My PHEV-ourite | 

Sunday World motoring editor on why the Kia Sportage plug-in hybrid is his pick of the bunch

On the outside, the Sportage PHEV looks no different to its petrol or diesel siblings apart from the fact that there’s two fuel caps on either side of the rear end – one that houses an electric charge point and the other side for traditional petrol fill-ups.

The Kia Sportage PHEV has plenty of boot room

The interior of the Kia Sportage PHEV

The Kia Sportage PHEV had an eletric range of 52km on one trip

Robbie FarrellSunday World

The Kia Sportage holds a special place in my heart. Back in 2012, we decided to swap our family Toyota RAV 4 for the more affordable Kia Sportage that was rising as fast as my current electricity and gas bills.

That particular model was selling like hot cakes at the time and it was probably the SUV that first put the Korean brand on the map here in Ireland.

It came with heated seats front and rear, something that you didn’t even get in an S-Class Mercedes at the time.

We drove it for six years before finally upgrading in 2018 to a newer model, which we still own to this day.

Unfortunately for me, the wife has now set her sights on the latest model to roll off the production line and wants to do her bit for the environment by opting for the latest plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version.

Customers who are currently thinking of switching from larger diesel/petrol engines and are still unsure if they should go full electric should be putting PHEV vehicles top of their wanted list.

The interior of the Kia Sportage PHEV

Personally, I think they offer the best option for buyers at the moment by offering drivers the best of both worlds.

For someone like my wife, who only potters around to (every single) supermarket in the local area and doesn’t venture any further than Ikea on a weekly basis, the Kia Sportage plug-in hybrid is the perfect family choice.

On the outside, the Sportage PHEV looks no different to its petrol or diesel siblings apart from the fact that there’s two fuel caps on either side of the rear end – one that houses an electric charge point and the other side for traditional petrol fill-ups.

On the inside, the interior has been totally transformed in the latest model and the Sportage shares the same switchgear that is found in the extremely futuristic EV6. There is very much a premium feel to it and the system software is almost glitch free compared to some of its close competitors.

Elsewhere, there is plenty of space on offer for a family of five and the boot still offers an enormous 540 litres, just 50 litres less than the models without the battery pack.

The Kia Sportage PHEV had an eletric range of 52km on one trip

On the road, the Kia Sportage PHEV is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine coupled with a 91bhp electric motor, as well as a 13.8kWh lithium-ion battery.

Kia claim that when fully charged, the battery should be good for up to 70km on pure electric range.

However, when I picked up my test car from Kia Ireland HQ, the instrument panel told me that the battery was 100pc charged and it was displaying an electric range of 52km.

Even if this is the case, that range should be more than enough for my wife to potter to and from the shops with for two or three days without using a drop of petrol.

During my second day of testing I was able put the 52km range to the exact test while driving my son to work and back on a 52km round trip. The result was that I got within about 3km of home before the petrol engine kicked in.

I have to say, that is not bad at all under normal driving conditions. In all fairness, I have always found that the range on electrified Kias will give you very close to what the instrument panel has on display at the time – unlike some models.

So overall, I think that in the new year if Santa Claus leaves me a few bob under the Christmas tree, I am going to upgrade our family 1.7-litre diesel Sportage in favour of the Sportage PHEV.

It will be third model that we have bought in a row and fingers crossed it will be as reliable as the first two we have purchased.

It’s still too early for me to go full electric yet but if I was to do so and I had the budget, I would be looking at either the Kia EV6 or the Hyundai IONIQ 5.


Today's Headlines

More Motoring

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos