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2023 Kia Sportage - A Crossover For The Masses

The fifth-gen Sportage is underpinned by a new platform, comes with new drivetrains, and features bold exterior and interior designs

The Sportage is one of the longest-running nameplates in Kia’s history. It has been around since 1993 and is entering its fifth generation as it nears its three-decade anniversary. The new Sportage comes with a plethora of changes. It looks a lot smarter than the current model, is underpinned on a new architecture, and will be offered with hybrid and plug-in hybrid options. Kia will also add a new trim on the fifth-gen Sportage. At this point, not a lot of detail is revealed, but we should hear more of it when it arrives in late 2021 or early 2022.

  • 2023 Kia Sportage - A Crossover For The Masses
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    Eight-speed Automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • Price:
    26000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

2023 Kia Sportage Exterior

2023 Kia Sportage - A Crossover For The Masses Exterior
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Up front, it comes with a black grille, Matrix LED headlights, and boomerang-shaped LED DRLs

The new Sportage is based on the company’s new N3 architecture. It comes with a reinforced and lightweight body structure that has high torsional rigidity. In terms of looks, it is very different from the current Sportage. Kia says this fifth-gen Sportage is based on the company’s new ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy. We saw the same on the EV6 as well.

Up front, it comes with a black grille with Kia’s new stylized logo on top of it. The grille runs the entire width of the face and integrates the Matrix LED headlights, as well as the boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights. An extension of the boomerang shape can be seen at the bottom in the form of the fog lamp housing surrounds.

2023 Kia Sportage - A Crossover For The Masses Exterior
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Kia has taken the wraps off the fifth-gen Sportage, and it rides on Kia’s new N3 architecture

The side profile is quite smart, too.

The cuts and creases make it look bolder and aggressive.

It even comes with a black roof, something that we’ve never seen on the Sportage since its inception. Depending on the trim you choose, the new Sportage will come with either, 17-, 18-, or 19-inch wheels. Seven different wheel designs will be available across the range.

The rear is a little contrasting, but bold nevertheless. Kia touts this as a fastback design. The taillights extend into the sides and are connected by a slim horizontal design that’s becoming a common practice across segments. The black bumper comes with contrasting elements to add some more colors to the dual-tone derriere.

2023 Kia Sportage - A Crossover For The Masses Exterior
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Swipe up to learn about it in detail, some speculations, its rivals, etc.

An X-Line trim will be added to the current portfolio. This will be seen on other Kia models, but is making its debut on the upcoming Sportage. The basic differences here include a luggage bumper, side sill, and curved roof rack on the outside. On the inside, a signature sage green color with bold quilting makes its presence felt, and so do black metal wood elements. A GT-Line model can be had and it will be offered with standout body colors on the outside, and dual-tone black and white shades on the inside.

How Big Is The Kia Sportage?

2023 Kia Sportage - A Crossover For The Masses Exterior
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It will be available with 17-, 18-, or 19-inch wheels in seven different designs. It also has a longer wheelbase this time

The current Sportage measures 176.4 inches in length, 73 inches in width, and 64.8 inches in height. The wheelbase measures 105.1 inches. The track at the front is 63.5 inches wide whereas the rear track is 64 inches wide. The ground clearance for the front-wheel-drive model is rated at 6.4 inches and for the all-wheel-drive models, it is 6.8 inches.

As for the approach and departure angles, it is rated at 28 degrees and 24.6 degrees for the all-wheel-drive models, and 16.7- and 23.9 degrees for the front-wheel-drive models, respectively.

2023 Kia Sportage - A Crossover For The Masses Exterior
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Kia hasn’t revealed a whole lot of details, including the price. It will be launched later this year and we’ll get more details then

The upcoming Sportage is slightly bigger. It measures 183.5 inches in length, 73.4 inches in width, and 65.4 inches in height. The wheelbase measures 108.5 inches, which is 3.4 inches longer than before. This will directly impact in increased legroom inside the cabin. A shorter wheelbase version will also be launched for folks looking for a compact-sized crossover, but it won’t cross the pond and make its way to the U.S.

2022 Kia Sportage exterior dimensions
Length 183.5 inches
Width 73.4 inches
Height 65.4 inches
Wheelbase 108.5 inches

2022 Kia Sportage Interior

2023 Kia Sportage - A Crossover For The Masses Interior
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The cabin feels premium and will have soft touch materials all around. The rear offers better legroom and headroom, too

The cabin looks pretty swell and feels premium. The new slim air vents are redesigned, and so is the center console to house a curved display with a slim touchscreen pad. This is a 12-inch touchscreen system that’s conjoined with a 12-inch digital instrument cluster to give à la Mercedes vibes. A Harman-Kardon audio system will be available, too.

While the touchscreen is curved to create a driver-centric cockpit, the console between the seats has a neutral approach.

What’s new here is the shift-by-wire transmission dial. Apart from this, you get the regular stuff like the storage spaces for knick-knacks, cupholders, wireless charger, etc. Kia seems to have used sot plastics all around to make the cabin feel luxurious.

