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The world is going electric, which has made the PHEV segment of hybrid cars into a relatively overlooked segment as it sits between true EVs and regular cars. Car shoppers looking for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle have some excellent options, though, and it can be a good idea to compare and contrast them before making a choice. Here’s a look at two advantages the 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV has over the 2023 Hyundai Tucson PHEV.

1. The 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV has better fuel economy ratings

One of the main reasons car shoppers may consider buying a PHEV is to take advantage of high fuel economy numbers, and the Kia Sportage PHEV is the better option. According to Edmunds, the Kia’s hybrid powertrain allows it to get 38 mpg combined when it’s on regular power. With electric power, it gets 84 MPGe combined. Both of those ratings are higher than what the Tucson gets.

Meanwhile, the Hyundai SUV gets 35 mpg combined. With electric power, it gets 80 MPGe. That’s a difference of 3 mpg and 4 MPGe, respectively. While those numbers seem small, the difference can really add up, and owners will especially feel the difference when gas prices are high. 

2. The Sportage PHEV has a longer electric driving range

A gray 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV plug-in hybrid electric vehicle parked outside a glass office building
2023 Kia Sportage PHEV | Kia America

The 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV is the more fuel-efficient option in another way. PHEVs, unlike standard hybrids, come with a small battery that it can draw power from for a limited distance. During this period, the PHEV is operating in battery-only mode, and as a result, it is essentially an EV. As such, PHEVs with a longer electric driving range can save owners even more money, as electricity is cheaper than gas. 

The Sportage PHEV has a 13.8-kWh battery, allowing the Kia to go 34 miles in battery-only mode. The Tucson also has a 13.8-kWh battery, but it only enables the Hyundai to go 33 miles in battery-only mode. Once again, while this is a slight difference between the two SUVs, it can be meaningful in the long run.

The Kia Sportage PHEV has a lot in common with the Hyundai Tucson PHEV

Overall, the two South Korean SUVs are extremely similar, which is not surprising since Kia and Hyundai work very closely. To start, both SUVs have the same powertrain. 

The Kia Sportage PHEV and Hyundai Tucson PHEV have a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that works with an electric motor to generate 261 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Their powertrains are also paired with a six-speed automatic, and they both come with all-wheel drive as standard. As a result, both SUVs will have similar towing capacities, as they can tow about 2,000 pounds.

In addition to having the same size battery, the two Korean SUVs also have the same fuel tank capacity. Both cars can carry a max of 11.1 gallons of gas. Unsurprisingly, the two SUVs also share some of the same physical dimensions. They both have a wheelbase that measures108.5 inches and a ground clearance of about 8.3 inches. That being said, there are some differences in their length and height, and as such, they have interior dimensions that differ from one another.


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