2023 Kia Sportage officially debuts with sharper styling and innovative features

We first caught a glimpse of the fifth-generation 2023 Kia Sportage early last June. From the onset, it seems Kia is building quite a reputation in making brilliantly designed cars. Take the Kia K5, for instance, or the all-new Carnival minivan and EV6 crossover. As expected, the all-new Sportage is no different, even trumping its Hyundai Tucson stablemate in the design aspect.

Kia has yet to reveal all the specifics, but it did mention some of the must-see features in its newest Sportage crossover. Branding it as 'the ultimate urban SUV,' the latest Sportage has grown marginally over the previous generation. It now measures 4,660 mm long, 1,865 mm wide, and 1,660 mm in height, slightly longer than the Tucson and more prominent than the Honda CR-V.

Additionally, it has a 2,755 mm wheelbase, offering more legroom and rear passenger room than the more popular Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Kia claims 1,050 mm of legroom and 1,000 mm of headroom in the second row, while the added length enables Sportage to swallow 637 liters of storage space behind the rear seats.

Kia also revealed the powertrain choices. The 2023 Sportage is available upon launch with a turbocharged 1.6-liter direct-injected gasoline engine generating 177 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This turbo engine has low friction ball bearings and a redesigned thermal management system to improve performance and fuel economy.

Meanwhile, other markets receive a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine that churns out 186 horsepower and a healthy 307 pound-feet of torque. The diesel gets an 8-speed automatic, while the gasoline turbo variant has a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and an optional 6-speed manual stick. Kia is also introducing both hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants of the latest Sportage very soon.

The latest Sportage features an electronic 4WD system and electronic suspension to offer outstanding stability and driving comfort whether on or off-road. Also new is an All-Terrain driving mode in conjunction with the Sportage's Comfort, Eco, Sport, and default Drive modes. As expected, the all-terrain driving mode provides optimal vehicle settings to cope with rugged terrains like mud, snow, sand, and ice.

On the safety front, the 2023 Kia Sportage boasts class-leading active safety features and advanced driving aids. It comes with navigation-based smart cruise control, forward collision-avoidance assist, blind-spot collision assist, blind-spot monitoring, and remote parking assist, to name a few.

The 2023 Kia Sportage will make its global debut later this year, with the first U.S. deliveries arriving by early or mid-2022. Kia will announce the pricing, trim levels, and other specs at a later date.