to all of the above, too; it still qualifies for available EV tax breaks.
Regardless of trim, the Sportage with a plug offers a 1.6-liter turbo inline-four and six-speed automatic transmission (a layout shared with the traditional hybrid version), but pairs that powertrain with an 66.9-kW motor and a 13.8-kWh battery pack. The setup is good for 34 miles of all-electric range, and although official EPA numbers haven't been released, Kia is targeting 35 MPG overall, and 84 MPGe in all-electric driving mode. Kia states the PHEV Sportage can fully charge from a Level 2 240-volt charger in as little as two hours, as well.
Personally, it still seems just as compelling to me as when it was first announced. The price is on the lower end of currently-available PHEV crossovers, and the drivetrain worked phenomenally well with the (less-powerful) base hybrid; I'd expect the plug-in to be just as well-sorted.
Correction: A previous version of this story included misstated numbers from Kia. The electric motor output is 66.9 kW.