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Why Kia Sportage Hybrid hasn’t arrived in Australia yet…

by Kia best-selling competitor Toyota RAV4 hybrid is not yet a confirmed launch for the Australian market, despite the best efforts of the local branch.

The Kia Sportage Hybrid (HEV) is one of two hybrid options available globally, along with the Sportage Plug-in Hybrid. Kia also sells 48V mild hybrid versions of the short-wheelbase Sportage in Europe and the UK.

But why can’t we have it? Yes, Aussies are slow to jump on the electric car bandwagon but Toyota has been selling hybrids in significant numbers for years. We interviewed the brand’s local boss on product planning, Roland Rivero, at the launch of the recent update. Kia Seltos cross.

“It’s basically just R&D and allows it to be manufactured by right hand drive out of the Gwangju factory. [in South Korea]” said Mr. Rivero auto expert.

“So drive on the left is marked and it’s all happening. Obviously, if we wanted a short wheelbase model in Slovakia there would be a potential source of right-wheel drive there, but we don’t want a short wheelbase and we don’t want to have to go there. Slovakia, where there is no free trade, also deal.”

“We’re working on a Korean-made version and hopefully we’ll have an update on that in the near future.”

According to Mr. Rivero’s comments, the hybrid (HEV) and PHEV versions of the Sportage for North America are also manufactured in Gwangju, although the petrol versions are locally assembled.

So while the U.S. shift to local production of Sportages has helped free up production spots for other long-wheelbase markets such as South Korea and Australia, there is clearly enough demand for the vehicle. hybrid that Kia’s global parent company is not willing to use this facility to produce true-driver-wheel-drive Sportage Hybrids like it’s not.

Kia Sportage Hybrid is powered by the same 1.6 liter turbocharged hybrid system greater Sorento, as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Tucson. System output is quoted at 169kW and 350Nmwith both front- and all-wheel drive options available.

Meanwhile, Australia offers a 115kW/192Nm MPi 2.0 liter naturally aspirated petrol engine with FWD, a 132kW/265Nm 1.6 liter T-GDi turbocharged petrol engine with AWD, as well as a CRDi 2.0 liter 137kW/416Nm turbo-diesel with AWD. . All local powertrains carry Kia’s latest efficiency-focused Smartstream brand.

auto expert understands that Australia’s lack of current emissions and fuel economy standards will ease pressure on Kia’s global headquarters to prioritize more efficient and electrified powertrains for its market. we.

For reference, Korean models run the Euro 6 powertrain with cleaner exhaust systems and technology like idling stop/start – Australian models use the older, poorer EU5 emission control system more advanced.

The latest Kia Sportage is proving strongly popular with new car buyers in Australia.

In its first full calendar year of sales, Sportage had 15,497 registrations in 2022 through October 31, marking a 141.1% growth over the January 1 to May 31 period. 10 year 2021.

Furthermore, Sportage set an all-time monthly sales record in Australia in June 2022 with 2044 units, the first time the brand achieved sales of more than 2000 units in a single month. The monthly result of 1877 registrations in October 2022 is a huge improvement of 404.6 % compared to the same month of the previous year.

Sportage is currently fourth in the midsize SUV annual sales race, behind TOYOTA RAV4 (30,370 units), Mazda CX-5 (23,476 units) and closely followed Mitsubishi Outlander (15,619 pieces).

With Toyota and Mitsubishi offering hybrid and plug-in hybrid options respectively, there’s no doubt the Sportage Hybrid can add solid mass to propel the Kia into the Top 3 of the segment.

THAN: Everything Kia Sportage

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