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Kia Sportage Hybrid 2023 Review: A Strong Competitor Against the Honda CR-V

Image Source: Pit Stock / Shutterstock

The Kia Sportage has been in Kia’s lineup for quite some time and has evolved to become a formidable rival to the likes of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The latest 2023 model has undergone significant improvements, particularly in the hybrid version that we had the opportunity to test drive.

The 2023 Kia Sportage has grown in size compared to its predecessor, as Kia now offers the smaller Seltos. It is now 7.1 inches longer with a 3.4-inch longer wheelbase and slightly wider with an additional 0.4 inches of width.

The 2023 Sportage stands out with its bold and upscale styling that gives it a more premium appearance than its predecessor. The newly sculpted body enhances its overall look and appeal.

With its increased length, the interior space of the 2023 Sportage is generous. The second row offers more legroom than the Toyota RAV4 hybrid, with 41.3 inches compared to the RAV4’s 37.8 inches. Additionally, the Sportage Hybrid provides slightly more cargo space than the RAV4, with 39.5 cubic feet compared to 37.5 cubic feet. When the rear seats are folded down, there is a spacious 73.3 cubic feet of storage capacity for all your belongings.

Under the hood, the Sportage hybrid is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a 44-kilowatt electric motor, a 1.5-kilowatt hour lithium-ion battery, and a six-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain delivers a combined output of 227 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and it is available in both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations.

Equipped with different driving modes (Eco, Normal, Sport, and Smart), the Sportage hybrid offers versatility for various driving scenarios. The powertrain, shared with the Hyundai Tucson hybrid, provides a refined driving experience with ample power. The Sportage hybrid outperforms its competitors in terms of power and refinement, offering a spirited driving experience.

In terms of fuel efficiency, the Sportage hybrid impresses with an EPA-rated 42 mpg city, 48 mpg highway, and 43 mpg combined for the front-wheel-drive model, while the all-wheel-drive variant achieves 38 mpg across the board. For those seeking even greater efficiency, a Sportage plug-in hybrid variant with a larger battery pack and electric-only driving range is on the horizon.

The interior of the Sportage is characterized by a modern design, featuring dual screens that span the dashboard. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster for the driver and an 8-inch or optional 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system provide a tech-savvy experience. Advanced safety features, including automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert, are standard on the 2023 Sportage.

The 2023 Kia Sportage hybrid starts at $28,585 for the base LX trim, with pricing going up to $37,485 for the range-topping SX Prestige trim. All-wheel drive is available as an $1,800 option. Despite the enhancements and hybrid technology, the Sportage hybrid maintains a competitive pricing strategy, with the hybrid version only costing $900 more than the non-hybrid SX Prestige model.

Image Source: Pit Stock / Shutterstock

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