2023 Kia Sportage debuts with bolder design than its Tucson sibling

Hyundai and Kia are constantly moving the goalposts in terms of new car design, and the all-new 2023 Kia Sportage is no different. We were expecting the new Sportage to carry familiar design themes from its Hyundai Tucson brethren. But similar to how Kia's EV6 makes us have second thoughts about the Hyundai Ioniq 5's design, the 2023 Kia Sportage offers something radically different in the crossover segment.

"Reinventing the Sportage gave our talented design teams a tremendous opportunity to do something new," said Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of the Kia Global Design Center. "With the all-new Sportage, we didn't simply want to take one step forward but instead move to a different level in the SUV class."

Like how Hyundai Tucson bears familiar styling elements from Sonata and Elantra, the 2023 Sportage is a mishmash of design idioms from the Kia K5, Carnival, and EV6, but in a good way. It has a textured tiger-nose front grille, boomerang-shaped daytime running lights (DRLs), and a set of low-mounted headlights to create a dramatic entrance.

Carrying Kia's new 'Opposites United' design theme as the all-electric EV6, the latest Sportage has contrasting volumes, a clean side profile, and strong shoulder lines. And for the first time, the new Sportage has a black roof to render a 'floating roof' effect when viewed from the side. Also evident is the chrome beltline that gently slopes towards those deconstructed D-pillars.

At the back, it has a rakish silhouette and razor rear taillights complemented by a new lower bumper casing and a slim horizontal detail connecting both rear lights similar to the EV6. Inside, the 2023 Kia Sportage has an upscale dashboard. It has a digital instrument cluster and a widescreen infotainment touchscreen mounted under a solitary glass panel. It even has a rotary shift knob and shapely air vents.

Kia has yet to reveal the powertrain options for its newest Sportage. But if the Hyundai Tucson is any indication, we expect a base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a possible turbo upgrade. We're also pining for a hybrid and plug-in hybrid Sportage to follow suit.

The 2023 Kia Sportage will make its global debut later this year and arrive at U.S. Kia dealerships in mid-2022 as a 2023 model. Kia will reveal more about its newest crossover in the coming months, so stay tuned.