Sportage Serenity

Annie and I have been contemplating our next vehicle purchase for almost four years now, and we are weeks away from driving home with a Kia Sportage. I’ve joked that maybe our next vehicle, when we are fifty will have the features we want in the colour we want it in.

The 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV is an okay vehicle, don’t get me wrong. I’m disappointed we won’t be getting a fully-electric vehicle, and that our new vehicle will be grey versus a blue, teal, or green, but I think this was the best choice for us right now.

We have been told that our Hyundai Ioniq 5, pre-order deposit that we put down in February of 2022, might not see us driving that vehicle for another year or two (maybe late 2023 or sometime in 2024). They couldn’t promise that they’d be able to deliver it this year due to overselling previous model years, and so we had to keep looking and have cancelled our order for the Ioniq 5.

The shortage of components for vehicles during the worst part of the pandemic has continued to cause all kinds of issues with production, especially with electric vehicles apparently. So how did we get here?

The Journey

2019 – I first wrote about maybe getting a new vehicle back in October, 2019 in a post titled Electric Car Options. I was sure that we would be able to get an electric car when we needed one, and so I was going to try to figure out what would work best for Annie and I.

The three contenders at that time were the Hyundai Kona Electric, Chevrolet Bolt EV, and the Kia Niro EV.

2020 – But I’d come to find out later that they are all too small in the back seat for most of the tall people in my family to be comfortable, or even myself if I was in the back for one reason or another, and so a year later, I wrote about the Kona being a bit too small in a post titled, Hyundai Kona EV – Too Tight a Squeeze. The Kona was my front-runner, but it would mean losing second row leg room, shoulder room, and hip room in the back seat.

But in 2020, I assumed we wouldn’t be purchasing until 2022, as long as our car didn’t have any major repairs needed, and so I continued to monitor the market.

2021 – Starting in 2021, I started thinking about non-electric vehicles. I am not a huge fan of the idea of hybrids, as it seems like it puts two underpowered engines in a vehicle and adds a ton of complexity for some fuel savings, so I looked at what the most efficient gas SUVs might be in a post called SUV Maybe?

We wanted something with more leg room, and comfort in the back, ideally with ventilated seats in the front, and some of the newer safety features like blind spot warnings, and a backup camera. We also didn’t want to break the bank.

I looked at the Honda CR-V Touring, Kia Telluride EX, VW Tiguan Highline, Nissan Rogue SV AWD, Toyota RAV4 XLE AWD, Mazda CX-5 GT, and the Hyundai Tucson Luxury and found them all to be lacking saying that the Nissan Ariya was my winner, an all-electric SUV with pricing outside of our budget and no near-term availability.

Then, just as 2021 came to a close, Annie and I had decided that maybe the Hyundai Ioniq 5 would be our best choice. I talk about our test drive in a post titled Electric SUV Maybe? and it was impressive. I started watching reviews, doing research, and it seemed that the Ultimate trim in Canada would meet all of our needs and more, not to mention that it came in really nice looking paint colours. This was the one! We were set!

2022 – We put down a deposit in February and were told that we likely wouldn’t get the vehicle until around May of 2023, or over a year away!

I really didn’t want to drive our Kia Forte on the highways in the winter any more. I was so done with the lack of safety features. I was tired of feeling so cramped.

So even before I had put down the deposit, I started looking at other options while we waited because we could get a refund on our deposit at any point, why not consider other options?

In a post titled Vehicle Supply Chain Issues, I considered the Hyundai Tucson plug-in hybrid or the Santa Fe hybrid, but they were both already sold out for the model year. I looked at other options that might be available, and it seemed like the only all-electric vehicles that you could purchase that met our needs and didn’t have more than a three month lead time were from Tesla, a brand that was/is too expensive for us.

2023 – So here we are in March of 2023. I started seeing people on Reddit in Canada getting emails from Hyundai basically saying that they won’t be getting a 2023 model year vehicle, but it’s more likely that they’ll get a 2024 model year which should start production in the fall of 2023, but most likely people wouldn’t be getting them until early 2024.

At that point, I was pretty done. We have pretty much gotten through this winter, and I’m even more convinced that I don’t want to do another winter with the Forte. It’s been a great car otherwise, but I’m at the point where I don’t want to go visit Annie’s family because even with winter tires, the vehicle doesn’t help me feel confident driving during poor weather.

So we started looking at options again and reached out to some dealerships that were highly rated on Google and finally, the Smith Falls Kia let us know that they are getting in a Sportage plug-in hybrid in grey. It isn’t the top trim with all the bells and whistles and it isn’t the colour we wanted, but it will meet our needs.

It will provide us with around 40 KM of all-electric range which is more than enough for Annie to do her daily commute and for us to run some errands locally. It has the air-cooled front seats which are great for keeping me cool during the summer without cranking the A/C so much that Annie is freezing. It has the blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and a back-up camera. We also get more legroom in the second row, which was important for me. It has more cargo space, which has been an issue sometimes with our Forte, especially when we travel with Luna and need to bring more than two nights worth of stuff.

So, overall, the Kia Sportage meets our needs. I’m not super excited about it, but I’m content and it shouldn’t make us house poor, despite the high interest rates right now. And like I mentioned at the start, maybe ten years from now, Annie and I will be able to get a vehicle that meets all of our needs and wants.

Now we just have to wait until the vehicle actually gets to the dealership so we can check it out, do a quick test drive to confirm it’s for us, and then purchase it so we can drive it home. We’ve been told it should be by the end of the first week in April, so here’s hoping that I don’t have to continue this vehicle epic through 2024…

2 responses to “Sportage Serenity”

    • Yeah, it feels strange for sure. Like some bad joke, but vehicles should be a utilitarian object anyways, they depreciate quickly, they are money-pits. They aren’t something that anyone should treat as a status symbol, but for me, the flip side is that when I spend a ton of money on something, I want to be able to get the product that makes me feel excited, even for a short time. There aren’t enough joys in the world as is… C’est la vie.

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