2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid Battles the 2022 Mazda CX-5

  • The Mazda CX-5 comes standard with all-wheel drive
  • Both vehicles are redesigned for the new model year
  • The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid will get more than 500 miles of driving range

The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid was just revealed, and it will take on the 2022 Mazda CX-5 in a compact SUV battle. These fuel economy-friendly vehicles are two of the best options available. The all-new Sportage is redesigned and looks better than ever. It’s also the longest-lasting nameplate in the Kia lineup and moves it closer toward electrification.

Specification2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid 2022 Mazda CX-5
Estimated Price Range$26,000-$38,000$28,000-$39,000
Engine Options1.6-liter turbo GDI2.5-liter four-cylinder
Horsepower226187
BatteryHigh-output 1.49 kWh lithium-ionN/A
TransmissionSix-speed automatic Six-speed automatic
MPG Rating39 MPG (FWD)32 MPG (AWD)
Driving Range500+ milesN/A
Specs from Kia and Mazda

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid vs. 2022 Mazda CX-5

Green 2023 Kia Sportage compact suv with mountains in the background
2023 Kia Sportage | Kia

Both of these two vehicles have been redesigned for the new model year. With exterior styling changes, interior feature additions, and even new models introduced. In particular, the Sportage Hybrid joins the lineup and brings it one step closer to electrification. The Mazda CX-5 hasn’t gone hybrid just yet, but you wouldn’t know from its fuel economy.

The Sportage and CX-5 look much better from the outside after being redesigned. Smoother surfaces, more defined lines, and more outline the attractive exteriors. In some cases, you might not even recognize the Kia Sportage, let alone a hybrid model.

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 has great fuel economy

Blue 2022 Mazda CX-50 driving near a river
2023 Mazda CX-50 | Mazda

Although the Kia Sportage uses a hybrid powertrain, its fuel economy is barely better than Mazda’s offering. The CX-5 gets an average of 32 combined mpg with its AWD drivetrain. That’s pretty impressive, considering the Sportage is both hybrid and FWD. Logic would tell us the Sportage would have a significant advantage in this area, but the CX-5 keeps up.

Although the average MPG isn’t the strongest for a hybrid, the Kia Sportage still is estimated to drive over 500 miles on a single tank. That’s thanks to the electric motor and lithium-ion battery assisting the gas-powered engine. As far as we know though, the Sportage can’t drive on the electric motor alone.

The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid has best-in-class leg and cargo room

One of the essential features of any SUV is how much you can fit inside. From passengers to cargo, everyone needs to fit groceries, kids, and the dog in their SUV. The all-new Kia Sportage took that to heart and gained best-in-class rear legroom and cargo space. Everyone in the backseat can sit comfortably, even when the Sportage is stacked with items.

CarAndDriver can’t talk enough about how much it likes the interior of the Mazda CX-5. In its review, it even compares one to the inside of a Mercedes or Audi. As well-made as the interior, it doesn’t provide the space that the Sportage brings to the table.

Specification2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid2022 Mazda CX-5
Rear legroom41.3 inches39.6 inches
Cargo space39.5 cubic-feet30.9 cubic-feet
Specs from Kia and Mazda

Which compact SUV is the right fit for you?

Rear view of blue 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid compact suv driving by a forest
2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid | Kia

Both of these compact SUVs have their advantages and disadvantages. Especially if you’re looking for a newer and refreshed model, both are great options. The Mazda CX-5 gets surprisingly excellent gas mileage for a non-hybrid vehicle. The Kia Sportage’s redesign focused on bringing the interior spaciousness to the top of its class. Whichever vehicle meets your needs, you can’t go wrong with one of these.

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