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Kia Sportage GT-Line Hybrid 2024 long-term review


Kia’s added electrified punch to its Sportage Hybrid and we’re the lucky custodians of a GT-Line variant for a three-month long endurance test 

If you’re on the hunt for a hybrid midsize SUV and the first dealership you go to happens to be Toyota (because of the popularity of the RAV4 Hybrid), you’re not alone.

Toyota sold a staggering 29,627 units of its midsize SUV in 2023. That’s more than half the seating capacity of the Sydney Cricket Ground, so quite a few Australians, then.

But now, the Kia Sportage, which sold over 15,000 units during the same year, comes with the choice of a hybrid option for the very first time.

2024 Kia Sportage GT-Line Hybrid long-term front 3/4 static shot

When the opportunity came around to test out Kia’s Sportage Hybrid over the long-term, first and foremost, we really wanted to see if it was any match for the top-selling Toyota RAV4 in the real world. Is it as efficient? Is it comfortable? Is it a good daily drive?

Currently, the wait time for a new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is around six to nine months, however Kia Australia has told us that you can get your hands on a Sportage Hybrid in as little as three months from date of order. That in itself is worth considering.

How we specified our long-term Kia Sportage Hybrid

What’s the specs on the vehicle we have for our long-term test?

Well, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to my friend Felipe, or FEL-39N, a Snow White Pearl Kia Sportage GT-Line Hybrid, or better known and marketed by Kia simply as HEV.

Kia Sportage GT-Line Hybrid 2024 LT badge

As the high-spec variant (you can also get the Hybrid in a base SX guise), the Sportage GT-Line gains the following standard features:

  • Dual 12.3-inch driver cluster and infotainment touchscreen
  • Satellite navigation 
  • Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto 
  • Eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Leather appointed steering wheel
  • Leather/suede upholstered seat trim
  • Eight-way power driver’s and front passenger seat 
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • USB-A and USB-C charge ports
  • Wireless phone charger 
  • Four cup holders and four bottle holders 
  • Power tailgate 
  • Alloy pedals 
  • Ambient interior lighting 

It’s worth noting that Kia has specced the Hybrid variants in Australia with slightly smaller 18-inch alloy wheels and thick Nexen Roadian GTX rubber, whereas petrol and diesel GT-Lines get larger 19-inch alloys.

Before on-road costs, the Sportage currently costs $55,420. With the premium paint ($520), our test car comes out at a smidge over $61,000 driveaway (based on NSW 2000 postcode).

2024 Kia Sportage GT-Line Hybrid long-term front wheel detail

That’s pretty close to a 2024 Toyota RAV4 Edge Hybrid, which sits at about $63,000 driveaway.

But what’s the premium you will pay over a pure combustion model? Well, a GT-Line Petrol with all-wheel drive will cost buyers $5500 less than a hybrid, or $2500 less if you go a GT-Line diesel with all-wheel drive.

Under the bonnet of Felipe is a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that’s part of the Smartstream family, but also adds an electric motor that produces, on its own, 44kW and 264Nm.

Combined system outputs for the Sportage are 169kW/350Nm, all of which goes to the front-wheels exclusively.

2024 Kia Sportage GT-Line Hybrid long-term interior wide shot

This makes the new Sportage Hybrid the most powerful variant in the entire lineup, but isn’t quite as torque-rich as the Sportage turbo-diesel, which produces a maximum of 416Nm.

But there’s a catch: the Sportage Hybrid is only available in front-wheel drive. Meanwhile, Toyota offers the RAV4 hybrid for similar money but with all-wheel-drive grip.

So what’s the key selling point for our Sportage HEV? And is this Sportage close to the benchmark set by its Toyota hybrid rival?

2024 Kia Sportage GT-Line Hybrid long-term rear 3/4 angle static

Over the next three months, I’ll test the lot: fuel economy and hybrid efficiency, driver and passenger comfort, overall ride quality, performance of the hybrid system, practicality and, most importantly, day-to-day livability.