How Spacious Is The Sportage On The Inside?

2023 Kia Sportage - A Crossover For The Masses Interior
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Inside, it has a driver-centric orientation. The digital instrument cluster and the touchscreen, both 12 inches, are conjoined

As mentioned earlier, the longer wheelbase increases space inside the cabin, especially the legroom. While Kia hasn’t given all the dimensions yet, the second-row legroom is now rated at 41.3 inches, which is almost three inches more than the current Sportage’s 38.2-inch legroom. The headroom also is increased slightly from 39.1 inches to 39.4 inches. The cargo space is now rated at 22.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats, but the current model offers 30.7 cubic feet of space. There seems to be so something amiss here. We’ll hold our breath on this until Kia lets out all the details.

2022 Kia Sportage Drivetrain

2023 Kia Sportage - A Crossover For The Masses Exterior
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The Sportage will be offered with a gas and a diesel engine at launch. Hybrid and Plug-in hybrids will be offered later

At launch, the new Kia Sportage will be offered with a gas engine and a diesel engine.

The one with a gas diet displaces at 1.6 liters and produces 178 horses and 195 pound-feet of torque.

It comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as standard, but you can also have it with an extra pedal and a six-speed manual gearbox.

A new oil burner engine joins the lineup. The four-pot mill that displaces at two liters puts out 183 ponies and 307 pound-feet of torque. This engine is mated exclusively to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Kia will add hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains in the future. This widespread will make sure there’s something to please every potential owner.

2022 Kia Sportage specifications
Engine 1.6-liter four-cylinder 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel
Power 178 HP 183 HP
Torque 195 LB-FT 307 LB-FT
Transmission seven-speed dual-clutch automatic eight-speed automatic
Kia is also debuting something known as the E-Handling system on the upcoming Sportage. It is said to enhance the driving dynamics and make the crossover even more stable and agile

. It will be aided by a new Electric Control Suspension that features continuous damping control in real-time. A Terrain Mode will be added to the list. When you’ve not engaged the Terrain Mode, the Sportage will stay in Drive mode within which you can select other modes such as Drive, Comfort, Eco, Sport, and Smart.

2022 Kia Sportage Pricing

2023 Kia Sportage - A Crossover For The Masses Exterior
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The gas engine is a 1.6-liter mill that makes 178 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque

Kia hasn’t revealed the upcoming Sportage’s pricing. It will be slightly more premium than the existing sticker prices. Here’s how the 2022 Kia Sportage is priced:

  • LX - $24,090
  • Nightfall Edition - $28,090
  • EX - $28,390
  • SX Turbo - $33,750

2022 Kia Sportage Competition

Mazda CX-5

2019 Mazda CX-5
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In a sea of bold, radical designs, the Mazda CX-5 takes guard as a crossover with classic, understated looks. While it may not please folks who want the bling and the pizzazz, this is one crossover that is bound to age gracefully. Inside the cabin, it comes with stuff like a 10.3-inch touchscreen system, 360-degree camera, stylish upholstery, etc. The automaker offers it in seven different trims to make sure there’s something for every customer. Under the hood, it features a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter, four-cylinder mill that dishes out 187 ponies and 186 pound-feet of torque. The same is available with a turbocharger that makes 250 horses and 320 pound-feet of twist. The 2021 Mazda CX-5 starts from $25,500 and goes all the way up to $37,500.

Read our full review on the Mazda CX-5

Honda CR-V

2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid
- image 800746

If you are in the segment for an all-rounder, the Honda CR-V is your safest bet. It comes with a spacious cabin that’s practical and feature-rich. It even offers the best cargo space when compared to its immediate rivals. The only gripe is its powertrain that’s aimed at being a fuel-efficient mill rather than a performance one. The 1.5-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine cranks 190 horses and 179 pound-feet of twist, and it isn’t the quickest or the most powerful mill out there. To make matters worse, it is mated to a lousy CVT. If you are a sedate driver, you’ll be happy; but if you have a heavy right foot and are constantly seeking those adrenaline-filled sprints, then you will be disappointed. However, it boasts of excellent crash-test ratings that tilt the table in its favor if you’re primarily looking for a family hauler. The Honda CR-V starts a little over $25,000 and goes all the way up to $35,000.

Read our full review on the Honda CR-V

2023 Kia Sportage Driver-Assistance Features

2023 Kia Sportage - A Crossover For The Masses Exterior
- image 999710
The gas mill will come with a seven-speed automatic as standard and six-speed manual as optional. The diesel will feature an eight-speed automatic

The new Sportage will come with a host of driver assistance features. Some of these include:

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Highway Driving Assist
  • Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control
  • Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Blind-Spot View Monitor
  • Remote Smart Parking Assist

The 2023 Kia Sportage will be launched globally later this year and more information can be expected then. Deliveries in the U.S. could begin either at the end of 2021 or early 2022.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
About the author

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