As per Kia, there are two PHEV trims on sale in the U.S., the X-Line AWD for $38,490 MSRP and the X-Line Prestige AWD for $42,990. These price points place the Sportage in the upper range of the pricing tier for all other mainstream (non-luxury), compact SUV PHEVs available in the U.S. today. The closely related Hyundai Tucson PHEV ($35,400), the Ford Escape PHEV ($35,455), and the outgoing 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV ($36,995) all cost less at the entry level price point, while the Toyota Rav 4 Prime ($40,300) comes in at the highest price point for a mainstream PHEV SUV in the compact class. Note that with the loss of the tax rebate that all of these vehicles were eligible for until last Tuesday, pricing for these vehicles may be subject to fluidity over the coming months as manufacturers and dealers adjust to the shifting federal incentives. Worth pointing out is that of all these PHEVs, only the Ford Escape PHEV will qualify for a federal tax incentive going forward, though manufacturers may make moves to regain eligibility of their plug-in vehicles by moving production to the U.S. and eventually sourcing battery components from the U.S. or its free trade partners.
While some may balk at the pricing of the new Sportage PHEV without the tax incentive, as per the link I included above, many people will still find it a worthy purchase regardless. Hopefully, dealers will quickly drop or reduce their markups in order to stay competitive with vehicles that do qualify for the new incentive, or if they don’t, hopefully manufacturers will successfully pressure them to do so because some dealers are truly asking ridiculous markups, otherwise.
But back to the Sportage PHEV… besides the more affordable price point and slightly better EV range and fuel economy, compared to the Sorento PHEV, some of the most enticing aspects of the new Sportage PHEV are its faster charging rate (basically 2x that of the Sorento PHEV) and its nearly equal cargo and passenger volume. If you don’t need the 3 rows or 6th seat, the Sportage PHEV is most likely the better value between the two PHEVs since it goes a little further on a full charge (I would expect 45+ miles is possible since I have been able to get over 40 miles from my Sorento PHEV) gets better mpg on gas only, and it can recharge faster and has similar cargo capacity behind the second row. It’s really only a question of that 3rd row, when you get down to it. The Sportage will likely win out in every other way. I know from talking to several currently active car shoppers that the best in class legroom in the second row, and overall interior volume of the new Sportage are very attractive features that are drawing more and more potential customers Kia’s way. If they don’t stay competitive with Ford’s incentive eligible pricing, and or those EVs and regular hybrids might also be cross shopping against the Kia Sportage, Kia is going to be hurting, fast.
If you are in the market for a new compact SUV/crossover, whether you want a plug-in hybrid or not, what would it come down to for you, in terms of priorities? Would the out the door price trump the size/volume of the vehicle and or other features? Would overall fuel economy matter more? Please leave your questions and comments below.
Image courtesy of Kia.
Justin Hart has owned and driven electric vehicles for over 14 years, including a first generation Nissan LEAF, second generation Chevy Volt, Tesla Model 3, an electric bicycle and most recently a Kia Sorento PHEV. He is also an avid SUP rider, poet, photographer and wine lover. He enjoys taking long EV and PHEV road trips to beautiful and serene places with the people he loves. Follow Justin on Twitter for daily KIA EV news coverage.