Driven: 3 Ways the 2023 Kia Sportage Beats the Toyota RAV4

We love putting SUVs like the Kia Sportage and Toyota RAV4 to the test. Oftentimes, the results are surprising. For example, the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid has incredible advantages over the 2022 Toyota RAV4 to consider. 

Kia Sportage vs. Toyota RAV4 

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid review
2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

We spent a week with the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid and the 2022 Toyota RAV4 TRD Pro. These trims don’t precisely compare like apples to apples because the TRD Pro has beefier off-roading upgrades. 

However, the Sportage holds its own with locking all-wheel drive, hill descent control, and a Snow Mode. Both vehicles are excellent for driving from the city to the wild, but the Sportage has a few pros to consider. 

1. The Sportage has a better ride 

The 2023 Kia Sportage has a better ride quality than the 2022 Toyota RAV4. The Sportage feels much smoother on the pavement and while off-roading. You don’t get jostled by large bumps or uneven trails. 

Plus, the Sportage has a much quieter interior at highway speeds. It’s better insulated against wind and road noise. Overall, it feels more relaxing while still being engaging and athletic. 

The Sportage Hybrid has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with an electric motor to crank out 227 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.2 seconds. 

With the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, you get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors for 219 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque. It reaches 60 mph in about 7.8 seconds. 

2. The Sportage has updated tech 

The 2023 Kia Sportage was recently redesigned with a brand new interior and updated tech. It has an attractive 12.3-inch infotainment display, updated digital gauge cluster, head-up display, ambient lighting, and more. 

The graphics are vibrant and clear, and the software works quickly. However, it could be a little more intuitive. 

But the Toyota RAV4 has an 8.0-inch infotainment display that looks a bit dated. The graphics could use an update, but the system is easy to use, and the voice recognition responds well. Also, the RAV$ Prime is the only model available with a head-up display. 

Both SUVs offer a premium audio system, and the Sportage sounds better with the Harmon Kardon setup. The RAV4 uses a JBL system that’s adequate. It covers the wind noise in the cab pretty well. 

3. The Kia Sportage is bigger 

Front angle view of the popular 2022 Toyota RAV4 crossover SUV, the best-selling car in the world
2022 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

You get a little more passenger and cargo space in the 2023 Kia Sportage. You can access up to 39.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats with up to 74.1 cubes total. 

The 2022 Toyota RAV4 offers up to 37.6 cubic feet behind the backseat with up to 68.9 cubes total. The extra space in the cargo hold and extra leg room in the back row is noticeable in the Sportage. 

While the Kia Sportage may have a smaller center console, it has more storage trays and cubbies for personal items. Also, the seats in the Sportage fold completely flat, while the RAV4 seats only fold nearly flat. 

So the Kia Sportage is more comfortable, has updated tech, and has more cargo space to consider. But the Toyota RAV4 has a more attractive look, is practical, loaded with value, and could be more reliable.

RELATED: The 2023 Kia Sportage Made a Classic Tech Mistake