Preview: 2023 Kia Sportage takes on dramatic look

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A redesigned Kia Sportage is coming for the 2023 model year, and Kia on Wednesday provided U.S. specs on the vehicle that will go on sale in the first quarter of 2022.

The redesigned Sportage has taken on a dramatic new look, with elements like a clamshell hood up front and the pinched leading edge of the tailgate looking similar to what we see on Kia’s new EV6 electric crossover introduced for 2022. And like most new Kias, there’s a grille spanning the width of the vehicle’s face. Another interesting element are the matrix LED headlights, whose main clusters are set low in the face and bounded by boomerang-shaped daytime lights. The available wheel sizes measure between 17 and 19 inches in diameter.

Inside is a premium design that wouldn’t look out of place in an Audi. Present is a driver-orientated dash layout dominated by a curved display integrating separate 12.3-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment.

2023 Kia Sportage

2023 Kia Sportage

2023 Kia Sportage (European spec)

2023 Kia Sportage (European spec)

2023 Kia Sportage (European spec)

2023 Kia Sportage (European spec)

There are also multiple controls on the steering wheel together with a rotary dial for the gear selector, below which is a second dial for the drive mode selector. One of the modes is a Terrain Mode that automatically adjusts several vehicle settings to improve stability on uneven or slippery surfaces, including snow, mud and sand. X-Pro models introduce some off-road hardware including 17-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain tires, heated windshield and wiper naxxles, and LED fog lights.

2023 Kia Sportage (European spec)

2023 Kia Sportage (European spec)

Sportage powertrains will be twinning with new Hyundai Tucson introduced for 2022, whose underpinnings are shared with the new Sportage. A 2.5-liter inline-4 with 187 hp as standard and will be the only engine at launch. It’s mated to an 8-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard while all-wheel drive will be available. Eventually a pair of hybrids, one a plug-in hybrid, will arrive with a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 mated to a single electric motor integrated with a 6-speed automatic. The regular hybrid setup is good for 226 hp while the plug-in hybrid setup is good for 261 hp in the Sportage’s cousin, the Hyundai Tucson. The plug-in hybrid also has a 13.8-kilowatt-hour battery that will deliver an estimated 32 miles of electric range in the Tucson.

Every 2023 Sportage will come standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, and rear parking sensors. Blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, front parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, and a driver assist system will be available.

For more on the Kia Sportage, read the in-depth reviews at The Car Connection.

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