2023 Kia Sportage Fights the 2022 Lexus NX

  • The 2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro off-road trim is new for this model year
  • The luxurious 2022 Lexus NX starts at just $37,610
  • The Kia Sportage has three engine options, compared to the NX’s two

The all-new redesigned 2023 Kia Sportage has a lot to offer, but can it stand up against competitors like the 2022 Lexus NX? These compact SUVs have a lot in common, despite only one falling into the “luxury” segment. The top trim level Kia Sportage might just pack enough punch to beat luxury SUVs like the Lexus NX. Does the cost of the NX outweigh its numerous advantages? Or does the Sportage’s affordable price make it the better option?

Specification2023 Kia Sportage2022 Lexus NX


Price Range
$25,000-$40,000 (Estimated)$37,610-$46,910
Engine Options
2.5-liter I4, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder hybrid, turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder PHEV2.0-liter turbo I4, 2.5-liter I4 with Lexus Hybrid drive
Horsepower 
187, 226, 261 (estimated)235, 194
Torque
182, 258, 261 lb. ft.258 lb. ft.
Transmission
8-speed automatic6-speed automatic, electronically controlled continuously variable transmission
MPG Rating
(City/Highway)
2.5L I4 – 26/33 mpg (FWD), 24/29 mpg (AWD)
1.6L four-cylinder – 37/36 mpg
PHEV – 35 mpg, 80 MPGe
2.0L – 22/28 mpg (FWD), 22/27 mpg (AWD)
2.5L – 33/30 mpg
IIHS Safety Rating
2023 TBD, 2022 – Top Safety PickTop safety pick+
NHTSA Safety Rating2023 TBD, 2022 – 5 stars5 stars

2023 Kia Sportage vs. 2022 Lexus NX

Green 2023 Kia Sportage with mountains in the background, this affordable compact SUV is approaching luxury.
2023 Kia Sportage | Kia

Though all the details haven’t leaked for the 2023 Kia Sportage just yet, we can already tell it’s filled with standard features. The Sportage is an affordable compact SUV that, starting with the 2023 model year, will compete with luxury vehicles. It’s one that’s certainly worth a look with its sharp redesign, new trim levels, and extensive capability.

The 2022 Lexus NX compact SUV comes from a trusted automaker in terms of reliability and luxury. The NX is no different and has loads of options to boot. The F Sport models, hybrid powertrains, and standard equipment come at a low cost for a luxury SUV. There’s plenty to like about both of these models, but which is better?

The 2023 Kia Sportage is fresh and new

Front view of green 2023 Kia Sportage, this compact SUV is as affordable as it is luxurious.
2023 Kia Sportage | Kia

As with any redesigned vehicle, everything looks fresh and new on the 2023 Kia Sportage. We’re getting a great brand new look on the exterior and interior. The Sportage is hardly recognizable from its previous model years. The addition of the off-road X-Pro and X-Line trims makes it an even more capable SUV.

For the new model year, the Sportage also gains an available dual panoramic curved display connecting two screens for nearly 25-inches of screen space on the front dashboard. On the SX trim and higher, real stitching and detail patterns on the seats give a feeling only luxury SUVs offer. It doesn’t fall short on technology either, offering Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on all trims, and available premium audio, wireless charging, and more.

The 2022 Lexus NX screams affordable luxury

A white Lexus NX, the newest compact SUV to receive a refresh for 2022.
The Lexus NX | Isaac Buj/Europa Press via Getty Images)

Surely the compact SUV offering has the advantage in luxuriousness, but there’s no way it’s as cheap as a Kia, right? The NX is more expensive than the Sportage, but can still be affordable. The least expensive model is the NX 300, which comes in just under $38,000 for the FWD version. When you see everything that model comes with, it doesn’t seem all that pricey.

The NX 300 comes with standard SmartAcess with push-button start and stop, perforated NuLuxe interior trim, and 10-way power-adjustable seats. The power-folding exterior mirrors, LED head and tail lamps, and roof rails add luxury to the exterior. As far as included technology, it’s what you’d expect from a Lexus. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa compatibility, Lexus Enform Wi-Fi, Lexus Enform Remote, Bluetooth and USB smartphone capability, voice command, and the Lexus multimedia system are included.

The 2023 Kia Sportage is more affordable

A white 2023 Kia Sportage driving through fall scenery during the day
2023 Kia Sportage SX | Kia

Though the official pricing of the 2023 Kia Sportage is not available yet, all estimates point to the top trim nearing the $40,000 mark. That’s roughly $3,000 higher than the starting point for the Lexus NX base model. The Sportage is chock full of equipment and options for its highest price, almost entirely beating the NX base model.

The Sportage is looking much better for 2023, and the technology included inside matches. This affordable compact SUV is ready and waiting to compete with less expensive luxury offerings. Though vehicles like the Lexus NX’s base model are great affordable luxury options, the top trim Kia Sportage might be even better.

Which compact SUV is right for you?

The two of these compact SUVs are good options for their own respective reasons. Kia’s newest upgraded Sportage offering brings luxury to the table for less. It still falls behind vehicles like the 2022 Lexus NX in terms of top trim features but is far more affordable. The 2023 Kia Sportage also has the plug-in hybrid option, giving it the advantage in engine choices.

KBB estimates the price range of the 2023 Kia Sportage to be from $25,000 to $40,000. The highest trims will ride the line of luxury, and even beat luxury opponents’ standard base trim features. The 2022 Lexus NX is an affordable yet luxurious compact SUV. The second cheapest NX 300 F Sport model gives tons of performance, technology, and safety for a great price.

RELATED: 2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro vs. 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness: A Compact Off-Road Battle