TTAC Drive Notes: 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
ttac drive notes 2023 kia sportage hybrid

Hi there, this is take two of our new series in which I give you short notes on something I am driving or have driven recently. It doesn't necessarily mean a given car will or won't get a full review in the future -- it's just a chance to hit some highlights sooner since it can take some time before a full review gets published. And some cars don't get full reviews, anyway.

Today's ride: The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid.

Ed. note -- We're playing with the title format a bit, since last time I said it I would highlight "five things" and it ended up being like 10.

So, the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is available in plug-in and series hybrid setups. My test unit was a series hybrid, and here are some notes I had:

  • The Sportage Hybrid is really fun to drive. You know, for a crossover. I'm serious. Sportiness is relative, of course, but this thing handles well enough to keep people like me happy.
  • I dig the sweeping dash that integrates the infotainment screen nicely. It's easy to use, especially when scrolling through menus either on Kia's home screen or Apple CarPlay.
  • I didn't measure exact fuel economy, but the MPGs I was seeing were a bit low. I blame the densely urban driving environment I was in -- another local journalist who also lives in a built-up part of Chicago told me he also saw disappointing numbers on the trip computer when testing the exact same car. Then again, another journalist I know just told me he saw really good numbers in suburban Ohio. So either the tester in this fleet has issues, or the car just gets better mileage in a suburban area.
  • It seems like it would be a pain to use a button to swap audio controls for climate, but it's not that bad. Though it does remove your eyes from the road, at least until you get used to where the button is.
  • There were plastic button markers for features this tester didn't have. Hate that.
  • I often have a pass/fail test for cars I review -- i.e. I ask myself "would I buy it" regardless of price, competition quality, etc. Just a simple yes/no: Would I own this car and drive it daily for three to five years? The answer here is yes.
  • Some materials felt cheap.
  • The $33K as-tested price is quite reasonable.

[Image © 2022 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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  • MaintenanceCosts MaintenanceCosts 7 days ago

    Uggo. Wouldn't buy it because of the styling. The front, rear, and big thick slab of chrome at the beltline are all clunky. And they're on a generic CUV shape where if there's any hope it's in good detailing.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX 7 days ago

    The Tucson's styling beats this to death.

  • Ajla I've been happy with both uConnect and the circa 2018 Kia system. That said both seem to be moving towards Superscreen Hell within the next model cycle.
  • Arthur Dailey The vehicle pictured is not 'The Batmobile'. Adam West drove the only true Batmobile. To paraphrase what Adam West said on The Big Bang Theory, "I did not have to say I am Batman, when I walked in to a room everyone knew who I was, including Julie Newmar".
  • TheEndlessEnigma I travel frequently for work so rent a lot of cars.I think Ford and Chrysler systems are very good.GM, Kia/Hyundai, Toyota, Honda and Subaru systems are junk across the board.
  • FreedMike The gun trade seems on brand.
  • ToolGuy Dear TTAC, Re: Reader Engagement: If you want the adults to engage (perhaps you don't) on an adult level, get some stuff out when the productive successful people are awake and alert -- like before now (it's 11am on the east coast). Smarter people than me have told you this, more than once. You are publishing more articles -- great. Make a queue and have a bot publish them several times during the workday. Right now the 'leftovers' from yesterday that people see when they hit the site include a Batmobile which the majority of people aren't going to bid on, and a QOTD which you limited to the "last model year or two."