2023 Kia Sportage Configurations: Review and Features

Alex Bell
Alex Bell 17 Min Read
2023 Kia Sportage Configurations

The 2023 Kia Sportage is an exciting new compact SUV that offers great value, advanced technology, and appealing styling. For 2023, Kia has fully redesigned the Sportage, taking it to the next level in terms of design, ride quality, fuel efficiency, and interior refinement.

I will provide a comprehensive review and analysis of the different trim levels and configurations available for the 2023 Kia Sportage. We’ll take an in-depth look at the features, powertrain options, pricing, and overall strengths of each Sportage variant. My goal is to give you a detailed understanding of the configurations offered so you can determine which 2023 Sportage is the best match for your needs and budget.

Overview of 2023 Kia Sportage Configurations Trim Levels

Kia is offering the 2023 Sportage in 7 different trim levels: LX, S, EX, X-Line, X-Pro, SX, and SX-Prestige. This provides customers with a great range of choices to find the ideal blend of features, performance, and affordability.

Here is a brief overview of each 2023 Sportage trim moving from the base model up through the top-trim SX-Prestige:

LX

The LX is the base model Sportage. It comes nicely equipped with features like:

  • 2.5L 4-cylinder engine
  • 8-speed automatic transmission
  • FWD
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights and daytime running lights
  • Cloth seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Driver attention alert

The LX provides an excellent value for shoppers looking for core features and strong fuel economy at an affordable price point.

S

The Sportage S adds several appealing upgrades over the LX like:

  • Unique Sport design styling cues
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Smart key entry with push button start
  • Blind spot collision warning
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Paddle shifters (on models with automatic transmission)

The S gives the Sportage more style and convenience features while still maintaining a budget-friendly price.

EX

Stepping up to the EX brings more tech and comfort with amenities like:

  • 12.3” digital instrument cluster
  • 10.25” touchscreen display
  • Harmon Kardon premium audio system
  • Power driver’s seat with lumbar support
  • Dual zone climate control with rear vents
  • Hands-free smart liftgate
  • Wireless phone charger
  • SXM satellite radio
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror

The EX transforms the Sportage into a more luxurious compact SUV.

X-Line

The Sportage X-Line has a more adventurous spirit with unique styling cues like:

  • Aggressive front and rear bumpers
  • Black grille, roof rails, side mirrors
  • 19-inch gloss black alloy wheels
  • X-Line badging
  • Two-tone roof
  • Water-repellent upholstery

This trim equips the Sportage for outdoor escapades while providing standout curb appeal.

X-Pro Prestige

For maximum off-road capability, the new-for-2023 X-Pro Prestige trim amps up the Sportage’s performance chops with:

  • Unique matte satin exterior accents
  • Raised ground clearance
  • All-terrain tires on 17-inch wheels
  • Heated windshield defroster
  • Two-tone water-repellent seats with orange stitching
  • Heated rear seats
  • 110V power inverter
  • LED interior lighting

The X-Pro Prestige lets owners tap into the Sportage’s adventurous side in a uniquely stylish way.

SX

The top-of-the-line SX includes almost all luxurious and technology features Kia offers for the Sportage:

  • 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • Dynamic all-wheel drive
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • LED projector headlights with LED DRLs
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Nappa leather seats
  • Power front seats with driver’s seat memory
  • Ventilated front seats
  • 8-way power passenger seat
  • Heated rear seats
  • Premium Harman Kardon audio with 12 speakers including subwoofer
  • Navigation with live traffic updates
  • Surround view monitor
  • Front/rear parking sensors
  • Rain-sensing wipers

With potent performance and premium amenities, the SX creates an upscale and exciting compact SUV.

SX Prestige

At the very top of the 2023 Sportage lineup sits the SX Prestige. Building off the SX, it adds several upscale highlights like:

  • LED projector fog lamps
  • Full LED rear tail lights
  • Gloss black and satin chrome exterior accents
  • Quilted Nappa leather seats
  • Heated and ventilated rear seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 12.3” fully digital instrument cluster
  • Head-up display
  • immersive ambient interior mood lighting
  • Power driver’s seat thigh extension

For customers wanting every luxury and convenience feature in their compact SUV, the SX Prestige delivers with flair.

Powertrain Options

The 2023 Kia Sportage gives buyers a choice between three different engine options:

2.5L Inline-4

The base 2.5L inline-4 engine provides solid everyday performance. Key details include:

  • Naturally aspirated 2.5L 4-cylinder
  • 187 horsepower
  • 178 lb-ft of torque
  • 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • 25 mpg city/32 mpg highway fuel economy

This efficient motor balances power and fuel economy nicely. It comes standard on LX, S, EX, and X-Line trims.

