Reviews

A class-leader, especially the hybrid

Professionals: Highly effective and environment friendly hybrid; class-leading house; well-executed tech; distinctive design selections

Cons: X-Line and X-Professional not obtainable as hybrid; not precisely good-looking

The time period “all-new” will get thrown round liberally within the automotive biz, however in terms of the 2023 Kia Sportage, it completely suits the invoice. Kia’s oldest nameplate goes from one of many smallest compact SUVs to one of many greatest, increasing in each dimension to be way more household pleasant. It now gives two hybrid choices: one is an distinctive, turbocharged standard hybrid that does double obligation as a gas financial system and efficiency improve, whereas the opposite is a plug-in hybrid that ought to provide round 32 miles of electric-only vary. In the meantime, the inside is better-looking, better-made and full of Kia’s newest, glorious tech.

The Sportage’s newfound practicality makes it a compelling reply to selections just like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester, whereas it continues to ship distinctive fashion and better-than-average worth. There’s even a quasi-off-road mannequin within the new X-Line and X Professional trim ranges, although they do fall quick when it comes to ruggedness in comparison with the Forester Wilderness and TRD Off-Street. The brand new Mazda CX-50 is  fairly corresponding to the brand new Sportage, however it doesn’t provide a hybrid. For that, you may flip to the Sportage’s mechanically associated cousin, the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid.

Add all of it up and you’ve got a brand new entry within the ultra-competitive compact SUV phase that’s an absolute must-see. We’d steer you towards the Sportage Hybrid, nonetheless, as its worth premium is negligible and its advantages nice.

Inside & Expertise   |   Passenger & Cargo Area   |   Efficiency & Gas Financial system

What it is prefer to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Ranges   |   Crash Rankings & Security Options

Video Evaluation

What’s new for 2023?

The Kia Sportage is all-new for 2023, and never solely that, however it’s a major departure when it comes to dimension and engine alternative.

What are the Sportage inside and in-car expertise like?

The brand new Sportage inside represents one other benefit over the phase’s greatest sellers. Briefly, it’s cool. There’s a way of fashion right here you’re not going to search out in a RAV4 or Forester. Past the design, there are pink, navy and sage inexperienced interiors obtainable relying on trim degree and drivetrain, with even the EX Hybrid eligible for a very cool Misty Grey and Triton Navy combo (pictured above). We actually like that Kia contains such aesthetic choices together with Kia’s typical beneficiant characteristic content material on decrease trim ranges somewhat than conserving them unique to high-dollar ones.

One other instance of that is the cabin’s major attraction: the large curved panel housing twin 12.3-inch shows shared with the EV6. Discovered on each trim however the LX, it’s not solely an eye-catcher for its curved design and fairly graphics, however like different Kias, the infotainment touchscreen is straightforward to make use of. Becoming a member of it from the EV6 is the distinctive row of touch-capacitive “buttons” that serve double obligation as local weather controls and infotainment menu shortcuts. It’s certainly a departure from Kia’s typical ultra-functional cabin controls and we will see the way it might be annoying, however they do present a clear look and we’re undoubtedly seeing so much worse as of late.

How massive is the Sportage?

The Sportage is simply concerning the greatest compact SUV. It’s 7.1 inches longer total than its predecessor with an additional 3.4 inches of wheelbase. Cargo capability, which was beforehand sacrificed to supply surprisingly beneficiant rear legroom, is now a segment-best 39.6 cubic-feet. That’s higher than even the mechanically associated Hyundai Tucson, which aced our baggage check and bested the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

Backseat legroom additionally expands be a category chief with 41.3 inches. It certain appears to be an particularly spacious again seat, however we now have but to check it with little one seats or a full load of passengers.

What are the Sportage gas financial system and efficiency specs?

The bottom engine is successfully common for the phase: a 2.5-liter inline-four that produces 187 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. It’s connected to an eight-speed automated (many opponents have a much less fascinating CVT), and a alternative of front- or all-wheel drive. Gas financial system is an EPA-estimated 25 mpg metropolis, 32 mpg freeway and 28 mpg mixed with FWD and 23/28/25 with AWD. That latter quantity is very underwhelming, as most opponents do significantly higher (the CR-V AWD will get 29 mpg mixed).

The Sportage Hybrid is due to this fact extremely really useful. This distinctive mixture of 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four, electrical motor and six-speed automated pairs with both front- or all-wheel drive. It returns 42 mpg metropolis, 44 mpg freeway and 43 mpg mixed with FWD and 38/38/38 with AWD. That’ll prevent tons of of {dollars} yearly on fuel, however higher but, it’s a efficiency improve, too, boasting 227 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. That is excess of different hybrid compact SUVs.

