2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid price may not be a bargain


Pricing for the first-ever Kia Sportage Hybrid will start at $1,300 more than the gasoline model, according to data derived from a dealer order guide. Although the starting price of the new hybrid-electric crossover SUV is considerably lower than its competitors, a closer look reveals that it may not be as affordable as it seems.

The entry-level 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid LX has an MSRP of $28,505 after a destination charge of $1,215. That’s $1,300 more than the regular Sportage, which retails for $27,205. All-wheel drive adds $1,800, but the EX ($32,205) and SX Prestige ($37,405) versions aren’t available with front-wheel drive.

At first glance, the Sportage Hybrid is nearly $1,800 cheaper than the cheapest Toyota RAV4 Hybrid ($30,290) and over $4,300 more affordable than the Honda CR-V Hybrid ($32,835). However, both SUVs are only sold in all-wheel-drive configuration, which helps Kia better appeal to price-focused buyers.

In an apples-to-apples comparison, the price differences are much closer than they appear. The least expensive all-wheel-drive Hybrid Sportage has an MSRP of $30,305. It’s a bit more expensive to buy than the RAV4, though it’s still over $2,500 more affordable than the cheapest 2022 CR-V Hybrid on sale.

In terms of fuel economy, the Sportage Hybrid has an EPA rating of 43 mpg overall in its base form, beating the RAV4 Hybrid (40 mpg) and CR-V (38 mpg). However, the all-wheel-drive Sportage is rated at 38 mpg. That’s 13 mpg more than the regular Sportage AWD but nearly identical to the Toyota and Honda.

Kia will also show off a plug-in Sportage (PHEV) with a claimed range of 32 miles. Pricing for the Sportage PHEV has not been announced, although a federal tax credit could make it an attractive alternative to the hybrid. Whether or not the plugin will be a better deal after the plugin discounts remains to be seen.

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