Kia recently filed a flurry of trademarks in the US that point to the brand expanding its off-road-oriented offerings. On November 22, the automaker submitted paperwork to protect Sportage X-Line, Sportage X-Pro, Sorento X-Line, Sorento X-Pro, Telluride X-Line, and Telluride X-Pro. Another application covered the design of the X-Pro badge. Car and Driver first discovered some of these filings.
Kia introduces its X-Pro badge on the 2023 Sportage (gallery below) as a step above the X-Line to offer customers a more rugged crossover. The upgrades include 17-inch matte black wheels with B.F. Goodrich all-terrain tires and multi-terrain drive modes with normal, sport, smart, and snow settings. It also has LED fog lights and heating for the windshield and washer nozzles. A two-tone roof is an option.
Gallery: 2023 Kia Sportage US-Spec
Sportage buyers can upgrade to the X-Pro Prestige that adds LED projector headlights, ventilated front seats, and an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat.
Pricing for the 2023 Sportage lineup isn't available yet. Deliveries begin in the first quarter of 2022.
It seems likely that the X-Pro versions of the Sorento and Telluride would follow a similar recipe as what Kia does on the Sportage. They would get components allowing for light off-roading, but the brand is not creating vehicles for conquering the difficult trails at Moab.
The Sorrento also already has an X-Line model. There was already a rumor of Kia introducing a Telluride X-Line with features like 20-inch wheels, a black grille, body-color door handles, and a high-gloss black finish for a variety of exterior parts.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office only began processing these applications on December 1. Generally, it takes months for the USPTO to grant a trademark. This suggests we wouldn't see these vehicles until mid-2022 at the earliest. Of course, Kia could be registering these names just in case wants to use them later.