The familiar Kia Sportage has received a major overhaul for the 2023 model year, with the compact crossover now bigger and more tech-laden than ever before.
This new Kia Sportage marks the fifth generation of the compact crossover. The 2023 Sportage is 180 mm longer than the outgoing fourth-generation model, giving it best-in-class rear-seat legroom and best-in-class cargo capacity, Kia says. It will also turn more heads thanks to its extroverted styling, with the Korean brand saying the new Sportage is a "welcome addition in a sea of bland-looking [...] SUVs that crowd today’s market."
The base engine in the 2023 Kia Sportage is a naturally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine producing 187 horsepower, which is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with available all-wheel drive. Models with AWD will also have a slightly taller ride height, providing an additional 1.5 inches in ground clearance over the outgoing Sportage AWD.
Going forward, Kia says it will eventually offer a plug-in hybrid version of the Sportage in North America. Details on the hybrid model, will be revealed at a later date, along with other yet-to-be-named future powertrains, the automaker said.
Inside, the 2023 Sportage has received an impressive dual-screen curved display, which consists of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch infotainment screen. Other standard equipment includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, touch-based climate and audio controls and various active driver assistance systems. Options include an available 360-degree surround-view camera system, a wireless charging pad, and a Harmon Kardon premium audio system, among more.
Customers who want a more rugged and capable crossover can opt for the new X-Line and X-Pro trim levels. The X-Line "blends sporty and rugged looking exterior features," Kia says, including unique front and rear bumpers with satin chrome trim, gloss black window and mirror trim, raised roof rack rails and model-specific 19-inch wheels. The X-Pro, meanwhile, is tailored to more serious off-roaders and features BF Goodrich all-terrain tires, 17-inch matte black off-road wheels, LED fog lamps, adjustable multi-terrain drive modes (including a dedicated snow mode for those long Canadian winters) and heated windshield and wiper nozzles.
The 2023 Kia Sportage is expected to go on sale in North America in the first half of 2022. Canadian-specific information on pricing, fuel economy and trim and options availability will be disclosed at a later date.