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2023 Kia Sportage doubles down on tech, adds electrification

The 2023 Kia Sportage has been fully revealed and it’s got a full range of tech features plus upcoming electrified powertrains. Like the latest crop of Kia vehicles, the Sportage has a distinct new look complete with a massive new grille featuring headlight clusters integrated into it and boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights. As a result, you get a truly distinctive look that you won’t mistake for anything else. The rest of the car is your typical compact crossover; gone is the rounded, bubbly profile and in its place is an upright greenhouse that gives it a more rugged look. In the back, you get two thin taillight clusters linked together but a single strip but there isn’t an LED strip in there. Kia’s new logo is emblazoned across the tailgate and the bumper appears to extend higher up than usual.

Inside is where the 2023 Kia Sportage stands out. Like the all-electric EV6, the Sportage will be available with dual 12.0-inch displays housed under a single piece of glass. You get a mix of physical and haptic feedback controls including a rotary gear shifter and drive mode selector. Kia appears to also appears to be poised to offer multiple two-tone interior colors including blue and white, something you usually find in more expensive vehicles. A Harman Kardon audio system will be available for audiophiles. The Sportage will also be available with a full suite of driver assistance features. This includes the usual collision prevention technologies plus adaptive cruise control that makes use of navigation data to predict upcoming turns and curves. Blind-spot monitoring can now keep you from swiping the vehicle next to you and show what’s on your blind spot on the digital gauge cluster. Highway Driving Assist, which is Hyundai Motor Group’s semi-autonomous driving assist, will also be available.

Underpinning the 2023 Kia Sportage is the Hyundai Motor Group’s N3 platform, which is used on larger vehicles. That means it’s closely related to several vehicles including the Hyundai Tucson and Sonata and Kia Sorento and K5. A lightweight body structure with high torsional rigidity combined with a new suspension calibration should help the Sportage retain good driving dynamics. An electronically controlled suspension with continuously controlled dampers. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid models will also get the E-handling system to improve turning and cornering performance. A new Terrain mode optimizes the car for loose pavement like snow, sand, and mud.

Powering the Sportage will be a 1.6-liter turbo-four in its base form; however, we’re more interested in the electrified options. Although Kia hasn’t announced, which ones it will use, it’s safe to say that the same 1.6-liter turbo-four-based unit in the Santa Fe, Sorento, and Tucson. That couples the engine to a 1.5-kWh battery, a 60-hp electric motor, and a six-speed automatic transmission. In the Sorento Hybrid, this system makes 227 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque combined. Its Hyundai cousins are rated at 226 hp but their torque ratings aren’t advertised. Plug-in hybrid versions swap in a 13.8-kWh battery and a 99 hp electric motor, upping the combined output to 261 hp.

More information on the U.S.-spec 2023 Kia Sportage should be released later this year closer to its official launch. Like the Hyundai Tucson, the U.S., China, and Korea will get the long-wheelbase version of the Sportage. The rest of the world will get the standard-wheelbase model, which should be about the same size as the current car.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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