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Kia Sportage Speeds Up Hyundai Group’s Eco-Friendly Push

The new Kia Sportage plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) was recently recognized as the best model in the segment by two influential German auto publications, fueling Hyundai Motor Group’s global eco-friendly automobile market expansion.

Kia Sportage PHEV topped the list of the segment compiled by the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport. The magazine compared four PHEVs – the Sportage, Toyota RAV4, Opel’s Grandland and Volvo’s XC40 – in terms of body, safety, convenience, powertrain, driving, eco-friendly features and economics. The Sportage scored 649 points, beating the RAV4’s 615 points, the Grandland’s 603 points, and the XC40’s 566 points.

Auto Bild, another German magazine, compared the Kia Sportage and the Opel Grandland. The magazine recognized Sportage as superior to the Grandland, citing smoother steering and interaction between its gasoline engine and electric motor. According to Kia official, “The evaluations by the two industry publications are an important yardstick for customers not only in Germany but all of Europe.”

Sales of the eco-friendly models of Hyundai and Kia including EVs, hybrid cars, PHEVs and hydrogen vehicles, have been growing at a rapid pace. Together they have sold more than 3 million units of those vehicles by May this year since 2009 when they launched their first eco-friendly model. These eco-friendly vehicles accounted for 14.6% of their total sales volume in the first 5 months of the year, surging from around just 1% in 2016.

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