One of the most popular compact SUVs you will currently see on the roads in the UK is the Kia Sportage. With this latest fifth-generation iteration there is now a PHEV available. Kia boasts a 43-mile official pure electric range for the Sportage PHEV which in the real-world means it should be able to cover the average 30-mile daily commute on electric power alone. But what about towing? Well, here is where I find the specs of the Kia Sportage PHEV a little disappointing, it can only tow a trailer/caravan up to 1,350kg.
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Kia Sportage PHEV Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 1,350 kg
- Availability – Now
- Price – Starting £38,000
- Official MPG – 252
- Official EV Range – 43 miles
- Real-World EV Range – 30 miles (70% of Official)
- Maximum Charge Rate/Time – 3.5kW/5 Hours, 7kW/1 Hour 45 Mins
Kia Sportage PHEV HP & Torque
- AWD: Combined output of 261 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque
- 1.6L Turbo Gas Engine: 180 HP and 195 lb-ft of torque
- Electric Motor: 90 HP and 224 lb-ft of torque
Kia Sportage PHEV Towing Capabilties
With a towing capacity of 1,350 kg there are indeed quite a few 2-berth touring caravans the Kia Sportage PHEV could tow. However, if you need something larger say a family 4-berth etc that’s where the Sportage PHEV is going to struggle with its 1,350 kg towing capacity.
Now, if you don’t need/want to tow a full-sized touring caravan and you’ll be sticking to smaller camping trailers or teardrop caravans, sure the Sportage PHEV is easily capable of that.
Likewise, if you just need to tow boats or small cargo trailers the 1,350kg towing capacity will likely be sufficient for your needs, as will the combined power output of 261 HP. But what about that EV range, is the Sportage PHEV really capable of 43 miles officially or 30 miles in the real world?
The Odd EV Range Estimates of The Kia Sportage PHEV
So Kia has been very bullish on the EV capabilities of the Sportage PHEV, and I mean even more so than car manufacturers usually are. For instance, Kia has been telling media outlets that the Sportage PHEV will not only cover 43 miles of electric range on average, but it can cover around 48 miles as an EV when driving around town.
As you can tell above with my estimated real-world EV range of 30 miles for the Sportage PHEV I’m conservative when discussing the capabilities of PHEVs to drive around purely on electrical power. However, there is something odd for me about Kia’s claims.
For instance, take its sibling vehicle the Hyundai Tucson PHEV, which I haven’t even written about on this site as it fails my criteria of meeting a 30-mile commute as an EV in the real world. It has an official rating as an EV at 38 miles, hence a 70% real-world range of 27 miles.
Both the Kia Sportage PHEV and Hyundai Tuscon PHEV share the exact same platform. Hence, they are fitted with the same 13.8 kWh battery, therefore how can there be such a notable difference in the official EV range of 43 miles for the Sportage PHEV and 38 miles for the Tucson PHEV!?
The kerb weight of both vehicles is almost identical at around 1,900kg and looking at their designs I cannot see how there is a significant aerodynamic difference to account for the additional range of the Kia Sportage PHEV over the Hyundai Tuscon PHEV.
Kia Sportage PHEV vs The Competition
Ok, so we are specifically talking about PHEVs around £40K which can also tow, what other options are there to consider? Well, there is obviously the Hyundai Tuscon as discussed above with the same 1,350 kg towing capacity, but its lower EV range rating.
There is the niche option of the Lynk & Co 01 with its 1,800kg towing capacity and reasonable 43-mile official EV range from its 17.6kWh battery, it is let down though by its FWD drivetrain.
What about the Toyota RAV4 PHEV or Suzuki Across PHEV which can tow 1,500kg and get an official EV range of 46 miles from their 18.1kWh battery. They both have more power than the Kia Sportage PHEV and also come with AWD.
So as I hope you’ve noticed these alternative PHEVs have similar official EV range figures from significantly larger battery packs compared to the Kia Sportage PHEV and they also have similar kerb weights. Hence, why I find the official 43-mile EV range from the 13.8kWh battery of the Sportage PHEV a little ‘odd’.
Kia Sportage PHEV Review
Below I’ve included a review of the Sportage PHEV from the ‘Tim Rodie Drives Stuff’ YouTube channel. I think Tim does a solid and entertaining job of discussing what he likes and what he’s not such a fan of with the Kia Sportage PHEV.
My Final Thoughts On The Kia Sportage PHEV…
So as I’ve stated above, as a tow car, the 1,350kg towing capacity is going to be a bit restrictive when it comes to full-sized touring caravans. However, I obviously have no idea what your personal towing requirements are, and 1,350 kg may suit your needs just fine.
On the EV range side of things, this is where purely based on the logic of other PHEV range figures for the size of the battery in the Sportage PHEV it would appear things are a bit ‘odd’. The 43 to 48-mile claims by Kia are a stretch even by normal car manufacturer marketing department standards.
Even more so when you consider the Hyundai Tuscon PHEV a car that is practically identical to the Sportage PHEV underneath is 13% down on its official EV range.