The 2023 Kia Sportage impresses all around with bold new styling and an improved interior. The brand has been undergoing rapid design evolution that’s resulted in some refreshing changes. This redesign is a welcome break from monotony across the crossover segment. The new Sportage finally gets a bit of a sporty edge.
A crisp new exterior gives the Sportage new life
The Kia Sportage has enjoyed a reputation for being a fun budget crossover that could stand up more expensive options. It was not known for a sporty or stylish look. The 2023 redesign tightens up the curves and bubbles of previous model years. Sharp new lines, a sportier profile, and a more aggressive grille all give the crossover a tougher look.
Plastic cladding, a faux skid plate, and a ventilated rear bumper continue to look at the Sportage’s rear. The rear liftgate evokes its sibling, the EV6. The Sportage does have a slightly harder look with a more upright rear windshield and a traditional tailgate.
Style-conscious buyers have even more options with the X-line. This trim level will include quilted sats in black or sage green, special interior finishes, and black details. It will also include a more prominent roof rack, and an edgier front bumper takes the already sharp Sportage even further.
Interior upgrades give the cabin an expensive feel
The interior of the 2023 Kia Sportage feels futuristic with its modern design. High-end materials and high-tech features give this crossover the same higher-end feel as its sibling, the Sorrento. Kia’s new nature-inspired design philosophy is evident in every detail of this thoughtfully designed interior. JD Power called the redesign compelling and noted the high-tech feel.
Sportage drivers are welcomed by a wide, curved digital instrument panel that seamlessly blends into the infotainment system. Detailed descriptions of trim levels have yet to be announced. It’s possible that this striking display may not be included in base trim models.
The center console of the 2023 Kia Sportage is just as bold as its eye-catching screen. A rotary shifter immediately grabs the attention. Controls for the heated and ventilated seats and a drive mode selector also fill out the console. Above these controls sit extra-wide air vents to keep passengers comfortably.
Kia has set the bar for stylish crossovers
Kia’s Global Design Center Head and Vice President Karim Habib said, “Reinventing the Sportage gave our talented design teams a tremendous opportunity to do something new; to take inspiration from the recent brand relaunch and introduction of EV6 to inspire customers through modern and innovative SUV design. With the all-new Sportage, we didn’t simply want to take one step forward but instead move on to a different level in the SUV class.”
If Kia’s goal was to raise the bar for the entire segment, they hit the mark. Crossovers are some of the most popular vehicles on the road. Automakers all fight to make the best-selling models year after year. Along the way, elements of unique style are lost. The Sportage is a much-needed breath o fresh air. This is a crossover that looks nothing like the offerings buyers have become accustomed to. Competitors will have to step up their focus on style to beat this fresh crossover.