3 Areas Where the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid Falls Short

We know that hybrid SUVs are hot right now, and the Kia Sportage Hybrid is an excellent option to consider. But the hybrid SUV segment is growing, making it difficult to find the perfect ride. The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid could suit your needs, but there are three drawbacks to consider. 

Is the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid worth buying? 

A silver 2023 Kia Sportage hybrid
2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid | Kia Media

Yes, the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is an exceptional SUV to consider. Sure, it has a wild exterior design, and the headlights feel out of this world. But we think it looks great, and the Sportage Hybrid is affordable. 

You can get started with a Sportage Hybrid for $28,585. According to Cars.com, rivals such as the Honda CR-V Hybrid include standard AWD, but the Sportage doesn’t. You can add it for $1,800, and it’s still cheaper than rivals. The CR-V Hybrid starts at $32,450. 

The Sportage Hybrid provides an engaging experience, modern tech, and an upscale interior, but it’s not 100 percent perfect. See the complaints Cars.com has. 

1. The Sportage Hybrid could be better on gas 

The team at Cars.com found that the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid falls short with its fuel economy. The FWD model gets an EPA-estimated 42 mpg in the city and up to 44 mpg on the highway. With AWD, these figures drop to 38 mpg, and they got about 33 mpg during their test. 

This isn’t bad, but it’s less than what rivals get. For example, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 41 mpg in the city and up to 38 mpg on the highway with AWD. 

But it’s fun. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is paired with an electric motor and battery pack to crank out 227 hp and 285 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.2 seconds, which outpaces rivals. 

2. The Sportage Hybrid could have more intuitive tech 

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid review
2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is loaded with modern tech. The 12.3-inch infotainment screen provides plenty of connectivity and speed. But the lack of physical controls can make it a little confusing. 

There is a button that you press to switch what functions the dial controls. You press it if you want the dials to control the climate control system instead of the music volume and radio station. 

Connecting phones without a cord isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it does offer wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, Android Auto only takes up about half the screen, making the menus seem small and frustrating. 

3. There’s no EV mode 

This is a bit nit-picky, but the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid doesn’t have an EV mode that allows it to drive on electric power alone. But this Cars.com complaint feels off. EV modes are typically reserved for plug-in hybrid models. 

The Sportage Hybrid offers an Eco Mode to prioritize saving gas, but to be honest, the Sport Mode is a lot more fun. The Smart Mode caters to your individual driving habits to provide an optimal performance. 

So, the lack of an EV mode shouldn’t hold you back. But the Sportage Hybrid does have a slightly lower fuel economy compared to competitors, and the tech can be confusing at first.

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