More Tech, More Room, More Style in the All-New 2023 Kia Sportage

2023 Sportage X-Pro And A Beautiful Sunset
2023 Sportage X-Pro and a beautiful sunset

But you’ll have to wait until 2022 to get a look.

Kia is finally letting the media and buyers get a look at the fully redesigned version of its longtime fan favorite, the Kia Sportage. In their mission to break the Sportage out of what Kia called, “the sea of bland-looking subcompact SUV’s that crowd today’s market,” they left no stone unturned in the entire vehicle. This is not to say the Sportage looks sloppy or overdone; the updates look well thought out and befitting a fifth-generation vehicle. Nothing looks overly experimental. 

In fact, it looks a bit familiar on the exterior; if you’ve followed the design evolution of the Kia K5 sedan and the coming Kia EV6, you’ll see similarities in angular headlights on the front and a light bar across the rear, all offset against the new Kia logo. This is Kia’s design  language evolving;

Related: Why After Four Months of Driving a Kia SUV, I Bought the 2019 Sportage EX

2023 Sportage Sx

2023 Sportage SX

That’s because Kia has undertaken a design philosophy they call “Opposites United.” If that means matching the front end to the rear end, mission accomplished! The new exterior looks much more crisp and angular than its previous generations. There is a cohesive, modern feel to the design, and the Sportage’s grille is integrated into the front end. Cool, angled headlights are mirrored in the angled taillights and trim pieces. The body has more creased lines in the vehicle where we once saw an abundance of soft curves. The Sportage achieves a balanced look, and one Kia is hoping will turn heads. 

Related: Hello, Cutie: First look at the 2017 Kia Sportage

2023 Sportage With Apple Car Play

2023 Sportage with Apple Car Play

Additionally, the 2023 Kia Sportage is a bit bigger, 7.1 inches longer, and is taller and wider by half an inch. What this means to you is that your kids might not fight about whose foot is touching whose for a millisecond longer. I’ll take it! Anyway, the Sportage also boasts 41.3 inches of rear legroom and 39.6 cubic feet of cargo space.

When it comes to the interior of the Sportage, I’m really excited about the upgrades to its technology. Kia is very excited, too, and I think their favorite feature might be their new, giant instrument cluster that’s been integrated with the infotainment system. A touchpad operates not just the climate control system but the audio controls as well. And the Sportage also comes with Android Auto or Apple Car play-standard. The list of technical features goes on and on, but I found myself intrigued by the multi-connection Bluetooth and Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect up to five devices.

One feature that makes me nervous, though, is the smart-speaker integration that allows users to yell at, I mean, make inquiries to Alexa or Google Assistant. Even though it’s a design cue and not a behavioral aspiration, maybe “Opposites United” can bring me and Alexa together in a more peaceful way.

Related: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto: How to Get the Most Popular In-Car Phone Systems

I must say, despite all the technological updates to the 2023 Kia Sportage, it looks very hospitable. I like the quilted chevron-patterned upholstery (might this be a premium feature, though…?). And let me just say that the coat hanger that has been molded into the back of the headrests is something I and my coat and my purse can’t wait to test it. They also integrated USB ports and integrated hooks for shopping bags into the backs of the front seats.

Related: Sweet Surprise: Luxuries Galore in the Kia Sportage

2023 Sportage Coat Rack Headrest

2023 Sportage coat rack headrest

Under the hood, the 2023 Kia Sportage will have a 4-cylinder engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Shoppers will have a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. If you pick the all-wheel drive, you get to make another choice: the Sportage X-Line package will give you features that make you look like you are ready for some outdoor adventure (and can support that endeavor to a certain degree), and the Sportage X-Pro has some more substantial features for actually going on an outdoor adventure (all-terrain tires, multi-terrain drive modes, and fog lights). If you pick front-wheel drive, you too will get to make another choice between the Sportage LX, EX, SX, and SX-Prestige trims.

Related: 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD: Bejeweled and Enchanting like a Citrine

Lastly, the 2023 Kia Sportage will come with a whole host of features you’ve heard of before. Think lane keep assist, rearview monitoring, forward collision avoidance, blind spot monitoring, and more. Additionally, there is a feature called a rear occupant alert that will warn a driver to check the rear seat before getting out of the vehicle. I also am intrigued by the safe exit warning that “alerts a passenger when a vehicle is approaching from the rear-side while someone is exiting the vehicle.” No more opening one’s door into an oncoming car!

There is much to look forward to with the 2023 Kia Sportage. But how much will it cost? No word yet, but for reference, the 2021 Sportage had a base price starting at $23,990 and the highest trim started at $34,770. I can’t wait!

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Sara has written about cars since 2005. She used to beat them up with her kids and write about... More about Sara Lacey