The energy-efficient and spacious Kia Sportage PHEV delivers what it promises

I have two reasons for starting with the trunk of this week’s test car, the KIA Sportage plug-in hybrid (PHEV). First of all, it was examined how much luggage and space is available on the rear seats in the PHEV compared to the conventional model.

Second, I was unexpectedly able to put it through a hands-on test – by transferring a cargo to Trinity.

Now the “normal” Sportage has 591 liters of luggage space. This is a big increase over the previous model. So much so that the Sportage now beats or approaches its main rivals in this area. Its competitors include the closely related Hyundai Tucson, Ford Kuga, Volkswagen Tiguan, Mazda CX-5, Peugeot 3008 and Seat Ateca.

However, plug-ins can compromise rear and luggage space due to the need to accommodate the larger battery. As you know, PHEVs combine the inputs of a gasoline engine, an electric motor, and a large battery.

The most important thing is how to charge the battery by plugging it in at home, in the office, on a public charger or wherever. Of course, if the battery dies, you still get the benefits of a hybrid. This is offset somewhat by carrying the heavy battery around.

Unfortunately, the plug-in version of the Sportage loses a few liters but still manages to squeeze out 540 litres. It didn’t look that big to me, but we have to rely on it.

KIA also says they ran large laps to ensure the battery was placed centrally between the two axles under the car’s body to increase boot space and interior space.

It was also good that the rear seats split and folded fairly flat; We had a good chance to see how it handles cumbersome things like picture frames and a narrow but long mirror.

We had everything we needed to wear, and loading up the ensemble was relatively easy, in part because the boot lip wasn’t too high.

It was an odd feeling, driving through the grounds of Trinity College at dusk with a collection of must-haves for our passenger’s stay in the venerable rooms (‘rums’ to you and me).

There was the odd clinking of glass on glass as we glided quietly (on silent electric/battery only) over the cobblestones, but thankfully nothing broke.

The place had an aura that always exists, I know. But in the fading light at 8:30 p.m. it was very different from the hustle and bustle of daylight.

The darkness didn’t stop a group of young people from playing tennis – they could do it under lights. What a great time in her life. I hope they realize how lucky they are. However, we considered whether they could play tennis under lights for much longer given the current climate in which energy consumption is reduced.

What the plug-in concept (PHEV) is supposed to be about; Save energy. Some people save big because they religiously charge the battery every day (KIA says it can travel 70km on EV power alone) and never use a drop of gas unless traveling long distances.

PHEVs also make what might be a step towards an all-electric car all the easier if people need to make the switch over the next few years.

I’ve charged a lot of PHEVs, but I don’t have the convenience of charging at home. So last weekend I drove almost 1,000 km – in a Toyota RAV4 plug-in – and never charged once. It’s just the way things have evolved. So it comes down to suitability. Don’t buy a PHEV if you can’t afford it.

I really like the looks of this Sportage (I was a bit of a fan of some, not all previous models), with its front end dominated by a wide grille and boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights.

Inside there’s a range of dual screens (in the top-of-the-line K4, similar to the electric EV6), infotainment and driver information. They looked good and were relatively easy to use and gather information. The screen spread focused on a cabin which in my K4 version had leather upholstery with heat and cool air ventilation.

And yes, there was plenty of room in the back. Our tall rear passenger wasn’t squeezed for leg or headroom. She was the only rear occupant since we had to drop the bulk of the folding rear seats to accommodate the long, cumbersome stuff I mentioned.

On several longer trips, I found the Sportage to be particularly good-natured. The handling was perhaps a bit harsh, but thanks to all-wheel drive there was excellent traction and sure-footedness. And there was plenty of power, which is a big plus for PHEVs.

would i buy it Yes, if I could plug it in without a fuss and save gas. Although regardless of the power source, this is a much-improved Sportage. The energy-efficient and spacious Kia Sportage PHEV delivers what it promises

Fry Electronics Team

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