Consumer Reports gave the 2022 Kia Sportage an excellent overall score, and it earned the coveted “recommended” label. Despite already being an excellent compact SUV, we expected improvements. Mainly because the 2023 Kia Sportage underwent so many changes. It’s completely redesigned for the new model year, but CR doesn’t think it’s any better. Consumer Reports gave the redesigned 2023 Kia Sportage an identical score to the 2022 version.
Consumer Reports recommends the Kia Sportage
For 2022, Kia’s compact SUV earned a recommendation from Consumer Reports. However, it’s one of the lower-ranking recommendations on the list. More specifically, nine other models in the segment finished ahead of it. Impressively, it finished ahead of one of the most popular vehicles in its class, the Toyota RAV4. For the old Sportage, CR thinks owners will be delighted with their purchase. Additionally, the publication loves the easy-to-use controls, roomy and versatile interior, and that it feels sportier than its rivals.
Alternatively, the 2023 Kia Sportage didn’t change very much. It earned the same owner satisfaction rating from CR as it did for 2022. However, the highs and lows of driving the redesigned model changed. For example, CR loves the fuel economy offered with the hybrid powertrain. It also mentions the same roomy interior present in the 2022 model year version. In addition, it has a composed ride, which makes the compact SUV a joy to drive. Lastly, CR says the 2023 Sportage is easy to enter and exit, which is rare for small SUVs.
Redesigned 2023 Kia Sportage
For the new model year, the 2023 Kia Sportage is redesigned. For the first time in a while, it’s entering a new generation, which usually means a lot of changes. According to Car and Driver, it newly offers hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains for the first time.
Next, Edmunds says the new Sportage has more passenger room and cargo space. In addition, next-gen technology enters the lineup, with things like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, driver attention warning, forward collision mitigation, and more offered as standard equipment.
Finally, a new off-road-oriented trim level, X-Pro, is now available. It comes with 17-inch matte black alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, multi-terrain driving modes, LED foglights, a heated windshield, a heated steering wheel, and alloy pedal covers. This trim level makes the new Sportage one of the best compact SUVs for light off-roading.
Why isn’t the redesigned Sportage better?
According to Consumer Reports, the redesigned 2023 Kia Sportage still has issues. In 2022, the only low point CR listed about the Sportage was its “hampered rear and side visibility.” However, that list grew quite a bit for the new model year.
First, the regular, non-hybrid version has poor acceleration. Unfortunately, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine only produces 187 horsepower. Both hybrid powertrains offer more power, which is why most experts recommend the upgrade. Although the hybrid shaves two seconds off the 0 to 60 mph time, it hurts the handling and agility.
Lastly, CR says the hybrid gear selector is unintuitive. Moreover, it’s a rotary selector, which means pressing a separate button to shift into park instead of just turning the dial like with all other gears. These rotary-style selectors don’t sit well with many critics as they’ve often been more of a hassle than they’re worth.
2023 Kia Sportage gets an identical score to 2022
In conclusion, the all-new redesigned 2023 Kia Sportage earned an identical score to its 2022 predecessor. While Consumer Reports found a few different things to love and hate, the score remained the same. Fortunately, both versions of the Kia compact SUV are recommended. As such, they’re some of the best vehicles in their class, even if the redesign didn’t improve the Sportage much.