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Monday 27 March 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Paddy McGrath
Ask the Expert: Everything you need to know about the new 2023 Kia Sportage
The Kia Sportage, one of Ireland’s most-loved cars, gets a close examination with the help of Kia.

THE KIA SPORTAGE has been one of Ireland’s favourite cars since it first came to market in 1994. 

As the third-best-selling car in the country last year, its popularity now stretches over five generations of models. The latest iteration of the classic SUV incorporates the latest technology, as the car evolves in an attempt to keep up with changing consumer habits. Alongside its popularity amongst the public, it was also chosen as ‘Irish Medium SUV of the Year’ at both the recent ‘Irish Car of the Year’ awards and ‘AA Car Awards’, for 2023.

We spoke to Ronan Flood, Kia’s mangaing director, to get the lowdown on the manufacturer’s latest SUV.  

2023 Sportage 

What can you tell us about the new Kia Sportage?

“The 2023 Kia Sportage is a brand-new model so comes with a new chassis, new engines, and enhanced styling. With our new ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy in mind, the exterior design includes a unique integrated tiger nose grille with new boomerang LED daytime running lights. 

“Within the cabin of the car, technology and comfort are the driving design choices. Dual 12.3-inch integrated curved display screens, an ergonomic centre console, and premium feel finishes made from recycled and sustainable materials where possible are standout features. From a practicality perspective, the Sportage offers more than most of its peers in terms of legroom and boot space.”  



What cutting-edge technology has been added to the Sportage?

“When you start the engine, you benefit from several of Kia’s extensive DriverWise Advanced Assistance Systems, which come as standard. These plush safety features include Forward-Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Keep Assist (LKAS), parking sensors, and reversing cameras. 

“The technology doesn’t stop when you leave the car either, by using the Kia Connect app, you can control and schedule charging for your night metre, monitor the location and driving speeds of your car and for added security, be kept up to date on whether your windows are down, or your doors are unlocked.”


How important is offering customers choice to customise their model?

“Alongside a strong offering in technology, the Sportage stands out from the popular C-Segment SUV vehicle category by providing potential drivers with choices to set the drivetrain or transmission of the car their way. You can choose between petrol and diesel, manual and automatic, as well as mild-hybrid, self-charging hybrid, and plug-in hybrid electric.”

What are the differences between the Mild Hybrid, Self-Charging Hybrid, and Plug-In Hybrid? 

“With mild-hybrid (MHEV) vehicles, the engine does the bulk of the work, but it is assisted by a small 48-volt battery to reduce the workload on the engine itself. The battery is charged by the engine meaning that there is no need to plug the car in.  

“With hybrid (HEV) drivetrains, often referred to as “self-charging” hybrid, the vehicle uses a combination of engine power and electric power. Hybrids benefit from more advanced battery technology meaning that they can operate in electric-only mode when certain driving parameters are met.

“This battery technology works in tandem with the engine to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. The battery is then charged when decelerating, going downhill, or by the engine so there is no need to plug-in.  

“Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) drivetrains offer the best of both worlds in terms of traditional combustion engine power and electric driving. They allow you to drive in fully electric (EV) mode for a defined period (70 kilometres in the case of the Sportage), alternatively, they allow you to combine the engine and electric power for low-emission driving and strong fuel economy. If your battery runs out, you can still drive using traditional engine power.

“However, to get the best fuel efficiency from PHEV, which can perform better than most diesel cars, you must plug it in and charge it. This is made effortless with Sportage’s 7.2kW on-board charging capabilities, which takes less than 2 hours to charge from 0-100%.”  


What does the Sportage do to lower emissions?

“Environmental performance is another area where the Sportage excels. As mentioned earlier, all Kia Sportage drivetrains are equipped with some form of electric battery power assistance which, when coupled with Kia’s efficient internal combustion engines provide lower emissions and lower fuel consumption.

“With the Sportage, the higher the level of electrification, the lower the emissions, as for example, the Sportage PHEV emits just 1.1 grams of Co2 per kilometre. As a result of the lower emissions, Sportage owners pay less for road tax with annual road tax ranging from €140 to €210 depending on the chosen model.” 


How does the Sportage compare to other cars in the same class financially?

“In terms of cost, the options within the Sportage range offer some flexibility, with an entry point of €37,500 for the K2 mild-hybrid diesel version and a cost of €49,500 for the most expensive version, the K4 plug-in hybrid model. We also offer very attractive finance rates of just 3.9% for both PCP and HP ensuring Sportage ownership can start from as little as €95 per week. With stock available, potential customers won’t be left waiting long for a new car, despite the current high demand in the first month of the year.


In summary, the ever-popular Kia Sportage continues to impress with its 2023 model. 

Our five takeaways from the car are: 

  1. Striking exterior design 

  2. Top of the range tech

  3. Impressive practicality and roominess 

  4. Unparalleled model choice 

  5. Industry-leading 7-year Kia warranty

Learn more about the Kia Sportage here.

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