So: choose your flavour of hybrid; mild, full or plug-in. All three forms are available here, based around the same 1.6 litre T-GDI petrol engine. Diesel power is still available via the usual 1.6-litre CRDi unit. There's no full-Electric version because this car's showroom stablemate, the EV6, fills that role says Kia. Because the brand's European division had to create a shorter Sportage design for their continent, they took the opportunity to more closely tailor ride and handling for the needs of European drivers. The previous model was distinctly unmemorable to drive, but this one should be better. Weight distribution has been better optimised around the stiffer new N3 platform and there's a new electronic control suspension continuous damping set-up available.
The mainstream engine options start with two conventional 1.6-litre units mated to front wheel drive, a T-GDi petrol powerplant with 148bhp and a CRDi diesel with 113bhp. Avoid base trim and you'll be offered the option of 7-speed DCT auto transmission with both these engines for £1,700 more, which automatically upgrades you to Kia's 48V mild hybrid tech and, with the diesel unit, boosts power to 134bhp.
The two top 'proper' Hybrid petrol models only come with an auto. The full-Hybrid HEV Sportage variant delivers the 1.6 T-GDI engine with a 44.2kW electric motor and a 1.49kWh battery delivering a total output of 226bhp. The top PHEV Plug-in variant uses the same engine paired to a 66.9kW electric motor powered by 13.8kWh battery to give a total output of 261bhp and an electric driving range of around 35 miles.