Update: In a recent press release, Kia has announced that the 2023 Sportage has begun production at the company's manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia. On Tuesday, February 1, 2022, the Sportage – Kia's longest-running nameplate – become the fourth active vehicle line at the West Point facility, joining Telluride, Sorento, and the K5 sedan. The debut Sportage off the line wore the X-Pro Prestige trim package and the new model's signature Jungle Green paint.
After already debuting in South Korea and Europe, the 2023 Kia Sportage finally makes its premiere in the United States. The fifth generation of the crossover arrives in America in the first quarter of 2022.
The 2023 Sportage shares the N3 platform with the Sorento that uses an increased amount of hot-stamped parts and ultra-high-strength steel to improve tensile strength and torsional rigidity. There's also more sound-absorbing material and insulation to give occupants a quieter ride.
Gallery: 2023 Kia Sportage US-Spec
The new Sportage grows in size compared to the previous model. The overall length is 7.1 inches (18 centimeters) longer, and the wheelbase increases by 3.4 inches (8.64 centimeters).
Kia isn't yet releasing specific powertrain details about the latest Sportage, but the company has preliminary data. A new 2.5-liter four-cylinder makes an estimated 187 horsepower (139 kilowatts) and hooks up to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It comes standard with front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive.
A hybrid powertrain will also be available. The automaker's announcement mentions "forthcoming electrified versions" without offering any other info. In South Korea, there's also a plug-in hybrid, which could be what Kia is hinting at for the US here.
If you want a more rugged crossover, the 2023 Sportage is available in the X-Line and X-Pro trim levels. Both get standard all-wheel drive. The X-Line has a satin chrome surround for the bumpers. There are gloss black pieces for the mirror caps, roof rack, and window surrounds. The roof rack has raised rails to make mounting accessories easier. It rides on 19-inch wheels.
The X-Pro is even more capable off-road. Kia equips it with 17-inch matte black wheels with B.F. Goodrich all-terrain tires. There are also LED fog lights, a heated windshield and washer nozzles, and multi-terrain drive modes with normal, sport, smart, and snow settings. A two-tone roof is an option.
There's also the X-Pro Prestige with a few more amenities. It adds LED projector headlights, ventilated front seats, and an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat.
Gallery: 2022 Kia Sportage Global Debut
How's It Look?
The new Sportage adopts a much more eye-catching appearance than previous generations. The brand's tiger-nose grille is much smaller and sits above a blacked-out grille. The boomerang-shaped daytime running lights lend the front a distinctive appearance. In profile, the beltline dips down at the A-pillar and then rises upward as it reaches the rear.
The 2023 model's interior takes a big step upmarket. Buyers can get a panoramic curved display that integrates the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 12.3-inch infotainment screen. Below the center monitor, there's a touchpad for the climate and audio controls, and the functions of the physical knobs change depending on whether you are changing the temperature or adjusting the volume.
Kia loads the new Sportage with safety tech. Even the base model has forward collision avoidance, lane-keeping assist, reverse parking distance warning, driver attention warning, and rear occupant alert. The optional features include forward collision avoidance, blind-spot collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, forward parking distance warning, reverse parking collision avoidance, and adaptive cruise control.
The 2023 Sportage will be available in the following trim levels: LX, EX, SX, SX-Prestige, X-Line, X-Pro, and X-Pro Prestige. Kia will announce pricing and specifics about each trim closer to launch.