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2023 Kia Sportage Review | Hybrid, Plug-in and X-Pro

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This is the all-new 2023 kia sportage now this is by far the most substantial overhaul of the sportage since 09 when it went from looking like this to this but it’s not just about aesthetics this time around although it does look pretty different frankly i think it’s a little ugly but really it’s what’s underneath that’s the game changer first it’s a lot bigger

Most notably seven inches longer than before and in total it brings the sportage from one of the smallest compact suvs to one of the largest and more directly able to compete with the toyota rev4 honda crv and all the really family friendly options it also clears it well beyond the kia celtos before it was pretty much the same size the cargo area it is a lot

Bigger the largest in the compact segment back seat space 41.3 inches ties it with its tucson cousin for best in the segment now besides being bigger and therefore more family-friendly because of it there are a lot more options under the hood and under the floor and at the electrical plug base engine nothing really to write home about it’s new but it’s a 2.5

Liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder good for 187 horsepower as an 8-speed automatic available in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive but there’s this the new sportage hybrid combo of a small turbo engine electric motor and a six-speed auto the available all-wheel drive system is a mechanical system as well not just a second motor at the back total output

227 horsepower so the great thing about the hybrid besides this azzy blue interior is that because of that six-speed automatic transmission it just drives like well normal it doesn’t have a cdt that’s moving along like the toyota system or an engine that’s coming on at random times like the honda system just this just feels normal and because it’s turbocharged

Uh it’s layering on low end torque on top of low end torque that’s inherent from the electric motor and when you lay into it yeah it it really goes this feels like a performance upgrade so when you add that you know improved drivability to it being a performance upgrade and then you add on to that the 43 miles per gallon combined with front wheel drive for 38

Miles per gallon with all-wheel drive you’re looking at a win win win there’s also going to be a new sportage plug-in hybrid good for an estimated 32 miles of electric range now i didn’t drive it here in palm springs and there are more details to come but given our experience with the tucson plug-in hybrid should be pretty good so the hybrids they’re arguably

The ones to get but uh there’s a wrinkle you can’t get either of the hybrids as this the new x-pro and it’s kind of the coolest one bf goodrich all-terrain tires matte black 17-inch wheels and recalibrated drive modes make it the quasi-forester wilderness of the sportage lineup but those are the extent of the upgrades hence quasi there’s nothing mechanically

Different it even has the same 8.3 inches of ground clearance as every other all-wheel drive sportage including the also new x-line which is sort of a quasi-quasi it shares the x-pro’s more rugged design cues but doesn’t have the tires and wheels but that will be available on the plug-in hybrid all right so this is the x-pro now that thing that does make it

Cooler that does make it nominally better off-road the all-terrain tires also makes it worse on-road because those tires they’re harder they’re knobbier and that means that the ride’s rougher it’s louder in here and the hot and the handling it’s worse now i will say that the steering is still pretty precise still nicely weighted unlike a lot of vehicles that

Do have off-road tires but still you are uh signing up for quite the trade-off for this versus one of the other trim levels and uh when it just doesn’t come with you know extra off-roading equipment say like a forester wilderness it i just don’t think it makes sense now that ground clearance is still pretty good for a compact suv and when off-road the x-pro

Can almost certainly do a better job of getting you pass an obstacle or two on the way to a campsite than one of the other sported trim levels the interior is well exactly what you’d expect from a kia a unique design nice enough materials and really great technology that doesn’t get in the way of you actually using things now the wrap-around pairing of 12.3 inch

Touchscreens they’re the real showstopper in here and it’s found on all the trims but the base lx so this new sportage undeniably far better than it was before but more importantly it’s a lot more competitive than it was before it’s no longer this weirdly sized alternative to vehicles that were smaller and bigger than it no it’s it’s fully aimed right dead at

The center of those best sellers and in many ways it is better than those specifically the hybrid so if you’re in the market for one of these compact suvs well the sportage just like its telluride and sorrento siblings definitely is one to look at you

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2023 Kia Sportage Review | Hybrid, Plug-in and X-Pro By Autoblog