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 on Nov 22, 2022

    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 on Nov 22, 2022

    The Tucson's styling beats this to death.

  • Arthur Dailey Reading the brochure I cannot remember driving or riding in a Mark IV or V that did not have dual power front seats and dual lit vanity mirrors. I do miss body side molding, rub strips and cut pile carpeting. The HVAC system on these and many other higher end domestics of the 1970s and early 1980s was superb. You could open up the windows and the sunroof in extreme cold temperatures, turn up the heat and drive around comfortably without a coat. The A/C was probably powerful enough to cool down one of the current 'micro condos' being sold in Toronto as livable space. Regardless of the size of the opera windows, if you were claustrophobic you would not enjoy the back seat. It was cramped and you had minimal visibility in any direction from the back seat. The trunk if you had a fullsize spare had minimal storage space but was deeply carpeted. As much as I appreciate this series and Corey's writing, I still vehemently disagree with the looks of the Mark IV versus the Mark V. As much as I appreciate the Mark V, i still believe that the more horizontal/angular looks of the Mark IV are superior.
  • MaintenanceCosts I don't believe a single Mark V was made with what I would see as the correct configuration: steel roof, AstroRoof, and the 460. The steel roof was first-year-only and appeared to be specified only on very basic cars.
  • Jwee FUBAR. Oxford, home of Cowley assembly plant for Minis. The City spent 50+ years promoting the car as transport, and now punish the people for following their policy.
  • RHD The Skoda Enyaq is priced at 34,600 Euros in Germany. If Skoda would like to dip their toes in the water at the other side of the pond, now would be the time.
  • Roadscholar Safety, shmafety....I love it.
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