- All-new hybrid version of redesigned 2023 Sportage
- Targeted fuel economy of 39 mpg combined
- 226-horsepower turbocharged powertrain
- Larger and more stylish than the outgoing model
- Part of the fifth Sportage generation redesigned for 2023
The 2023 Kia Sportage is fully redesigned, and the Sportage Hybrid is the new fuel-sipping version. Highlights for this redesign include more interior passenger and cargo space, new technology features and distinctive styling. This is also the first time Kia has offered a hybrid powertrain on the Sportage.
Kia says that the Sportage Hybrid has gone from one of the smallest to largest SUVs in its class, and that results in considerable gains in passenger room and cargo space. When the 2023 Kia Sportage goes on sale in early 2022, it'll face off against rivals such as the Ford Escape Hybrid, Honda CR-V Hybrid and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
The new Sportage Hybrid has a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor, hybrid battery pack and six-speed automatic transmission. Kia estimates that total system output is 226 horsepower, which is similar to the outputs of the CR-V Hybrid (212 hp) and RAV4 Hybrid (219 hp). Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.
One of the downsides with the 2022 Sportage is the lack of space inside the cabin. Its length places it right in between the extra-small and small SUV classes, so buyers looking for a family-friendly SUV but don't need the three-row Sorento may be disappointed. Kia heard the feedback and increased the 2023 model's overall length and wheelbase to give it considerably more rear passenger legroom and cargo space. There's 39.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, which is excellent. (A RAV4 Hybrid, which is quite roomy, has 37.5 cubes.)
The inside has a clean and modern aesthetic, with a 12.3-inch center touchscreen for entertainment and vehicle controls. Capacitive touch buttons are located beneath the screen and control the climate functions. The gear selector is shaped like a rotary dial, rather than a traditional upright shifter. You'll find a mix of materials with piano black for the trim, hard plastic for the storage areas, brushed metal finish on the door handles, and animal-free leather on higher trims. There is also an available panoramic sunroof.
Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration comes standard on all trim levels. Buyers can opt for a digital gauge cluster on higher trims, which makes the instrument cluster look like it has a single 24-inch panoramic screen.
The new Sportage also comes with many advanced driving aids. Standard ones include forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. Buyers will also be able to further add optional blind-spot monitoring assist and a surround-view parking camera system, among many others.
The Sportage Hybrid has not been formally tested by the EPA, but Kia is targeting 39 mpg in combined city/highway driving. If Kia's estimate holds up, the Sportage Hybrid should be right in the mix with the other small SUV hybrids for overall fuel efficiency. Kia also expects the Sportage Hybrid to have a driving range of more than 500 miles on a tank of fuel.
With sleeker looks, more space and greater fuel efficiency, the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid makes a compelling case for those in need of a small SUV. Check back with Edmunds in the coming months for additional information and our full test of the Sportage Hybrid.