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The new rugged Kia Sportage is ready to tackle challenges in the wild, and it’s about to be tested. The 2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro has been prepped for the Rebelle Rally to traverse harsh conditions in the desert. 

The 2023 Kai Sportage X-Pro joins the Rebelle Rally 

2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro off-roading for the rebelle rally
2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro | Kia

We’re excited to see how well the 2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro can compete in the Rebelle Rally. It’s no easy task as the race takes place over eight days across the desert. The race covers over 1,500 miles of challenging terrain. 

Plus, this event is for ladies only. There are teams of two that consist of a navigator and a driver to traverse sand dunes and more. You aren’t allowed to use modern tech. There are no cell phones or GPS units, just maps. 

Teams use maps provided by the rally to check in at checkpoints in numerical order with no outside assistance. Grene checkpoints have a time limit, while blue and black checkpoints are optional. 

The routes are all off-road, so vehicles need to be well-equipped for the challenge. They must also pass a tech inspection before the race begins. The new Kia Sportage X-Pro will be put to the extreme. 

How is the Sportage X-Pro equipped for the rally? 

The 2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro has a few off-roading upgrades for the rugged terrain. According to Car Scoops, it rides on 17-inch Rhino wheels wrapped in beefy BFGoodrich all-terrain K02 tires. 

It features front and rear skidplates combined with under-body protection and Baja forged bumper protectors. This should provide protection from rocks and other debris. Tow points are equipped on both ends to make it easier to get out of tricky situations. 

Also, the Sportage has a roof rack to carry the necessary equipment. The teams will camp at night and need equipment to fight the desert heat. 

The Sportage is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 187 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

It’s equipped with all-wheel drive, has a locking center differential, hill start assist, and downhill descent control. It has an 8.3-inch ground clearance. 

What does the Sportage X-Pro come with? 

2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro off-roading for the rebelle rally
2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro | Kia

We’re actually testing a 2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro model this week. It’s equipped with 17-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires, all-wheel drive with a center locking differential, multi-terrain driving modes, a plastic scuff plate, and black roof rails. 

We’ve been off-roading in the Kia Sportage Hybrid, but this model should be a little more capable. However, the terrain in the mountains of North Carolina is a bit different from the desert in Southern California. 

Stay tuned to see how the X-Pro performs in muddy North Carolina conditions. Also, we will report on what place the Kia Sportage X-Pro comes in at the Rebelle Rally. 

This isn’t the first time that a Kia model has entered the competition. In 2021 the Kia Sorento PHEV came in third place, and in 2020 the Kia Telluride came in second. 

We are also interested in how well the Hyundai Santa Cruz performs. We will be reporting from the finish line in October and can’t wait to talk with the participants and check out these off-roading models up close.


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