The Sportage has been in Kia’s lineup for nearly 30 years now. With the all-new fifth generation Kia Sportage, the Korean auto company is looking to shake up the crossover market with a striking redesign.
The first thing you’ll notice is the front facia. Designed under Kia’s new Opposites United global design language (basically, a fancy term for bringing together the contrasts that you find in nature and the industrial world), the most striking part of the Sportage is its greater than/less than DRL lights. Or boomerangs. Whatever. I think it looks cool.
Kia says the new Sportage is larger and more fuel-efficient than its predecessor. Sharing the same platform with the recently introduced Sorento, it has grown over seven inches longer and gained half an inch in width and height. In addition to the usual LX, EX, SX, and X-Line trims, Kia has jumped on the “ready for adventure” fad that’s sweeping the industry with new off-road focused X-Pro and X-Pro Prestige trims.
The X-Pro trims come with standard AWD and easy-cleaning synthetic leather seating. Kia claims the X-Pro trim “doesn’t just look like a trail-ready vehicle – it is.” Their words, not mine. How ready is it? It features:
- B.F. Goodrich all-terrain tires
- 17-inch matte black off-road wheels
- LED fog lights and available LED Projector headlights (standard on X-Pro Prestige) to illuminate the trail ahead if your adventure takes you into the night
- Heated windshield and wiper washer nozzle
- Multi-terrain drive modes with Normal, Sport, Smart, and Snow modes
- Available two-tone roof
- Ventilated front seats (X-Pro Prestige)
- 8-way power front passenger seat (X-Pro Prestige)
Kia says that the X-Pro trims have a 1.5-inch increase in ground clearance over the other trims. No matter the trim, all get powered by the same 2.5-liter 187 horsepower I4 paired to an eight-speed automatic. For now, that is the only engine option though Kia says other engines along with Hybrid and EV powertrains will be announced soon.
Inside, Kia says the interior design has been inspired by “ high-end outdoor products, furniture, and modern architecture.” And it shows. The whole console is asymmetrical with angled air vents. And like the rest of the industry, it’s all about screens. Higher trims get a full 25-inches of displays via dual 12.3-inch screens: one in the instrument cluster for the driver, and another for the infotainment.
And as usual with Hyundai/Kia products, a full suite of driver assistance systems like Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keep and Follow Assist, and Forward Collision Avoidance is standard on every trim. The 2023 Sportage will be assembled at Kia’s West Point, Georgia plant and goes on sale next year.