Is Kia’s 2023 Sportage Plug-In Hybrid The Pragmatic Pluggable? Or An EV Abomination?

Anyway you slice it, the Sportage will utilize gasoline, even when in "" mode if you push too difficult on the go-pedal or try to heat the cabin. But is that great or bad? That's a difficult concern due to the fact that it depends on how you take a look at PHEVs. At their core they are not about getting rid of fuel usage, if you want to do that Kia has an . Instead the Sportage has to do with decreasing your consumption while being more budget-friendly and practical than a complete . Clearly Kia might have made the Sportage burn no gas under any conditions for the very first 30+ miles, however doing so would have made it more pricey. Is this the right direction? Or not far enough? You decide.

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28 responses to “Is Kia’s 2023 Sportage Plug-In Hybrid The Pragmatic Pluggable? Or An EV Abomination?”

  1. M. L. Hunt Avatar
    M. L. Hunt

    Accelerating out of a problem isn’t a thing? I’ve been doing it wrong all these years Alex 🤣

    1. Sandor Fejer Avatar
      Sandor Fejer

      Well, if you find yourself “in a problem” that many times, then yes, you are probably doing it wrong. But aside that, what stops you to accelerate out of anything in this PHEV? The ICE coming online stops you or something?

  2. M. L. Hunt Avatar
    M. L. Hunt

    I really do not like the shared buttons. Poor design choice by Hyundai/Kia imo.

  3. KOLT Avatar

    I love your videos, Alex! also, the subscribe notif at around 13:20 was non-intrusive, and clean looking. nice stuff

  4. N C Avatar
    N C

    Alex, when are you going to post on your AoA. The rationale for 2023 Sportage ICEV buyers to instead buy hybrid or PHEV such as the 2023 Sportage Plug-In Hybrid?

    Since currently your soapbox is pretty myopic.

  5. David Williams Avatar
    David Williams

    I didn’t realize this has a 7.2kw charger. That’s really nice as the vast majority of PHEVs (mine included) are stuck in the 3-3.5kw range so charging takes forever.

    1. N C Avatar
      N C

      Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, now has a DCFC CHAdeMO charging

  6. Gary Clark Avatar
    Gary Clark

    Why didn’t you just buy the EV? You asked multiple times and that is because the majority of the miles are in those short commute’s, and those road trips are only for vacations and occasional trip to see a relative a handful of times a year. The vast majority of the miles are put on in those short commutes where this could reduce, almost to zero, your fuel use. At least for the average family that works 48 to 49 weeks of the year. 33:49

  7. Goostrey Avatar

    Great, informative and BS-free review (as always). But did you film this now, in February? The weather looks fabulous.

    1. Goostrey Avatar

      I thought you were having snow storms in California.

  8. iwfur25 Avatar

    This seems like the pinnacle of complication and thus potential stuff to break… turbo engine, engine/trans decoupling clutch, auto trans, mechanical AWD, and all the hybrid electric bits. I know most cars are pretty reliable but still. Toyota’s relative simplicity on their non-Tundra hybrids is pretty appealing.

    1. N C Avatar
      N C

      Alex has mentioned that point in the past in detail…. It is strange he did not bring it up in this post…

  9. Matthew Rasmussen Avatar
    Matthew Rasmussen

    I have seen literature indicate the RAV4 has AWD at lower speeds. That seems to me the primary time the average user would need to use it, and would mean it doesn’t have to slip first. Is that not the case?

    1. Olle Borgström Avatar
      Olle Borgström

      That crushes efficiency…

    2. Chinna Na Avatar
      Chinna Na

      You are right. AWD is engaged from the start, but disengaged once it reaches certain speed. AWD needed when there not enough traction, for some reason Alex keeps claiming mechanical is better it can give full power. Reality is we are limited by traction, 40-50HP electric motor has more than enough torque when you get stuck. It is more to do with ability to brake the slipping wheel.

    3. Matthew Rasmussen Avatar
      Matthew Rasmussen

      @Olle Borgström so are you disputing this operation procedure for Toyota?

      @chinna Na if the rear wheels don’t with with EV battery depleted, then that would operate as he indicated, bit that is an important distinction he had not made in numbers videos now if true.

  10. Richard Austin Avatar
    Richard Austin

    So, Alex, what you’re saying is that despite the otherworldly ugly front lighting setup, this is actually a compact CUV that is genuinely good at being a compact CUV with an actual mechanical connection to all 4 contact patches. Thanks! In 10 years, once it is affordable on the used market, if I can stomach the front end by then, I might put it on my shopping list!

  11. Max Anderson Avatar
    Max Anderson

    I’m not sure this car exists in the real world. I was helping my parents car shop, and there were only two hybrid Sportage within 250 miles, and maybe a handful of plug-in nation-wide. All of them had $5-10k mark-ups.

    1. Sandor Fejer Avatar
      Sandor Fejer

      They started to show up here in North California, but they still have the at least $5k markup, sadly. Also I guess the waiting time is still over a year (this was the case last I checked late last year).

  12. Jorel Davis Avatar
    Jorel Davis

    I would love to see two all wheel drive setups compared. Maybe an EV Buyers Guide/TFL duo video?

  13. Jimmy Khokhar Avatar
    Jimmy Khokhar

    Great explanation, as always, thanks Alex!!

  14. Michael Garvin Avatar
    Michael Garvin

    Great video and information that makes sense. Well done Alex 👍🙂

  15. Right Lane Hog Avatar
    Right Lane Hog

    Alex, Before you release thoughtful and deeply considered videos like this do you ever ask yourself whether subscribers can actually handle the truth? 🤔

  16. OpinionatedOG Avatar

    Never ever buy a Hyundai or Kia car that has a gasoline engine in it. This includes their hybrids and plug in hybrid vehicles. I have a 2016 hybrid Limited sonata and that thing has been hauled off from the side of the highway 4 times, all engine related. Now it’s in needing an engine replacement and quite possibly a transmission replacement. All this yet the electric motor and the hybrid battery is still good. Let that sink in for a minute. My friend showed up this weekend driving a rental. Come to find out his engine has failed in his ICE Kia Soul. Keep in mind, Kia and Hyundai use the same exact engines which are known to fail. So if you buy a Kia or Hyundai hybrid just know those cares are not designed to run on the electric motor alone and one without the other is useless. The gas engines will fail way sooner than what’s considered normal. They are trash!

  17. Sandor Fejer Avatar
    Sandor Fejer

    Actually, I’m one of those who brags about how few times I have filled up the gas tank. I have a (Niro) PHEV, I can totally commute back and forth without using the gas engine. I didn’t buy an EV because I live in an apartment, I do not have a place to charge. I can plug it in at work, but what happens if tomorrow I quit or let go? I bought a PHEV because I don’t want to sell my car just because it becomes extremely inconvenient to power it in case I lose my ability to charge it, but I also wanted the EV range to mitigate the gas consumption. If I had a house with a charger? Sure, I would probably choose an EV.

  18. Green&Blue Productions Avatar
    Green&Blue Productions

    A reason why someone whould buy a plug in and not use the gas engine over a BEV is… a Cheap BEV lacks size and an expensive BEV lacks features.

  19. Nathan Green Avatar
    Nathan Green

    Interested in the comparison between this and the Outlander PHEV. It seems like the Outlander behaves much more like an EV with a generator attached vs the Kia acting like a hybrid with a plug. Thoughts?

  20. mickey brumfield Avatar
    mickey brumfield

    The front styling isn’t something that I can’t live with, but the Sorento and Telluride look so good I don’t know why the KIA people didn’t make the front of the vehicle look like them.

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