The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is now one of the most efficient compact SUVs on the market. With an EPA rating of 42/44/43 mpg city/highway/combined for the FWD model, it tops the previous champ, the Ford Escape Hybrid. The latter was rated at 44/37/41 mpg. However, there’s a caveat: this is only available on the base LX model since the EX and SX Prestige grades are AWD only. Those two are EPA-rated at 38 mpg across the board since they’re heavier at 3,732 pounds (200 pounds more than the LX trim) and get more standard equipment.
Among AWD competitors, the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid stands mid-pack. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid checks in at 41/38 mpg while the Ford Escape Hybrid is good for 43/37/40 mpg. At the lower end of the spectrum is the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, which is rated for 38 mpg across the board if you opt for the Blue grade. However, moving up to higher trims drops those numbers down slightly to 37/36/37 mpg. The Honda CR-V Hybrid also lands mid-pack at 40/35/37 mpg but remember this model will be replaced soon and the new generation could see an upgraded powertrain with improved efficiency and output.
The Sportage Hybrid shares its powertrain with the Tucson Hybrid, Santa Fe Hybrid, and the Sorento Hybrid. It couples a 1.6-liter turbo-four with an electric motor, a 1.49-kWh lithium-ion battery, and a six-speed automatic transmission. Combined, the system makes 226 hp. Kia uses a mechanical AWD system on the EX and SX Prestige grades, meaning a drive shaft connects the front and rear axles. You can also lock the system so that it keeps power distribution at 50/50 front to rear.
You’ll be able to get a long list of tech and convenience features in the 2023 Sportage Hybrid, especially on the range-topping SX Prestige grade. These include two 12.3-inch displays housed under a single curved glass panel, a surround-view camera, heated and ventilated front seats, a Harman Kardon audio system, and remote parking. Every Sportage Hybrid gets a long list of driver assistance features including front automatic emergency braking, pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane centering, steering assist, and automatic high beams. Higher trims get adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, rear automatic emergency braking, and a blind-spot view monitor, which shows you what’s beside you on the digital gauge cluster.
The Sportage Hybrid is the latest addition to Kia’s electrified lineup which includes the Niro family, the Sorento Hybrid and PHEV, and the all-electric EV6. Later this year, the Sportage PHEV will round out the lineup, featuring the same powertrain as the standard hybrid but with a more powerful electric motor and a 13.8-kWh battery. This increases the combined system output to 261 hp and allows the crossover to travel an estimated 32 miles in all-electric mode. Like big brother Sorento, the Sportage PHEV will get AWD as standard equipment and be available only on upper trims. In this case, it’s X-Line and X-Line Prestige, giving the crossover a more rugged appearance.
Pricing for the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid hasn’t been released yet but expect it to start at just under $30,000 and top out at just under $40,000.