Kia claims that Felipe the hybrid is capable of using just 4.9L/100km combined and as low as 4.8L/100km in urban environments. Can we get close? Well, let’s dive in and find out!

Month 1: First impressions and a look at the hybrid system beneath ‘Felipe’

Kilometres this month: 4096km

Fuel economy: 6.1L/100km

Running costs this month: $460.60

I’m heading south, out of the craziness that is Sydney city. I live only three kilometres from the CBD, so to get away is always incredibly refreshing.

I’ve been officially handed the keys to the new Sportage Hybrid, a car I’m nicknaming ‘Felipe’, for a few months. And today I’m heading way down south, with my Google Maps locked in to a small beach community by the name of Mollymook.

Kia Sportage GT-Line Hybrid 2024 LT interior
Kia Sportage GT-Line Hybrid 2024 LT button

In the car I get, I click the start button and all is quiet. There is a soft whir of the electric systems firing to life. I configure my seat (which has a handy memory function), and I’m off.

First impressions are strong: this hybrid powertrain is amazingly quiet and subtle. The cabin feels very premium, with a lovely smattering of materials. Two 12.3-inch screens dominate the cabin and are set up in a curved fashion, which look very premium.

This example is a GT-Line, so the seats are leather upholstered and very comfortable. They’re also heated and ventilated, which could definitely come in handy during either super hot days, or for the coldest of nights.

Kia Sportage GT-Line Hybrid 2024 LT seat

Around town, the Sportage Hybrid is refined, has surprisingly nice ride quality and a powertrain that is smooth and powerful, all in one go. The transition between electric and combustion power is almost not noticeable at all, unlike other hybrid vehicles I have experienced in the past.

As far as first impressions go, the Sportage is ticking a lot of the boxes for me. The Sportage doesn’t even bong at you all the time on the move, unlike its little sibling, the Seltos, which is more annoying than you could ever imagine.

It’s not all perfect, though. After a few hours behind the wheel, I’m beginning to find some small shortfalls, like the infotainment screens sometimes taking a little longer than they should to boot up and the piano black centre console is prone to dust, fingerprints and scratches if you’re not careful.

Kia Sportage GT-Line Hybrid 2024 LT front 3/4

As I arrive and take in the scenery at the gorgeous Mollymook, I get out my phone to find out a little more about what’s underneath this Sportage.

A lot like a Toyota hybrid system, this Sportage also utilises a series-parallel system. What this means is that this kind of system uses a power-split device, allowing drive to come from either the combustion engine or an electric motor.

2024 Kia Sportage GT-Line Hybrid long-term engine bay shot

Essentially, each powertrain or drive type can be ‘decoupled’, so at low speeds, the onboard electric motor takes the role of powering the wheels, but at higher speeds, the combustion provides drive, increasing efficiency.

Electric motors are great for low-down torque, so they come in handy for low-speed and takeoffs, while the combustion engine drives at higher speeds.

And the best part? You don’t have to plug it in when you get home, unlike a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Kia Sportage GT-Line Hybrid 2024 LT rear close

As I point the Sportage north and get back on the highway, I keep thinking about what a pleasant experience this has been.

I’m far from an SUV fanatic, but I can appreciate one that drives with sophistication, comfort and efficiency. Yes, this high-spec hybrid variant is over $60,000, which is certainly not an insignificant amount of coin.

As I roll back into my garage at home, I’ve just done 450km with ease. I’m looking forward to taking Felipe on a longer-distance road trip, so stay tuned for the next instalment of my Sportage long-term report.

Approximate on‑road price Including registration and government charges

Key specs (as tested)

1598 cc
132kW at 5500rpm
265Nm at 1500rpm
Power to weight ratio
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
54 litres
4.9L/100km (claimed)
Average Range
1102km (claimed)
Front Wheel Drive
4660 mm
1865 mm
1680 mm
Unoccupied weight
1643 kg

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