2023 Kia Sportage Dunks on the 2022 Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 has held the title of the best-selling SUV for the past several years. In the compact SUV segment, the Kia Sportage is mostly an afterthought compared to the domination of the RAV4. However, in a surprising twist, Kia unveiled a redesigned 2023 Sportage. In many ways, it dunks on the RAV4. See how in this 2023 Kia Sportage vs. 2022 Toyota RAV4 comparison.

2023 Kia Sportage vs. 2022 Toyota RAV4: Sleek new look for the Sportage

Front view of green 2023 Kia Sportage
2023 Kia Sportage | Kia

If you made this comparison earlier for the 2022 Kia Sportage, there would be no dunking going on against the 2022 Toyota RAV4. The RAV4 would see the stale design of the 2022 Sportage, laugh at it, and block any attempt at dunking. However, the redesign of the 2023 Kia Sportage changes the equation.

The Kia Sportage now has the upper hand for styling. In particular, the boomerang daytime running lights, with their unique outward shape, pushes lighting design in a groundbreaking direction. Also, the iconic tiger nose grille of the 2023 Sportage, with its floating design and technical look, commands your attention. Another standout design feature for the Sportage is the futuristic notch-shaped taillights. How do you like me now, RAV4?

Sportage vs. RAV4: More passenger and cargo space for the Sportage

Dark gray 2022 Toyota RAV4 parked on desert terrain
2022 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

The 2023 Sportage had a significant growth spurt, with it 7.1 inches longer and a 3.4-inch wider wheelbase. With the increased size, the 2023 Sportage has considerably more interior space, with a best-in-class 41.3 inches of rear legroom. In comparison, the 2022 RAV4 only has 37.8 inches of rear legroom. Also, the Sportage has a class-leading 39.6 cu-ft of rear storage space, compared to a rear cargo capacity of 37.6 cu-ft for the RAV4. The 2023 Sportage goes big and dunks on the 2022 RAV4 again.

Technology advantages for the 2023 Sportage over the 2022 RAV4

Inside the 2023 Sportage, the cabin offers many useful technologies. The highlight is the dual panoramic curved display, which features a 12.3-inch infotainment screen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. In comparison, the largest screen that the 2022 RAV4 offers for its digital instrument cluster is 7.0 inches. For the infotainment system screen, the largest available size is 8.0 inches. The 2023 Sportage goes big again and posterizes the 2022 RAV4 with another dunk.

2023 Sportage vs. 2022 RAV4: Many standard driving assistance features for the Sportage

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Not only is the 2023 Sportage good at dunking on the 2022 RAV4, but it can also do it safely too. The 2023 Sportage has eight standard safety-enhancing driving assistance features. This includes driver attention warning and rear occupant alert, which the 2022 RAV4 doesn’t offer. Available driving assistance features for the 2023 Sportage includes speed limit assist, highway driving assist, and safe exit warning. The 2022 RAV4 doesn’t offer any of these features, either. You got dunked on again, RAV4.

However, the one area in which the Sportage doesn’t dunk on the RAV4 is for horsepower output. The full specs are not yet available for the 2022 Sportage, but the base engine has a projected output of 187 hp. In comparison, the base engine in the 2022 RAV4 generates 203 hp.

Payback for Blake Griffin dunking on Kia Optima at 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest

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There’s a prolific amount of dunking for our 2023 Kia Sportage vs. 2022 Toyota RAV4 comparison. The Sportage dunks on the RAV4 for exterior design, passenger and cargo space, larger screens, and a higher level of safety.

With all of this talk about dunking, it’s worth revisiting the iconic dunk by Blake Griffin over a Kia Optima at the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. No one likes to get dunked on, so perhaps the Sportage is enacting some payback for the humiliation that the Optima endured. 

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