The first examples of the Australian-specification Kia Sportage Hybrid are set to arrive in the coming weeks, with pricing and specification details coming imminently.

    Kia Australia’s representatives confirmed with media at the launch of the updated Sorento that the electrified Sportage will be arriving in February, joining the existing petrol and diesel variants in Australian showrooms.

    Full details are expected soon, but we already know the Sportage HEV will be available in two trim levels locally and be somewhat limited in supply – but nowhere near as constrained as the larger Sorento HEV and PHEV.

    “We can confirm supply will be better than that of Sorento or Carnival [HEV]. But nowhere in the realm of RAV4 Hybrid,” said Roland Rivero, general manager for product planning at Kia Australia.

    Asked if the Sportage could have a record year of volume with the addition of an in-demand hybrid option, Mr Rivero responded with: “Total supply will dictate if we have a record year for Sportage – it will be close”.

    Kia Australia has previously indicated we can expect the Sportage Hybrid (or HEV) to be offered in two grades aligning with the existing SX and GT-Line trim levels.

    Expect minor differentiation in specification when it comes to wheel and tyre options, as well as extra menus in the infotainment system dedicated to hybrid-specific content.

    Volume is forecast to be around 200 units per month, which roughly works out to 15-20 per cent of the Sportage’s monthly sales volume based on last year’s VFACTS figures. By comparison, Toyota does more than 80 per cent hybrid sales for its top-selling RAV4.

    Also don’t expect the Sportage to pick up a major tech upgrade like the new infotainment system with Kia Connect seen in other Kia models. That will come with the mid-life facelift that’s still around 12 months away, given camouflaged prototypes haven’t even hit the road yet.

    Power in the Sportage Hybrid comes from the same 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol-electric hybrid system as the larger Sorento Hybrid, which mates a 132kW/265Nm four-cylinder petrol engine with a 44kW/264Nm electric motor and a 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery.

    Total system outputs are quoted at 169kW of power and 350Nm of torque, which makes it more powerful than the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Subaru Forester Hybrid.

    In overseas markets the Sportage Hybrid can be had in both front- and all-wheel drive, with all variants featuring a six-speed automatic transmission as standard – it’s expected Australia will only get the FWD version based on government database filings.

    The South Korean model, which shares the same long body as Australia-spec versions, has a combined fuel consumption figure of between 6.0L/100km and 6.8L/100km depending on specification.

    For context, the RAV4 GX 2WD Hybrid quotes consumption of 4.7L/100km, the GWM Haval H6 Hybrid claims 5.2L/100km, and the Subaru Forester Hybrid quotes 6.7L/100km.

    As for pricing, expect the Sportage Hybrid to command a $4000-$4500 premium over the equivalent petrol model. For reference, the Sorento HEV is $4700 more than the equivalent FWD and AWD version in its sole GT-Line guise.

    With that in mind, the Sportage SX 2.0 FWD is priced from $37,550 plus on-road costs with an automatic, while the GT-Line 1.6T AWD lists for $49,920. Expect a low-$40,000 figure for the Sportage SX HEV, and nearly $55,000 for the GT-Line HEV.

    Stay tuned to CarExpert for our coverage of the Kia Sportage HEV in the coming weeks.

    MORE: Everything Kia Sportage

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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