The Best Affordable Hybrid SUV: A Comprehensive Review of the Kia Sportage Hybrid

A blue 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid small hybrid SUV is driving on the road.


In recent years, the perception of hybrid vehicles has shifted dramatically. Drivers are now embracing the idea of owning a hybrid, thanks to the competitive options available in the market. Among the most affordable hybrid SUVs, the Kia Sportage Hybrid stands out as an excellent choice. This article delves into the strengths and weaknesses of the Sportage Hybrid and why it is worth considering as your next vehicle.

Everything Wrong with the Kia Sportage Hybrid

The Kia Sportage Hybrid, like any other vehicle, has its drawbacks. However, these shortcomings should not deter you from considering it as a viable option. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  1. Real-world fuel economy differs from estimates: While the Sportage Hybrid boasts impressive fuel efficiency on paper, real-world driving conditions may yield slightly lower mileage. Nevertheless, it still outperforms non-hybrid SUVs in terms of fuel economy.

  2. Not as fun to drive as some rivals: The Sportage Hybrid may not offer the same level of excitement and engagement as some of its competitors. If you prioritize sporty driving dynamics, you might find other options more appealing.

  3. Handling isn’t as engaging as some competitors: While the Sportage Hybrid offers a comfortable and smooth ride, it may not deliver the same level of agility and responsiveness as some of its rivals. However, it still competes well within its segment.

  4. Barebones base model: The base model of the Sportage Hybrid comes with minimal features and amenities. If you desire more advanced technology and luxury, you may need to opt for higher trims.

The Affordable Choice: Kia Sportage Hybrid

The Kia Sportage Hybrid, along with its sibling, the Kia Niro, stands out for its affordability in the subcompact hybrid SUV market. The recent redesign of the Sportage has made it even more desirable. Let’s explore whether this small hybrid SUV provides adequate value for your money.

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid Specs

To understand the capabilities of the Sportage Hybrid, let’s take a closer look at its specifications:

  • Starting MSRP: $27,490
  • Engine/Power Output: 1.6-Liter Turbocharged Four-Cylinder + electric motor, 226 Horsepower/258 LB-FT Torque
  • Estimated MPG:
  • 42 City/44 Highway (FWD)
  • 38 City/38 Highway (AWD)

On paper, the Sportage Hybrid appears to be a dream come true. It offers more power and improved efficiency compared to its gas-powered predecessor. However, let’s examine how it performs in real-world scenarios.

Reviewers have found that the actual fuel economy of the Sportage Hybrid may not reach the estimated 43 miles per gallon combined for the front-wheel drive model. Nonetheless, it still provides a significant improvement over non-hybrid small SUVs. The inclusion of an electric motor in the powertrain system contributes to the power boost of the Sportage Hybrid, making it a compelling choice.

While some rivals may offer better driving dynamics, the Sportage Hybrid remains competitive. In fact, many consumers consider it the best in its segment.

Why Choose the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

Now that we’ve discussed the downsides of the Sportage Hybrid, let’s highlight its strengths and why it’s worth considering as your next SUV. Here are a few reasons to choose the Sportage Hybrid:

  1. Affordability: The Sportage Hybrid is cheaper than its competitors, such as the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V Hybrid. Despite its affordability, it doesn’t compromise on power and efficiency, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers.

  2. Balanced Performance: The Sportage Hybrid strikes a good balance between power, efficiency, and comfort. It may not offer blistering acceleration or sports car-like handling, but it provides a well-rounded driving experience that many consumers appreciate.

  3. Trim Options: The Sportage Hybrid is available in three configurations: LX, EX, and SX-Prestige. While the base LX model is enticing due to its affordable starting price, the EX trim offers the best value for the money. The EX trim comes with features like a wireless phone charger, SynTex seating trim with heated front seats, heated side mirrors with LED turn signals, and all-wheel drive, all for a price of $31,190.

The Sportage Hybrid’s overall value for the money makes it an appealing choice for many consumers. While it may not be the pinnacle of hybrid SUVs, its affordability and well-rounded performance set it apart from the competition.


The Kia Sportage Hybrid proves that an affordable hybrid SUV can still offer a compelling package. Despite some drawbacks, such as slightly lower real-world fuel economy and less engaging handling, the Sportage Hybrid delivers on its promise of affordability, efficiency, and a comfortable driving experience. With a starting price that undercuts its rivals and a range of features that cater to various needs, the Sportage Hybrid is a worthy contender in the hybrid SUV market.

If you prioritize affordability, efficiency, and a well-balanced driving experience over sheer performance and sportiness, the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is a hard-to-beat option. Consider it as a top choice for your next hybrid SUV purchase.

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