2.5L Turbo Inline-4

For stronger acceleration, the turbocharged 2.5L engine boosts output to:

  • 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder
  • 281 horsepower
  • 311 lb-ft torque
  • 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Dynamic torque vectoring all-wheel drive
  • 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway fuel economy

This muscular turbo engine turns the Sportage into a more athletic compact SUV. It is optional on EX and X-Line and standard for SX and SX Prestige.

Hybrid

For maximum efficiency, Kia also equips certain Sportage models with a hybrid powertrain:

  • 1.6L turbo inline-4 + electric motor
  • Total system output: 226 horsepower
  • 195 lb-ft of torque from gas engine + 258 lb-ft from electric motor
  • 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Electronically controlled AWD
  • 43 mpg city/33 mpg combined fuel economy

The Sportage Hybrid can travel over 500 miles on a single tank while emitting 30% less greenhouse gases. It is available on EX, SX, and SX Prestige trims.

Strengths of the 2023 Kia Sportage

Now that we’ve covered the trim levels and powertrain options, let’s examine some of the key strengths that make the 2023 Sportage a top choice in the compact SUV segment.

Striking New Design

Kia redesigned the Sportage from the ground up for 2023, giving it dramatically sleek new styling. The modern exterior has crisp lines, signature Kia details like the “tiger nose” grille, and a lowered profile. Inside, the cabin looks richly upscale with contemporary color schemes and soft-touch materials. This artistic new look helps the Sportage stand out.

Premium Interior Quality

The Sportage’s interior is very well-made, especially on upper trims. There are soft-touch surfaces throughout, and Kia uses upscale materials like leather and textured metal trim. The EX and above feature a sweeping integrated curved display tying together the digital gauges and touchscreen. Top models like the SX Prestige have quilted Nappa leather and ambient mood lighting, rivaling luxury SUVs.

Strong Predicted Reliability Rating

Kia as a brand is known for building long-lasting vehicles. The Sportage gets high predicted reliability scores that match or beat rivals. This gives owners peace of mind that the Sportage will provide years of trouble-free driving.

Smooth, Quiet Ride Quality

The Sportage utilizes sound-absorbing materials and careful suspension tuning to deliver a hushed, isolated driving experience. Wind noise and road impacts are muted, allowing for relaxed highway cruising. The ride smoothly soaks up bumps and potholes as well.

Plentiful Safety Features

All Sportage models come standard with Kia’s robust Drive Wise suite of advanced driver aids. These include forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, lane following assist, driver attention warning, and high beam assist. Upper trims add extras like blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, parking sensors, and a surround view parking camera.

User-Friendly Technology

Kia’s infotainment system is very intuitive and easy to use. The large touchscreen has a simple menu structure and includes wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Connecting and controlling your smartphone is seamless. Other tech like climate control and driving settings are conveniently accessed through either touch buttons or control knobs.

Strong Performance from Turbo Engine

Sportage models equipped with the optional turbocharged engine provide a real jolt of power. The turbo 2.5L has prompt throttle response and ample low-end torque, so acceleration always feels quick. The 8-speed automatic transmission cooperates nicely, downshifting promptly when more power is needed.

Capable AWD System

Sportages with AWD feature an advanced all-wheel drive system that actively distributes torque between front and rear wheels. It constantly monitors conditions to optimize traction for all weather driving. The available torque vectoring function further enhances agility by braking inner wheels through turns. This sophisticated AWD gives drivers confidence in slick conditions.

Excellent Value Proposition

Considering all that the new Sportage offers in terms of design, features, technology, and driving dynamics, Kia provides a stellar value. Even base LX models are nicely equipped. And higher trims like the EX and SX compete directly with luxury brands but at lower price points. For shoppers wanting premium amenities on a budget, the Sportage excels.

Downsides to Consider

While I’m very impressed by the new 2023 Sportage overall, there are a few potential downsides to keep in mind as well:

Noisy Base Engine

The naturally aspirated 2.5L 4-cylinder can get buzzy and loud when accelerating. More sound insulation would be welcome to maintain refinement. This improves on models with the available turbo engine.

Tight Rear Seat & Cargo Room

Due to its swoopy exterior shape, rear seat space and cargo capacity are a bit tight for the class. Taller passengers may find back seat legroom lacking on longer trips. And maximum cargo space trails top rivals.

Some Hard Interior Plastics

Lower Sportage trims have some hard plastic surfaces inside that look and feel basic. Door panels and lower dashboard areas lack softness and character. Rivals tend to have more consistent interior quality.

No Complementary Maintenance

Unlike some competitors, Kia does not include free scheduled maintenance on the Sportage. After the initial warranty expires, owners must pay for oil changes, tire rotations, inspections, etc. out of pocket.

