Why the Kia Sportage Hybrid hasn’t come to Australia… yet

2 months ago 56

Kia’s rival to the top-selling Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is inactive not a confirmed starter for the Australian market, contempt the section arm’s champion efforts.

The Kia Sportage Hybrid (HEV) is 1 of 2 hybridised options disposable globally, alongside the Sportage Plug-in Hybrid. Kia besides sells 48V mild-hybrid versions of the short-wheelbase Sportage successful Europe and the UK arsenic well.

But wherefore can’t we person it? Yes, Australians are dilatory to leap connected the EV bandwagon but Toyota has been selling hybrids successful meaningful amounts for years. We quizzed the brand’s section brag for merchandise planning, Roland Rivero, astatine the caller motorboat of the updated Kia Seltos crossover.

“It’s fundamentally conscionable R&D and allowing it to beryllium produced successful right-hand thrust retired of the Gwangju mill [in South Korea],” Mr Rivero told CarExpert.

“So, left-hand thrust is ticked and each happening. Obviously, if we wanted a short-wheelbase exemplary retired of Slovakia there’s a imaginable right-hand thrust root there, but we don’t privation to spell abbreviated wheelbase and we don’t privation to person to spell to Slovakia wherever there’s nary escaped commercialized statement arsenic well.”

“We’re moving connected the Korean-produced version, and hopefully we person an update connected that successful the adjacent feature.”

Further to Mr Rivero’s comments, hybrid (HEV) and PHEV versions of the Sportage for North America are besides produced successful Gwangju, contempt petrol versions being assembled locally.

So, portion the US’s determination to nutrient Sportages locally helped escaped up accumulation spots for different long-wheelbase markets similar South Korea and Australia, intelligibly there’s capable request for the hybrids that Kia’s planetary genitor isn’t consenting to instrumentality the installation to marque right-hand thrust Sportage Hybrids arsenic yet.

The Kia Sportage Hybrid is powered by the aforesaid 1.6-litre turbocharged hybrid system arsenic the larger Sorento, arsenic good arsenic the Hyundai Santa Fe and Tucson. System outputs are quoted astatine 169kW and 350Nm, with some front- and all-wheel thrust options available.

Meanwhile, Australia makes bash with an entry-level 115kW/192Nm 2.0-litre MPi naturally-aspirated petrol with FWD, a 132kW/265Nm 1.6-litre T-GDi turbocharged petrol with AWD, arsenic good arsenic a 137kW/416Nm 2.0-litre CRDi turbo-diesel with AWD. All section powertrains deterioration Kia’s latest efficiency-focused Smartstream branding.

CarExpert understands that Australia’s existent deficiency of substance ratio and emissions standards puts little unit connected Kia’s planetary caput bureau to prioritise much businesslike and electrified powertrains for our market.

For reference, South Korean models tally Euro 6 powertrains with cleaner exhaust systems and tech similar idle stop/start – Australian models clasp older, little precocious EU5 emissions power systems.

The latest Kia Sportage is proving mighty fashionable with Australian caller car buyers.

In its archetypal afloat calendar twelvemonth connected sale, the Sportage has seen 15,497 registrations successful 2022 arsenic of 31 October, marking maturation of 141.1 per cent compared to 1 Jan-31 Oct 2021.

Further, the Sportage reset its all-time Australian monthly income grounds successful June 2022 with 2044 units, the archetypal clip the nameplate has achieved implicit 2000 income successful a azygous month. October 2022’s monthly effect of 1877 registrations was a immense 404.6 per cent betterment connected the aforesaid period the erstwhile year.

The Sportage is presently 4th successful the mean SUV yearly income race, down the Toyota RAV4 (30,370 units), Mazda CX-5 (23,476 units), and narrowly tailing the Mitsubishi Outlander (15,619 units).

Given the Toyota and Mitsubishi connection hybrid and plug-in hybrid options respectively, there’s nary uncertainty a Sportage Hybrid could adhd coagulated volumes to enactment Kia successful the segment’s Top 3.

MORE: Everything Kia Sportage

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