Driving report Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDI PHEV AWD AT: VW should be careful – only Kia engine raises questions
With the Tiguan, VW is the benchmark in the compact SUV class. But the new Kia Sportage not only looks more modern, it also has other features. FOCUS online tests Koreans.
A variety of models by Kia interesting when it comes to alternative drives. Pure electric cars like the E-Soul, EV6 or Niro, plug-in hybrids like the Ceed Sportwagon, XCeed, Sorento, Niro or Sportage as a plug-in hybrid adorn the range, and there are also hybrids. German producers cannot keep up in terms of variety.
And when it comes to quality, Kia doesn’t have to hide behind premium sellers. The test version “GT-line” includes, among other things, electrically adjustable leather seats with lumbar support and ventilation. It feels like leather, according to Kia it is imitation leather, only the side panels are made of suede. Add to that amenities like 19-inch wheels, six-speed automatic transmission, electronically adjustable clutch, LED headlights and all-wheel drive, to name a few.
This high-end device is expensive. The Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDI PHEV AWD AT test car has a base price of over 50,000 euros. With two-color painting and special equipment, the price increases to 53,190 euros. To save our honor, it should be said that the base price of the new Sportage starts at 28,950 euros (7th Edition, manual transmission and 150 hp).
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The hybrid works on the test car, and not a plug-in hybrid (the Sportage also has one), but a plug-in that will still be able to enjoy the environmental bonus at least in 2022. As a reminder: plug-in hybrids up to 40,000 euros receive euros 6750 (federal part of 4500 euros and manufacturer part of 2250 euros), plug-in between 40,000 and 65,000 euros still 5,625 euros (3750 plus 1875 euros). With an actual list price of around 42,000 euros, this SUV gets a bonus of 5,625 euros. From 2023 there will no longer be subsidies for hybrids. Interested buyers must hurry.
How does the Kia Sportage drive?
Kia can be moved in two ways. It’s purely electric, as long as the 13.8 kWh battery plays along, or straight as a hybrid/electric – then of course the battery will last longer. The electricity is completely gone after about 60 km. The charging time on the wall box in the editor’s office was given as three hours, which is too long. Kia specifies consumption values as 4.8/6.1/5.6 liters (urban, urban, combined). This is true for electric power, like a gasoline engine there are more than 8 in front of the decimal point. That’s a little annoying on the road, because with a 42-liter tank you have to fill up after about 400 kilometers if you don’t want to rely on the last drop.
Sportage is not a sprinter, but an SUV of a good nature. The automatic responds spontaneously and accelerates the car to 100 km / h in 8.3 seconds. Impulse 4.515 meters long, 1.865 wide and 1.645 meters high SUV ends at 193 km / h.
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Subjectively, you feel good in the car – with one limitation. Depending on how you as the driver hold the steering wheel, it can be uncomfortable. If you have your left hand on the steering wheel according to the rules, you will not have any problems. But if you use the rest on the door to rest your hand there, you will get pressure points because this hand rest is not sustainable. Otherwise, the tester’s elbow is too pointed.
How is it used?
Smooth surfaces in the interior, one of the hallmarks of Kia. It feels so good, so precious. Infotainment has two 31.2 cm screens (equivalent to 12.3 inches each). On the left is a digital instrument cluster, on the right it looks like a tablet (competitors do it). At the bottom you can find the control bar, which is of many types. At the push of a button, it is used for navigation or radio or for heating and air conditioning. If you are dealing with it for the first time, you should get used to it. Decisive advantage: the number of setting options is not large at first glance. The recognition of the license plate, which correctly recognized the sign, is also worth mentioning.
How many spaces are there?
Compact SUVs are usually made for four people, as is the case here. With three adults in the back seat, it gets a little cramped, especially on long trips.
Otherwise there is enough space in the front seats for people over 190 cm.
The trunk is also ample and includes 587 liters (according to VDA). However, if the bike rack and charging cable are stored there, it is reduced a bit. But who regularly rides a bike rack for a walk? The loading sill, which is the highest at 72.7 cm, is a little worrying.
There is little to complain about, the Kia is solid, but not cheap. But there is a good reason why the brand is growing. Controversial opinions arise mostly for reasons of taste. Example: color. Within two minutes, two little girls commented “is she ugly” and “so cute”. I think the color is very successful, but it would tend to get away from the trendy color on the car. I don’t know if the green will still be there in ten years. In any case, the optics is that two businessmen came out of the resting place and circled the car with interest. And it certainly wasn’t because of race.
However, the likelihood of success is doubtful if there is no longer any additional financial income from the government for the plugin. Then the trend should go in the direction of mild hybrids (which Kia also offers for the Sportage) or in the direction of pure electric cars (not yet available for the Sportage). So this engine variant may be discontinued unless cities come up with the idea of setting up environmental zones where only electric vehicles are allowed to drive. Then the plug-in would still be there, but not a small hybrid.
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