Sunroof Reduces Rear Headroom

Adding the available panoramic sunroof unfortunately reduces rear seat headroom due to the sunroof housing. Tall back seat riders may find their head grazing the roof liner. This could be an issue for some families.

Key Features and Options by Trim

Now let’s take a detailed model-by-model look at key features and options available for each 2023 Kia Sportage trim:

LX

The base LX comes decently equipped with features like:

  • 17” alloy wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Cloth seats
  • Manual 6-way adjustable driver’s seat
  • Split-folding rear seats
  • Dual zone automatic climate control
  • 8” touchscreen
  • Wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay
  • Rearview camera
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane keeping assist

Notable options packages:

  • Popular Package: Adds roof rails, proximity key entry, blind spot collision warning, rear cross traffic alert
  • Cold Weather Package: Heated front seats, heated steering wheel, rain sensing wipers

S

Building on the LX, the Sportage S gains:

  • Sport mesh front grille
  • Sport front and rear bumpers
  • 18” alloy wheels
  • Paddle shifters
  • Proximity key entry w/ push button start
  • Blind spot collision warning
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Leather shift knob

Notable options packages:

  • Popular Package: Panoramic sunroof, power driver’s seat, dual automatic climate control
  • Tow Package: Tow hitch, engine oil cooler, upgraded radiator and fan

EX

Moving into the EX, you’ll find amenities like:

  • LED fog lights
  • Hands-free smart liftgate
  • 12.3” digital instrument cluster
  • 10.25” navigation touchscreen
  • Harman Kardon premium audio
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Heated/ventilated front seats
  • Power driver’s seat w/ lumbar
  • Dual automatic climate control

Notable options packages:

  • Prestige Package: Panoramic sunroof, leather seats, power front passenger seat
  • Tow Package: Tow hitch, upgraded engine cooling and trans oil cooler

X-Line

The adventurous X-Line is distinguished by:

  • Unique front and rear bumpers
  • Side body cladding
  • 19” gloss black wheels
  • Satin roof rails
  • Dual exhaust tips
  • Water-repellent cloth/leather seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel

Notable options packages:

  • Prestige Package: Nappa leather seats, LED interior lighting, aluminum pedals
  • X-Line Activity Package: Tow hitch, all-weather floor mats, cargo tray

X-Pro Prestige

New for 2023, the off-road-inspired X-Pro Prestige comes loaded with:

  • 17” Matte satin wheels
  • Orange brake calipers
  • Heated windshield wiper de-icer
  • Two-tone water-repellent seats
  • Heated rear seats
  • 110v inverter
  • LED interior lighting
  • Aluminum pedals
  • All-weather floor mats

SX

The luxury-focused SX trim really ramps up the features:

  • 19” alloy wheels
  • LED projector headlights
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Nappa leather seats
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Heated/ventilated rear seats
  • Driver’s seat memory
  • Surround view parking camera
  • Parking sensors
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Wireless charger

Notable options packages:

  • SXPrestige Package: Adds a head-up display, premium LED lighting, 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, more

SX Prestige

Finally, topping the range, the SX Prestige piles on amenities like:

  • LED fog lights
  • Full LED tail lights
  • Alloy wheel locks
  • Premium paint
  • Quilted Nappa leather
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Surround view parking camera
  • 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio
  • Heads up display
  • Power thigh extension

For maximum luxury and technology, the SX Prestige represents the ultimate 2023 Kia Sportage.

Which Trim is Right for You?

With 7 trims and multiple engine options, the new 2023 Kia Sportage provides a model for just about every buyer. Here is a quick summary of which trims best fit specific needs:

LX: The LX offers excellent value with its balance of affordability and generous standard equipment. It’s a smart choice for budget-focused shoppers.

S: The S adds sporty styling and features at still a reasonable price. It’s a great step up for buyers wanting a more premium feel without breaking the bank.

EX: The mid-range EX hits a sweet spot between price and features, with options for either turbo or hybrid power. It’s ideal for shoppers wanting the latest tech and convenience features.

X-Line: With its adventure-ready style and amenities, the new X-Line appeals to outdoor-loving families needing space and versatility.

X-Pro Prestige: This new-for-2023 range topper equips the Sportage for off-road exploration with unique upscale touches. It’s perfect for wanting rugged capability with creature comforts.

SX: The SX caters to drivers craving top-notch performance and premium luxury. With its potent turbo engine and indulgent features, it creates an upscale experience.

SX Prestige: For customers who demand it all, the SX Prestige brings incredible levels of luxury, technology, and refinement. It represents the Sportage flagship model.

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