2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid SX-Prestige AWD
“Kia’s Longest running nameplate in the U.S.”
By Arv Voss
When the Kia Sportage first came to market in the U.S. in 1995, it was an abomination fraught with rattles, an ill-shifting transmission and other quirky nergative issues. The concept of producing a compact SUV was a worthy endeavor that lacked a positive image. Thankfully, Kia has moved up immensely in terms of quality, dependability and visual appeal. In fact, this latest iteration compact SUV from the Korean automaker has moved up in the world of automotive production on all counts. It is a 5-door (hatch). Add to its accolades, it is also a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) with seating for up to seven. It has come a long way since its introduction to our shores. It is very similar in its overall dimensions and features the GLB 250 4MATIC from Mercedes-Benz while being considerably more affordable.
Motive force for the new Kia Sportage Hybrid SX-Prestige AWD comes from a 1.6-liter intercooled Turbocharged combination gas/electric hybrid fuel inline four cylinder engine that delivers 177 horsepower at 5,500 rpm along woth 195 pound feet of torque at 1,500 rpm. Energy is delivered to all our wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and manual mode. Fuel economy is rated at 38 mpg for both city and highway travel. Fuel tank capacity is 13.7 gallons. The plug-in hybrid version claims 34 miles of electric range. Maximum towing capacity with the optional trailer hitch receiver is 1,653 pounds.
This fifth generation Kia Sportage has undergone a complete redesign and is now a highly attractive SUV that has grown in stature from a compact to the mid-size level. Its face presents a bolder look and the interior provides more space with the lengthened body. There is seating for five and there are two new off-road trims – the X-Line and X-Pro that join the regular LX, EX, SX, SX –Prestige and X-Line.
The “dogbone” shaped grille is now larger tieing-in with the vehicle’s increased overall proportions. Faux intake scoops reside beneath the outer edges of the grille which is flanked by the boomerang Daytime Running Lights. The hood creases are smoothed out to the edges and subtle black cladding runs over the round wheel arches continuing rearward with the LED rear taillights bridging the tailgate.
This latest Sportage focuses on delivering comfort, featuring elevated levels of sophisticated simplicity. The SX – Prestige AWD version comes with four drive modes, allowing the driver to select the mode best suited to the conditions at hand. The Sportage shares its platform with the seven set Kia Sprento. It is now wider, taller and longer. The cabin of the Hybrid Sportage is quieter and more refined than its conventional gas counterpart.
SAFETY AND DRIVER ASSISTS:
The new Kia Sportage is loaded with standard safety equipment and features that assist the driver in both avoiding and withstanding crash situations. The surround view camera system comes with a bird’s-eye view feature that’s handy for urban parking as well as off-road scenarios. The driver assist features keep an eye on the road and aid in keeping the vehicle on the road.
CONNECTIVITY AND INFOTAINMENT:
Staying in touch with modern world developments and enjoying one’s favorite tunes is a breeze with the Sportage’s suite of communication and entertainment devices. Choose your favorite media from the wide selection that’s available.
My test Kia Sportage came in SX-Prestige trim with AWD and in Hybrid form. The exterior was finished in Shadow Matte Gray sporting a Camel and Black interior and rolling on 18-inch alloy rims with a Graphite finish. The base price was set at $36,190, while options and the Destination charge rendered a final sticker totaling $38,155.
The new hybrid Kia Sportage is fun to drive, though not in danger of being ranked as a sports vehicle. It is more than adequate in its acceleration and handling characteristics. It is exceptionally well-equipped to deliver comfortable and reliable driving pleasure along with economical operation.
OUR FINAL ANALYSIS:
The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid SX-Prestige AWD is an ideally sized SUV that looks good, and drives well that you won’t have to break your piggy bank to acquire.
Model: 2022 Kia Sportage SX Prestige HEV
Engine: 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder intercooled, turbocharged gas/electric Hybrid
Horsepower: 177 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque: 195: @ 1,500 rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with overdrive and manual mode
Wheels: 5-“Y”-spoke Graphite finished alloy
Tires: Goodyear Assurance Finesse – 235/60 R18 103H
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with ABS, Brake Assist and ESC.Exterior Color: Shadow Matte Gray
Interior Color: Black and Brick
Fuel Capacity: 13.7 gallons
EPA: 38 mpg City / 38 mpg Hwy:
Base Price: $36,190.
Select Options: $750.
Wheelbase: 108.5 inches
Length: 183.5 inches
Width: 73.4 inches w/o mirrors
Height: 66.3 inches
Base Curb weight: 3,732 pounds
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