2023 Kia Sportage Gets Distinctive New Duds, More

2023 kia sportage gets distinctive new duds more

Kia’s current tagline is “movement that inspires” and while I am not sure if the 2023 Kia Sportage will be inspiring, exactly, it will catch your attention.

The venerable subcompact crossover SUV gets a major makeover that looks distinctive (whether it’s attractive or not is up to you) when set against the sea of anonymity that so often exists in that class. Oh, and it sets the stage for future electrified versions.

As with so many vehicles (and, often, humans), the Sportage is gaining in size as it ages — it’s now 7.1 inches longer, with a 3.4-inch longer wheelbase, and taller and wider by half an inch compared to the previous model. It’s also getting a bit nicer, thanks to features like an optional dual-panoramic setup for the 12.3-inch infotainment screens.

Ground clearance is up by 1.5 inches for all-wheel-drive models, which will have a multi-terrain drive-mode system.

The trim walk goes like this: LX, EX, SX, SX-Prestige, X-Line, X-Pro, and X-Pro Prestige. The latter two trims are off-road oriented.

This fifth-generation Sportage will be built (with a few exceptions for certain trims) in West Point, Georgia, alongside the Telluride three-row SUV and the K5 sedan.

Power will come from a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 187 horsepower and mating to an eight-speed automatic transmission. While all-wheel drive is available, front-wheel drive is standard. The AWD system has a center-locking differential that it will use to distribute power between the front and rear wheels.

The off-road-oriented X-Line and X-Pro models will get AWD standard, along with 19-inch wheels (X-Line) and unique appearance features. X-Pros will have Bridgestone all-terrain tires, 17-inch wheels, LED fog lamps and available LED headlights, heated windshield, available two-tone roof, and cooled front seats.

The usual electronic driver aids and safety nannies will be available, and the list is long — a bit too long for this post. New for this year are a 360-degree surround view with 3D and a blind-spot monitoring camera feed for the gauge cluster.

Other standard or available features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, coat hangers and USB ports molded into the front-seat headrests, touchpad climate and audio controls, Harman Kardon audio, Bluetooth, wireless charging, and Kia Connect — which replaces Uvo infotainment and includes in-car wi-fi and smart-speaker integration.

Expect to see the next Kia Sportage on sale in the first quarter of next year.

[Images: Kia]

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  • N8iveVA N8iveVA on Oct 28, 2021

    What....no optional turbo engine? I like the rear but that front end looks like Kia got inspired by the latest Mitsubishi Outlander. Not a good look.

  • Lie2me Lie2me on Oct 28, 2021

    ... and they'll be very, VERY expensive depending on your options You forgot that part

    • 902Chris 902Chris on Nov 03, 2021

      100%. Every feature the average driver wants will be stripped out of the lower trims to make it cheaper "on paper".

  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
  • Car65688392 thankyou for the information
  • Car65688392 Thankyou for your valuable information
  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.