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The 2023 Kia Sportage is all-new and redesigned for the upcoming model year. The Sportage instantly became a more desirable small SUV with a sporty new look and sleek style. There is plenty to like about the recently updated model. However, there are always a few problems with every model, including the latest Sportage. Here are three things experts don’t like about the 2023 Kia Sportage.

Experts don’t like the standard engine

3 things experts don't like about the 2023 Kia Sportage.
2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro | Kia America

The first thing experts dislike about the 2023 Kia Sportage is the pokey standard engine. According to Edmunds, it uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 187 horsepower. However, the publication says it “fails to impress in day-to-day driving. Additionally, it doesn’t accelerate quickly, and changing gears using the eight-speed automatic transmission isn’t smooth. Although the vehicle is competent, the standard powertrain is a little disappointing.

Contrarily, there is a hybrid version of the Kia Sportage. According to Car and Driver, it uses a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder and an electric motor to make 226 horsepower. Furthermore, buyers can expect better fuel economy from the hybrid version of the small SUV. C/D says it was “more satisfied” with the upgraded hybrid powertrain than the standard unit.

The 2023 Kia Sportage doesn’t have adaptive cruise control

Even the redesigned small SUV has some problems.
2023 Sportage X-Pro | Kia

Next, the 2023 Kia Sportage is missing some technology that all similarly-sized SUVs seem to have these days. First and foremost, adaptive cruise control is missing from the lineup of features. Although it comes with a slew of standard driver assistance features, ACC is an essential item. However, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, and driver attention warning are standard. Unfortunately, adaptive cruise control’s absence is disappointing. Most models with all this other driver-assist technology usually include ACC as well.

For example, one of the best-selling vehicles globally, the Toyota RAV4, is also a small SUV. Furthermore, it comes with a long list of standard driver-assist features. Unlike the new Sportage, Toyota’s offering comes standard with adaptive cruise control. Additionally, it includes forward collision mitigation, lane-keeping assistance, a traffic sign reader system, and automatic high beams.

Difficulty using some interior controls


First Look: Redesigned 2023 Kia Sportage Stunning Interior

Finally, the experts at MotorTrend pointed out that it had some difficulty using the dual-purpose HVAC/audio controls. Although there are two display screens on the center dash, underneath is where drivers will find the problem. Kia has installed a new touchpad underneath the infotainment screen, specifically for controlling the climate and audio functionality. As one might expect, it’s a bit unintuitive and confusing to swap back and forth, especially while driving.

It seems this separated touchpad for two different controls is another case of automakers trying to do too much with the infotainment setup.

Should you buy a 2023 Kia Sportage?

If you need a small SUV with a ton of value for the price and a brand-new design, the 2023 Kia Sportage is perfect. Especially with its hybrid engine, it provides fuel economy and sportiness other similar models can’t. Fortunately, most of its worst attributes aren’t complete dealbreakers. Mostly, they’re minor inconveniences that could be troublesome in rare cases. Overall, the 2023 Kia Sportage is an excellent small SUV, but there are some things experts don’t like about it.