The Sportage Plug-In Hybrid builds upon the traditional hybrid with a a lot bigger battery. It produces 261 hp and 258 lb-ft. When plugged in and full of electrons, it ought to return round 32 miles of vary, although official EPA numbers weren’t obtainable on the time of this writing.

What is the Sportage prefer to drive?

Whereas most of its opponents provide a alternative of both a hybrid powertrain or a higher-performance engine improve, the Sportage gives up one thing that does each: the Hybrid, pictured above left. Contemplating it solely prices about $1,000 greater than the bottom engine, it makes your determination even simpler. Moreover blowing the hybrid competitors away when it comes to energy, the Sportage Hybrid’s standard transmission and turbocharged engine present a much more regular and quiet driving expertise. And in comparison with the bottom 2.5-liter, which is sadly the one strategy to get the X-Line and X-Professional trim ranges, the turbo-plus-electric-motor combo makes it really feel notably gutsier round city and when passing and, regardless of the small-displacement engine, is quieter if you punch the throttle. 

Transferring past the engines, driving the Sportage is typical for a Kia: competent, vice-free and largely forgettable. It handles effectively sufficient and the trip is snug sufficient. Need one thing sharper? Attempt a Mazda CX-50 or Toyota RAV4 Hybrid SE.

Need one thing extra rugged? Effectively, the Sportage has a solution for that. First, there’s the X-Line, which is actually simply an look package deal. The X-Professional (pictured above proper) builds upon that with B.F. Goodrich all-terrain tires, 17-inch matte black wheels and recalibrated drive mode settings for lowered traction situations. Oh, and a black roof. It has the identical 8.3 inches of floor clearance as each different all-wheel-drive Sportage, nonetheless. That’s not insignificant, however it’s lower than the RAV4 TRD Off-Street, Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and each Subaru Forester, together with the sky-high Wilderness. In the event you actually need to get soiled, get a kind of first. If not, know that you simply’ll be saddled with the much less fascinating base engine and people all-terrain tires that produce a firmer and jigglier trip, extra highway noise and a degradation of highway holding

What different Kia Sportage critiques can I learn?

2023 Kia Sportage First Drive Evaluation | Larger, greener, off-roadier

Dig deeper into the modifications for the Sportage in comparison with its predecessor, plus what you may anticipate from the X-Professional each on highway and off-road. 

What’s the 2023 Sportage worth?

Pricing begins at $27,245, together with vacation spot, for a base LX FWD. The Sportage Hybrid LX FWD begins at $28,545, which is lower than the CR-V and RAV4 hybrid entry factors.

Whereas that LX comes well-equipped, you’ll actually need to begin off your search with the EX, which provides an influence driver seat, heated entrance seats, artificial leather-based upholstery, a real-leather wheel, dual-zone local weather management, proximity key and push-button begin, blind-spot warning, wi-fi charging and maybe most notably, the 12.3-inch touchscreen encased in that super-cool curved show casing. All that appears greater than well worth the EX’s $2,000 premium.

From there, the SX simply seems to be sportier whereas including a couple of token niceties like that curved show casing. The X-Line will get completely different bumpers, gloss black trim, unique wheels, raised roof rails and a tread-like sample in its artificial leather-based upholstery. Principally, it seems to be extra rugged, however functionally isn’t. The X Professional is, although solely to an extent. Pictured beneath left, it will get B.F. Goodrich all-terrain tires, 17-inch matte black wheels and recalibrated drive mode settings for lowered traction situation.

All costs beneath embody the $1,295 vacation spot cost. PHEV pricing was not obtainable on the time of this writing.

LX: $27,285
EX: $29,285
SX: $32,785
SX Status: $34,785
X-Line (AWD solely): $32,085
X-Professional (AWD solely): $36,285
X-Professional Status (AWD solely): $38,085

Hybrid LX FWD: $28,585
Hybrid LX AWD: $30,385
EX AWD: $32,285 (pictured beneath proper)
SX-Status: $37,485

What are the Sportage security rankings and driver help options?

Each 2023 Sportage contains as customary ahead collision warning with pedestrian and bike owner detection, automated emergency braking, lane-keeping help, lane-departure warning, rear parking sensors and a driver inattention warning system. All trim ranges however the LX achieve blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, and the Protected Exit Warning that makes use of the primary two programs to warn occupants to not open their door within the occasion of automobiles or cyclists coming from the rear. Kia’s glorious Freeway Driving Help adaptive cruise management system with lane-centering steering help is included on the SX and X-Professional trim ranges.

The 2023 Sportage had not been crash examined by a 3rd celebration on the time of this writing.

2023 Kia Sportage video evaluation

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