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The 2023 Kia Sportage is an excellent compact SUV. But don’t take it from just us. Kelley Blue Book also lauds this year’s model updates. Indeed, all three 2023 Sportage versions — gas-powered, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid — appear on KBB’s list of the best compact SUVs of the year. Not sure which model fits you best? Here’s an overview of their specs, features, and price points. 

Kelley Blue Book has plenty of praise for the best compact SUVs of 2023

2023 Kia Sportage best compact SUV
2023 Kia Sportage | Kia Media

Despite the 2023 Kia Sportage appearing three times in the roundup of the best compact SUVs of 2023, other big winners of Kelley Blue Book’s findings are Honda and Toyota. Honda sits at the top of the list, with the Honda CR-V and the Honda CR-V Hybrid placing first and second. And Toyota takes sixth, seventh, and ninth with the RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid, and RAV4 Prime.

But KBB also has a high opinion of Kia’s compact SUV. Three Sportage models take spots in the top 10. The Sportage and Sportage Hybrid come in fourth and fifth, while the plug-in hybrid sits eighth.  

The full rankings are as follows: 

  1. Honda CR-V
  2. Honda CR-V Hybrid
  3. Audi Q5
  4. Kia Sportage
  5. Kia Sportage Hybrid
  6. Toyota RAV4
  7. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
  8. Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid
  9. Toyota RAV4 Prime
  10. Mazda CX-5
  11. Mazda CX-50

The gas-powered 2023 Kia Sportage ranks above its hybrid siblings on KBB’s best compact SUVs list

The fifth-generation 2023 Kia Sportage updates the 2022 model in multiple areas, making the latest version more attractive. 

Improved power comes from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 187 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Even with the larger engine, the 2023 Sportage offers an 8% increase in fuel economy over its predecessor. 

This compact SUV uses its larger size to give front-seat riders 41.3 inches of legroom and a best-in-class 39.6 cubic feet of storage space. Occupants can entertain themselves with the 12.3-inch-touchscreen infotainment system, which includes Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration, or connect using the Sportage’s media USB port. 

It also features remote keyless entry and several advanced driver-assistance systems. They include forward collision assistance, lane assists, and rear parking sensors. 

The 2023 Sportage offers seven trims, ranging from the entry-level LX, starting at $26,290, to the Sportage X-Pro Prestige, starting at 37,090. 

The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is no slouch

The 2023 Sportage Hybrid is a recent addition to Kia’s lineup, making its debut in early 2022, but it’s already won awards. This version has a smaller engine than the gas-powered Sportage (1.6 liters with a six-speed automatic transmission). However, it still produces an impressive 227 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque while providing outstanding fuel efficiency (43 mpg combined).

In addition, the hybrid version comes with many of the as-powered Sportage’s convenience and safety features. However, it also boasts dual-zone automatic climate control and automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers.

The 2023 Sportage Hybrid is available in three trims: LX ($27,490), EX ($31,190), and SX Prestige ($36,290). All-wheel drive is optional on the LX and standard on the two higher trim levels. 

The Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid goes electric

The 2023 Sportage Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) is a new variant of this long-standing compact crossover. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine adds 261 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the electric motor can supply electric-only power for 34 miles on a full charge. 

The PHEV comes in two trims: X-Line and X-Line Prestige. Both have AWD as a standard feature and boast Kia’s unbeatable warranty of 10 years and 100,000 miles (as does the rest of the Sportage lineup).

As expected for a PHEV, starting MSRPs are higher than the other versions: $38,690 for the X-Line and $43,190 for the X-Line Prestige. 


The Most Reliable Used Kia Sportage Model Year Under $20,000 in 2023