Update: ‘Kia Sportage sales’ section added.
The U.S.-spec 2023 Kia Sportage, the fifth generation of Kia’s compact SUV, is here. Unlike past Sportage generations, but just like its platform-mate, the U.S.-spec all-new Hyundai Tucson, it is available in a hybrid variant. Take a look at what we know about the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid for the U.S. market:
Kia introduced the Sportage as a concept in 1991 (Kia Urban SUV concept) and then launched the production version in 1993. The compact crossover SUV hit the five million sales milestone in the fourth generation in 2018. Since its launch in 1993, Kia has sold well over six million units of Sportage worldwide. While Sportage is the best-selling Kia model globally, its fifth-generation could add a few million units to the tally as demand for the crossover SUV model peaks worldwide.
The 2023 Sportage Hybrid incorporates Kia’s ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy. Kia says that Opposites United consists of five pillars: Power to Progress, Tension for Serenity, Joy for Reason, Technology for Life, and Bold for Nature. The last pillar has influenced the design to a great extent. The company’s designers in South Korea, the U.S., Germany, and China contributed to shaping the all-new Sportage.
Kia has designed the new Sportage with a familiar silhouette but used aggressive and technical-looking elements. Except for the unique 17- or 18-inch wheels and the HEV badging, the Sportage Hybrid variant looks the same as the gasoline Sportage.
At the front, the hybrid compact SUV lets go of the bug-eyed look. Sharp, vertically positioned Matrix LED headlamps with boomerang-shaped LED DRL and a significantly larger, sharper, and black radiator grille spans the entire face width for a dominating look.
Source: Youtube/Kia America
With crisp character lines, muscular shoulder lines, and a reimagined greenhouse, the 2023 Sportage Hybrid looks noticeably different. A noteworthy change is the conventionally designed rear door frame, making the profile look more attractive. For the first time in a Sportage, Kia now offers an option to get the roof painted with a different body color for a two-tone exterior.
The new Sportage Hybrid features what one can only describe as a quirky front end, but the rear is more or less conventional. It comes with razor-sharp LED rear combination lamps, an arching indent where the registration plate sits, and a large Kia logo right above. The bumper houses symmetrical secondary lights.
The U.S.-spec 2023 Sportage hybrid is available in LX, EX, and SX-Prestige trims. It features a thoroughly upgraded interior with a striking dual-screen cockpit, sleeker dashboard design, and a center console with reduced physical buttons. Overall, the interior is a big step from the previous generation model.
The top-end 2023 Kia Sportage gets a curved panel that seamlessly merges a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display, covering more than half of the width. The panoramic curved display, which Kia says is the “nucleus” of the all-new Sportage’s cabin, reduces distortion caused by viewing angles. It makes it easier to recognize information and minimizes driver distraction.
There’s a new touchpad with climate and audio controls beneath the infotainment system. A 360-degree Surround-View Monitor with a 3D view is available for the first time in a Sportage. Multi-connection Bluetooth, included in EX and SX-Prestige trims, allows keeping two smartphones paired simultaneously. Customers can save their profile and store climate and infotainment preferences, and in the EX trim, even the phone connection pairings. Wireless charging and a Harman-Kardon premium audio system are other available interior features.
Slim vertical air vents hug the two screens of the driver’s cockpit. The center console also carries a more upscale design, and it houses a shift-by-wire transmission dial instead of a conventional lever.
The floor console of the 2023 Kia Sportage has a high-end gloss finish, providing storage space, cupholders, and soft-touch switches, with the latter positioned alongside the transmission dial. The front seats sport a slim shell design, and their headrests integrate hanger-type designs, which allows for hooking clothing and handbags.
Kia has included many new smart features in the 2023 Sportage. Kia Connect, a suite of connected car services, allows connecting the vehicle to smart home devices like lights and air conditioners. Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant-enabled smart speaker/smart device integration, cloud-based navigation route calculation, and stolen vehicle tracking and immobilization are some of the highlights of Kia Connect.
Kia has developed the fifth-gen Sportage on its new N3 architecture. This is the company’s first model available in short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase versions depending on the market. We expect Kia to sell the Sportage long-wheelbase in most regions worldwide, places where customers demand space.
The U.S.-spec 2023 Sportage is the long-wheelbase version, which is 7.1 inches longer than the previous model, and its wheelbase is 3.4 inches longer. The all-new model is also half-inch taller and wider. Kia claims best-in-class rear legroom of 41.3 inches and best-in-class cargo capacity behind the rear seats of 39.5 cubic feet.
|Aspect||2023 Sportage Hybrid Dimension|
|Height (w/o roof rails)||65.4 in./66.1 in.|
|Height (with roof rails)||65.6 in./66.3 in.|
|Cargo Space||39.5 cu. ft.|
The U.S.-spec 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Its powertrain combines a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine (177 hp/195 lb.-ft.) with a 44.2 kW (59.3 hp)/195 lb.-ft. electric motor and it produces a total power of 227 hp. The new Sportage Hybrid features a new ‘E-Handling’ system for improved agility and stability during cornering.
