Is the 2023 Kia Sportage a Good Off-Road SUV?

The 2023 Kia Sportage is completely redesigned for the new model year. It comes with a sleek new look, bringing it into the modern era. Its looks are backed up by the all-new set of features, which includes a brand new trim level. The Kia Sportage X-Pro is the new off-road-focused trim. Similarly, Kia introduced the X-Line appearance package, bringing a rugged stylization to the all-terrain vehicle.

What off-road features come with the 2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro?

Green 2023 Kia Sportage with mountains in the background, the X-Pro trim enables it to be an excellent off-road vehicle.
2023 Kia Sportage | Kia

The X-Pro off-road trim comes with 17-inch matte black off-road wheels with BF Goodrich all-terrain tires. Above all, bigger wheels mean better traversal, especially when it offers increased ride height. Every all-wheel drive Sportage has much better ground clearance, 1.5-inches higher to be exact. Kia confirmed the X-Pro off-road model will exclusively come with AWD.

In addition, the X-Pro model comes with a heated windshield and LED fog lights. These ensure any climate is no match for drivers and their Kia Sportage. Secondly, the Multi-terrain drive mode includes normal, sport, and snow modes. The Sportage also has an available two-tone roof. The X-Line appearance package is also available on any Sportage trim. It adds unique bumpers, 19-inch wheels, a bigger roof rack, and black trim.

Engine and size changes

Green 2023 Kia Sportage with mountains in the background, its X-Pro trim allows it to become more off-road capable.
2023 Kia Sportage | Kia

The base engine for the 2023 Kia Sportage is a 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder producing 187-horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard with optional all-wheel drive available. This is the only available engine for now, but a hybrid powertrain is coming, according to Kia.

The body of the vehicle has also changed in size, making itself bigger and more robust. It even further separates itself from the Seltos with these changes, which has sold well in 2021. Kia’s boasting about its best-in-class rear legroom, a welcomed addition to any SUV.

SpecificationSize difference from the previous generation
Overall Length7.1-inches longer
Wheelbase Length3.4-inches longer
Height.5-inches taller
Width.5-inches wider
Rear Cargo Capacity39.6 cubic feet (up from 30.7 cu. ft.)
Ground clearance1.5-inch lift

2023 Kia Sportage underpinnings

Maroon 2022 Kia Sportage driving on a dirt road, which is much easier with the X-Pro model.
2022 Kia Sportage | Kia

Every new 2023 Kia Sportage including X-Pro sits on the same N3 platform as the Kia Sorento. Kia claims the chassis offers better driving dynamics. It uses hot-stamped parts and ultra-high-strength steel for increased average tensile strength and torsional stiffness. The N3 platform also uses sound-absorbing and insulating materials to minimize exterior noise.

Minimizing road, wind, and even engine sounds can be a major factor for off-road driving. Depending on the conditions, loud noise can be distracting for the driver. Therefore, minimizing these issues is a focus point for all Sportage models but comes in extra handy with the X-Pro trim.

The 2023 Kia Sportage is an excellent option for off-road driving. The features the automaker has included bolster the trim and the entire lineup to become more capable. The X-Pro trim level looks great, and according to the specifications, seems like it will perform very well. Larger wheels, unique design features, all-wheel drive, and a lifted suspension make the 2023 Sportage an intriguing off-road compact SUV.

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