Monday, May 2, 2022
HomeAutomobile2023 Kia Sportage Leads with Daring Styling

2023 Kia Sportage Leads with Daring Styling

Given the smashing success that’s the Kia Telluride, it might need been sensible for Kia’s designers to easily scale down that three-row SUV’s squared-off seems when it got here time to revamp the model’s smaller crossovers. However the newest era of the mid-size Sorento does not persist with that template, nor does the brand new 2023 Sportage, which brings a particular look to the compact section.

Whether or not or not you will be a fan of the Sportage’s design is one other story. We can’t name it ugly, however its face is considerably polarizing. With boomerang-shaped accent lights, low-mounted headlights, and a wide-mouth grille, the entrance finish makes a powerful assertion. What precisely that assertion is, we’ll depart as much as you. The rear finish is a little more cohesive, with easy surfaces and taillights that remind us of the good-looking models on the Kia EV6. The Sportage certainly will not be mistaken for its company sibling, the Hyundai Tucson, which additionally seems putting for a mainstream crossover.

The Sportage shouldn’t be all about type, although. Considerably bigger than its predecessor in size, wheelbase, and plenty of different dimensions, the brand new mannequin is on the large finish of the compact-SUV spectrum. It does not supply a 3rd row of seats just like the Volkswagen Tiguan and the Mitsubishi Outlander, however a 3.4-inch enhance in wheelbase significantly expands its rear-seat and cargo house. We like how the rear seats slide and recline, and the Sportage’s 40 cubic ft of cargo quantity behind the second row simply edges out what the Honda CR-V gives.

This Kia’s inside trappings are also nicer than that Honda’s. Higher-trim Sportage fashions have two built-in 12.3-inch show screens in entrance of the driving force, one for the digital gauge cluster and the opposite for infotainment. Each screens have brilliant, crisp graphics, and the dashboard’s varied supplies are nice to the contact the place it counts (and nonetheless properly grained arduous plastic the place it does not). One other display screen down on the middle stack is flanked by two bodily knobs that may show both haptic climate-control buttons or a row of navigation and audio controls. The capabilities of these two knobs may change relying on inputs, which is a neat characteristic however not essentially a handy one whenever you attain down to regulate the quantity and understand the knob is at the moment set for temperature management.

Extra knobs and buttons reside on the middle console to handle all the things from the elective heated and ventilated seats—an EX mannequin we drove had manifestly clean buttons for the ventilated seats it wasn’t outfitted with—to the assorted drive modes and off-road settings, resembling hill-descent management and the flexibility to lock within the all-wheel-drive system. Like principally each different crossover maker as of late, Kia is touting its car’s functionality within the grime, and it is now providing the Sportage in X-Professional trim with all-terrain tires and a few rugged-looking visible tweaks. Whereas the X-Professional carried out effectively on a reasonably aggressive (Kia-prepped) off-road course, all Sportage fashions outfitted with all-wheel drive have an honest 8.3 inches of floor clearance.

On pavement, the Sportage displays a properly sorted ride-and-handling stability, however, unsurprisingly for an on a regular basis SUV, is not what we would name participating to drive. A lot of the blame goes to steering that is bereft of suggestions, a brake pedal with out a lot preliminary chunk, and throttle response that’s considerably sluggish. There might not be a lot right here for fans, however the Sportage is a wonderfully nice car to pilot each day, even when it does not flip in as sharply as, say, a Mazda CX-5. Sadly, Kia has deserted the outgoing Sportage’s zippy elective turbo 2.0-liter engine within the new mannequin. As a substitute, it is specializing in hybrid variants to pad out the mannequin vary. The bottom naturally aspirated 2.5-liter inline-four, which pairs with an eight-speed automated transmission, produces an unremarkable 187 horsepower and feels slightly pokey on the street. It can also sound buzzy whenever you push it above 4000 rpm or so.

We expect the higher choice is the quieter and extra refined hybrid setup, with a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4, two electrical motors, a 1.5-kWh battery, and a six-speed dual-clutch automated. This mix is each extra highly effective (a mixed 227 horsepower) and responsive than the bottom engine. We’re keen to forgive the hybrid’s often lumpy energy supply due to the fuel-economy enhance it supplies: Its EPA mixed estimate of 43 mpg with front-wheel drive and 38 mpg with all-wheel drive is a large bounce over the nonhybrid’s 25 to twenty-eight mpg mixed. Nonetheless, we’ll level out that the mechanically related Tucson hybrid returned disappointing real-world gas economic system, so we’ll must see whether or not that is the case with the Sportage as soon as we get one to check. A 261-hp plug-in hybrid can also be coming later this 12 months; we have now but to drive that mannequin.

Kia does not value its autos as aggressively because it used to, however the beginning factors for the brand new Sportage—$27,245 for the bottom LX mannequin as much as $38,045 for a X-Professional Status—fall right into a aggressive vary for compact crossovers. We would be reluctant to pay near $40,000 for a model with the bottom engine; the X-Professional, for instance, cannot be had with the hybrid powertrain. However a properly outfitted EX hybrid within the mid-$30K vary strikes us as a pretty proposition, distinctive styling and all.



2023 Kia Sportage

Car Sort: front-engine or front-engine and front-motor, front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon


Base: LX, $27,245; LX Hybrid, $28,545; EX, $29,245; X-Line, $32,045; EX Hybrid, $32,245; SX, $32,745; SX-Status, $34,745; X-Professional, $36,425; SX Status Hybrid, $37,445; X-Professional Status, $38,045


DOHC 16-valve 2.5-liter inline-4, 187 hp, 178 lb-ft; turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 1.6-liter inline-4, 177 hp, 195 lb-ft + 2 AC motors, 17 and 59 hp, 32 and 195 lb-ft (mixed output: 227 hp, 258 lb-ft; 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack)

Transmissions: 6-speed dual-clutch automated, 8-speed automated


Wheelbase: 108.5 in

Size: 183.5 in

Width: 73.4 in

Top: 65.4–66.9 in

Passenger Quantity: 104–109 ft3

Cargo Quantity: 35–40 ft3

Curb Weight (C/D est): 3400–3900 lb


60 mph: 8.0–8.8 sec

1/4-Mile: 15.9–16.8 sec

High Velocity: 130 mph


Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 25–43/23–42/28–44 mpg

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