Power goes to either the front wheels or an active AWD system. AWD is optional in the LX trim and standard in EX, and SX-Prestige trims. A six-speed automatic transmission with a rotary-style shifter and paddle shifters is standard in the hybrid variant. The driver can select from four drive modes: Eco, Sport, Smart, and Snow (AWD-only). A 1.49 kWh battery pack stores the energy for the electrical assist functions.
Kia claims that the U.S.-spec Sportage Hybrid offers a class-leading 2,000 lb towing capacity. The EPA-est. fuel economy rating of the hybrid SUV is 42 mpg (city)/44 mpg (highway)/43 mpg (combined) in the FWD configuration and 38 mpg (city, highway, & combined) in the AWD configuration.
2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid Specifications
|Aspect||2023 Kia Sportage Specification|
|Engine Type||1.6 Turbo Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine|
|Displacement (cc)||1,598 cc|
|Bore x stroke (mm)||75.6 x 89|
|Max. power (hp @ rpm)||177 hp @ 5,500 rpm|
|Max. torque (lb-ft @ rpm)||195 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-4,500 rpm|
|Valve system||16V DOHC CVVT with Hydraulic Lash Adjuster|
|Fuel Injection||Direct Injection|
|Fuel requirement||Regular Unleaded (87 or higher)|
|Coolant Capacity (L)||4.8 L|
|Emission Control System||WCC + UCC|
|Fuel tank capacity||13.7 gal.|
|Hybrid Starter Generator||–|
|Type||Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor|
|Power (hp)||17.4 hp|
|Torque (lb-ft)||31.9 lb-ft|
|Type||Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor|
|Power (hp)||59.3 hp @ 1,600 – 2,000 rpm|
|Torque (lb-ft)||195 lb-ft @ 0 – 2,100 rpm|
|Hybrid Battery System type||Lithium-ion (Pouch)|
|Weight (kg.)||37.5 kg|
|Weight (lbs.)||82.7 lbs|
|Braked Towing Capacity||2,000 lbs.|
|Unbraked Towing Capacity||1,653 lbs.|
|EPA-est. Fuel Economy|
|FWD||42 mpg (city)/44 mpg (highway)/43 mpg (combined)|
|AWD||38 mpg (city, highway, & combined)|
Kia says that it has improved the safety of the Sportage with a reinforced body structure. The company has confirmed the following standard safety systems for its fifth-generation:
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
- Lane Following Assist (LFA)
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
- Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA) with Cyclist detection
- Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)
- Backup camera
- Rear parking sensors
- High Beam Assist (HBA)
Many ADAS features are available as an option on the 2023 Sportage Hybrid:
- Blind Spot View Monitor (BVM)
- Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
- Blind Spot Collision Avoidance (BCA) with Parallel Exit
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance-Assist (RCCA)
- Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA) with Junction Turning capability
- Front parking sensors
- Highway Driving Assist (HDA)
- Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA)
- Highway Driving Assist (HDA)
- Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Stop and Go
- Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control-Curve (NSCC-C)
- Reverse Parking Collision Avoidance (PCA-R) with pedestrian detection
- Safe Exit Warning (SEW)
Prices of the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid in the U.S. start at USD 27,990 and go up to USD 36,190, excluding a standard USD 1,255 destination charge.
|Configuration||2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid Price|
|Sportage Hybrid LX FWD||USD 27,290|
|Sportage Hybrid LX AWD||USD 29,090|
|Sportage Hybrid EX AWD||USD 30,990|
|Sportage Hybrid SX-Prestige||USD 36,190|
Kia Sportage sales
The launch of the fifth-gen model has improved sales of the Sportage in the U.S. Kia sold 64,341 units of the compact SUV between January and July 2022, which marked a 0.5% year-over-year growth (January-July 2021: 64,000 units). June 2022 was the best month ever for the compact SUV, with 14,153 units sold. Kia delivered 11,985 units in July 2022, making it the fourth consecutive month with a 10,000+ count.
Also Read: 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid): Everything we know
2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid FAQs
What is the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid release date?
The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is now on sale in the U.S.
What is the 2023 Kia Sportage hybrid price?
The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid price in the U.S. starts at USD 27,290.
What are the potential Kia Sportage Hybrid alternatives?
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid are options for those who seek alternatives.
Featured Image Source: Kia