The Kia Sportage Hybrid was first unveiled in 2021 and is finally going on sale in Australia early in 2024, and the company has promised better supply than it’s been getting of the Sorento Hybrid.
Kia Australia product planning general manager told CarExpert at a recent media event the company is planning to begin sales of the Sportage Hybrid in the first quarter of next year.
As previously reported, this timing lines up with Kia’s typical pattern of introducing new models at the Australian Open tennis grand slam, of which the Korean carmaker is the official partner.
Mr Rivero confirmed the Australian-specification Kia Sportage Hybrid will be sourced from South Korea and it will be the same long-wheelbase body style as the rest of the non-electrified range.
Kia Australia is also looking to offer more than one variant. CarExpert understands a top-spec GT-Line will be offered, as well as a low- or mid-spec grade in line with the existing S or SX specifications.
Mr Rivero added that there will be “better supply [for the Sportage Hybrid] than what you’ve seen of Sorento [Hybrid and PHEV”, confirming Kia Australia is aiming for around 200 examples per month.
Kia was forced to close order books for the larger Sorento Hybrid and PHEV late last year due to growing backorders and poor supply of electrified variants – which were maxing out at 20 HEVs and 10 PHEVs per month.
It’s now expected orders for the Sorento Hybrid and PHEV won’t reopen until the updated model arrives in the fourth quarter of 2023.
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.
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.
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.
For context, the RAV4 GX 2WD Hybrid quotes a combined fuel consumption of 4.7L/100km, the GWM Haval H6 Lux Hybrid at 5.2L/100km, and the Subaru Forester Hybrid L at 6.7L/100km.
It’s expected Kia Australia will charge a similar premium over non-electrified Sportage models for the new hybrid.
Currently, the Sorento HEV FWD and AWD demand a $4700 premium over the equivalent GT-Line V6 FWD and Diesel AWD versions, respectively.
We’re anticipating a premium of around $4000-$4500 for the Sportage Hybrid. Kia has previously acknowledged this aspect is critical, particularly given the more price-sensitive nature of this segment.
Once the Kia Sportage Hybrid goes on sale locally it’ll have stiff competition from the likes of the in-demand Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, as well as the GWM Haval H6 Hybrid, Nissan X-Trail e-Power, and Subaru Forester Hybrid.
Toyota charges around $2500 more for the RAV4 2WD Hybrid over the equivalent 2WD petrol, with the E-Four AWD version adding a further $3000. The Subaru Forester Hybrid is also $3000 dearer than the equivalent petrol version in Australia.
MORE: Everything Kia Sportage