The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is an all-new compact crossover SUV with a fuel-efficient hybrid setup. It went on sale in early 2022 as a 2023 model.
It comes in LX, EX, and SX-Prestige trim levels. All-wheel drive is optional in the LX and standard in the two higher trims.
This is the latest variant of an all-new non-hybrid Kia Sportage (reviewed separately) making its debut at the same time. The outgoing Sportage didn’t compare well with its rivals in terms of occupant and cargo space, but this new model is 7.1 inches longer overall, with a wheelbase that’s 3.4 inches longer.
With its assertive styling and unbeatable warranties (10 years or 100,000 miles for the powertrains), there’s a good chance that the new Sportage — the hybrid model or otherwise — is going to be yet another Kia success story.
Every new Sportage Hybrid has a spacious interior made with quality materials. The top SX-Prestige trim has dual 12.3-inch driver information and infotainment displays, integrated to become one unit. Mercedes-Benz offers a similar feature in many of its vehicles. The whole dashboard design in general has a luxury look.
Rear legroom measures 41.3 inches, which is as good as this class gets. The SX-Prestige trim is the exception, with 39.5 inches — still roomy.
Kia claims a similarly expansive luggage area of 39.5 cubic feet behind the 60/40 split/folding rear seats. That’s virtually the same as the new, non-hybrid Sportage. We can assume that the extra hybrid components haven’t created any packaging compromises. Maximum cargo space with the rear seats folded should be about 74 cubic feet.
Taking the innovative design of the K5 sedan to another level, the new Sportage has an undeniable presence.
Moving away from the least expensive LX trim, the 2023 Sportage Hybrid EX and SX-Prestige come with 18-inch alloy wheels, integrated LED turn signals in the side mirrors, gloss black grille, roof rack, and a panoramic sunroof.
It isn’t just the fuel economy and lower emissions that makes a hybrid so tempting, it’s also the extra thrust from the electric side. And Kia covers it with a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.
WIRELESS SMARTPHONE INTEGRATION
We’ve come to expect Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to be standard in most new cars, but the extra convenience of a wireless connection is always welcome. This is standard in the 2023 Sportage Hybrid.
The front-drive LX trim is the most affordable new Sportage Hybrid, coming with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights/daytime running lights/taillights, 12.3-inch driver instrument cluster, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, rear occupant alert, rear parking sensors, and a Walk Away lock.
Safety features include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian/cyclist detection, automatic high beams, lane-keeping assistance/lane departure warning, lane-following assistance, and driver attention monitoring.
The infotainment system has wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, Bluetooth, one USB-C port, six speakers, and an 8-inch touchscreen.
All-wheel drive is optional in the LX, along with heated side mirrors and heated front seats. These are all standard in the rest of the 2023 Sportage Hybrid lineup.
The EX model also adds 18-inch alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, hands-free tailgate operation, keyless entry/start, one-touch up/down power windows, LED interior lighting, simulated leather seating surfaces, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated/leather-wrapped steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, Safe Exit Warning, 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, voice control, navigation, wireless charging, three USB-C ports in the back, and satellite radio.
SX-Prestige tops the range with LED projection headlights, LED fog lights, tinted/heated windshield, heated wiper nozzles, 12.3-inch panoramic curved driver information display and 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, 8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, ambient cabin lighting, Harman Kardon audio system, junction assistance, Highway Driving Assist, navigation-based Smart Cruise Control, front parking sensors, reverse automatic braking, Blind-Spot View Monitor, self-parking feature, and a 360-degree camera system.
Engine & Transmission
Every new Sportage Hybrid has a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine (running on regular 87-octane) complemented by two permanent magnet synchronous electric motors powered by a lithium-ion battery.
In the LX trim, front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, with all-wheel drive (AWD) available as an option. The EX and SX-Prestige versions have all-wheel drive as standard. In all cases, the transmission is a 6-speed automatic.
Maximum towing capacity is 2,000 pounds.
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 + two electric motors
226 total horsepower
258 lb-ft of total torque
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 42 mpg/44 mpg (FWD), 38 mpg/38 mpg (AWD)
Forward collision warning
A standard feature in every 2023 Sportage Hybrid, this system also has pedestrian and cyclist detection, along with automatic emergency braking. The SX-Prestige augments this with junction assistance that watches for oncoming traffic when turning left.
Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
Standard in the top two trims, this system makes drivers aware of any vehicles approaching from behind that can’t be perceived easily by using the mirrors or looking over the shoulder. There’s also an automatic emergency braking function that activates when necessary. The SX-Prestige model also has a Blind-Spot View Monitor with live video displayed on the driver information screen.
Highway Driving Assist
Standard in the top SX-Prestige trim, Highway Driving Assist enhances adaptive cruise control with lane centering and road sign recognition, adjusting speed to the posted limits. This trim also has input from the navigation system, so the vehicle can slow down if necessary when there’s a curve in the road.
Crash Test Rating
Provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Powertrain and Efficiency
All Sportage Hybrid models are powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and 44-kilowatt electric motor that make a combined 227 horsepower; a six-speed automatic transmission is standard. In comparison, the gas-only Sportage gets 187 hp from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic. In addition to the higher horsepower, the hybrid is expected to offer a significant edge in fuel efficiency. Although there is no EPA rating yet, Kia is targeting a maximum 39 mpg combined — the gas-only Sportage gets an EPA-rated 28 mpg combined.
Features and Pricing
The 2023 Sportage Hybrid comes in three trims: LX, EX and SX-Prestige. The base Sportage LX hybrid starts at $28,545 (all prices include destination charge) and comes with standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The EX and SX-Prestige come with standard AWD and start at $32,245 and $37,445, respectively. The LX gets standard cloth seats, while the EX and SX-Prestige offer leatherette (imitation leather) seats. Heated seats and a leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel are additional upgrades that come standard in the top two trims.
Standard technology features for the base trim level include an 8-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. The EX and SX-Prestige get a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation and SiriusXM; wireless charging also comes standard on the higher trims. A suite of advanced driver assistance systems comes standard across all trims and includes driver attention warning, hands-on lane-centering steering, lane keep assist and forward collision avoidance with cyclist detection and autonomous emergency braking.
The starting price for the base model is $1,340 higher than the gas-only Sportage LX; the EX hybrid carries a $1,240 premium compared with the gas-only model with AWD; and the SX-Prestige hybrid’s starting price comes in $940 above its gas-only counterpart with AWD.