Should You Get a New Kia Sportage, or Should You Set Your Sights on the Sportage Plug-in Hybrid Instead?


As part of the automaker’s ongoing efforts to break into and dominate the electric vehicle market, Kia has come out with a plug-in hybrid electric (or PHEV) model of the Kia Sportage this year. But is it worth it?

An Improvement on a Popular Kia?

What makes the Kia Sportage PHEV better than the original besides the engine? Is this just a repackaged version of one of Kia’s successful cars, or is it actually a step forward in vehicle technology that we should be proud to drive?

Let’s find out by breaking these two vehicles down below.

The Same Vehicle, Two Different Power Systems

Let’s start by getting something straight, though; these are two different Kia Sportage models. That means many of the base features and capabilities will stay the same. We’re going to look at whether the electric motor and additional features in the PHEV are worth making the switch for!

The Original Kia Sportage

Starting at $26,000 MSRP, the Kia Sportage is a nifty little compact SUV. It gets up to 28 miles per gallon, has 187 horsepower, and uses an automatic 8-speed transmission with AWD.


It also has some great tech – 12.3-inch dual panoramic displays, wireless charging, blind spot monitoring, and heated/ventilated front seats are only a few of the technology and comfort options.

It was also named a 2022 IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK, which rounds out its power and comfort capabilities with safety to make a well-rounded, affordable SUV.

So what does the PHEV have?

The All-New Plug-in Hybrid Model – What’s Different? What’s Better?

The PHEV has everything we mentioned in the gas-powered Kia Sportage, plus some interesting extras! First, the engine and power: there’s an electric motor in addition to an engine. It gives the hybrid 84 MPGe and 261 horsepower – the most of the three available models. It’s got a range of 430 miles and also uses AWD.

It’s also got some great additional features, like remote smart park assist and advanced LED headlights as standard inclusions.
But it also costs more – the PHEV has a starting MSRP of just under $39,000.

This brings us back to the same question we started with: is it worth it? If you like the benefits of a hybrid electric vehicle, absolutely!

The Benefits of a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the benefits of plug-in hybrid electric cars include:

  • Lower fuel costs (and less gas use in general)
  • Less emission
  • The ability to recharge your vehicle passively – such as letting it sit and charge while you shop or work

So if you’re interested in things like saving money, reducing pollution, and having a car that’s always full of “gas,” you’ll want to strongly consider the Kia Sportage PHEV.

Which Kia Sportage Should You Buy?

Honestly, this one is up to you – the Kia Sportage is a great SUV either way. But if you can put the extra money behind an environmentally-friendly, more powerful vehicle, you should look for the PHEV model.

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