5 Best Kia SUVs to Buy, According to MotorTrend
The global car market has seen a dramatic shift in the past decade, with rising inflation, oil prices, and interest rates leading to a dramatic shift in consumer tastes. As a result, automakers have had to move away from the traditionally popular sedan and coupe body styles toward more versatile and often more practical SUV body styles.
Most automakers focus on developing fully electric, crossover, and SUV models to meet the changing consumer demand. That has led to many SUVs across the automotive industry, with Kia leading the pack. MotorTrend’s experts have done extensive research on the best Kia SUVs, and we’ve narrowed down its extensive list to the five best Kia SUVs worth considering.
1. 2023 Kia Seltos
The 2023 Kia Seltos is an excellent choice for a practical, budget-friendly SUV with a stylish design and a large cargo capacity. Its interior features are impressive, with some of its class’s best safety and technology features.
The base model is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 146 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque, making it ideal for city driving or light off-road excursions. You can also opt for a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, which generates 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque for additional power.
According to MotorTrend, the 2023 Kia Seltos ranks in fifth place when it comes to the best subcompact SUVs, with a MotorTrend score of 8.9 out of 10. Some of the key areas of praise included the Seltos’ fuel efficiency, performance, and technological and innovative features.
2. 2023 Kia Soul
When value and versatility are your top priorities, the 2023 Kia Soul is a great choice. Its boxy design makes it stand out in a crowd, and the roomy interior can seat up to five people comfortably. The Soul is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that outputs 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque, making it ideal for city driving.
Continuous variable automatic transmission (CVT) channels power to the front wheels. Falling to fifth place on the best subcompact SUVs list with a MotorTrend score of 8.6 out of 10, the Soul’s best features include its interior roominess, zippy, and boldly styled value-packed small SUV.
3. 2023 Kia Sportage
The Kia Sportage is an excellent choice for those looking for a reliable and efficient SUV. Its extroverted look features bold styling and a sleek silhouette. On its front is a distinct grille with a two-tone chrome finish, which pairs nicely with alien-looking LED headlights.
All trims have a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that outputs 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. According to EPA estimates, the Sportage earns 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. MotorTrend awarded the 2023 Kia Sportage a score of 8.3 out of 10 and in sixth place best compact SUVs list. Its best features include its striking exterior and interior design, comfortable ride, and value-packed offerings.
4. 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid
The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is an all-new addition to the Sportage lineup. It’s powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, which combine to deliver 230 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels, leading to an impressive 43 mpg combined.
According to Edmund, an optional all-wheel drive is available but will lower fuel efficiency slightly to 34.5 mpg. A score of 8.5 out of 10 from MotorTrend places it in second place best compact hybrid SUVs list. Critical praise areas include its efficiency, smooth six-speed transmission, and upscale interior with various technology features.
5. 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid
The 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid is a stylish, practical, efficient, and powerful plug-in hybrid variant of an all-new Sportage generation. According to EPA estimates, its larger battery pack allows for an all-electric range of around 34 miles. The Sportage Plug-in Hybrid is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, which combine to deliver 225 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.
Like the Sportage Hybrid, it has a six-speed automatic transmission, directing power to all four wheels. MotorTrend awarded the 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid an impressive 8.7 out of 10 and fifth place for the best compact plug-in hybrid SUVs list. It was praised for its quiet & smooth powertrain, radical styling, fuel efficiency, and electric range capabilities.