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The 2023 Kia Sportage could make a great crossover option. It has a lot of improvements going for it. According to Edmunds, it is still recommended to those shopping for a small, value-packed SUV. However, the base Kia Sportage has one frustrating problem. Find out what it is and if it’s worth it.

The improvements made in the 2023 Kia Sportage

A 2023 Kia Sportage parked in a mountainous area.
2023 Kia Sportage | Kia Media

Though Edmunds pointed out some frustrating issues with the 2023 Kia Sportage, the review did praise the Sportage’s spacious interior, comfortable seats, and ample cargo space. The vehicle also received high marks for its safety features, including lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

In their review, Edmunds indicated that the vehicle had made significant improvements over its predecessor, making it a formidable contender in the compact SUV market. The review also praised the Sportage’s stylish and high-tech interior, advanced driver aids, off-road capabilities in the X-Pro trim, and Kia’s class-leading warranty.

The 2023 Kia Sportage frustrating problem

The 2023 Kia Sportage has been completely redesigned, boasting a stylish, high-tech interior with more passenger and cargo space than its predecessor. However, according to a recent review by Edmunds, the base model of the new Sportage falls short in performance.

The standard engine is sluggish and provides poor fuel economy, which may be frustrating for drivers seeking a more spirited driving experience. Despite this issue, the 2023 Kia Sportage remains a strong contender in the compact SUV segment, offering a compelling combination of design, technology, and value. Edmunds’ review highlighted two major issues with the SUV: performance and fuel economy.

The review noted that the standard engine, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, is underpowered compared to other vehicles in its class. The lack of power makes acceleration and passing on the highway feel sluggish and unsatisfying. In addition, the Sportage’s fuel economy is disappointing for a modern SUV, with an estimated 25 mpg combined fuel economy rating, falling short of its competitors.

The frustrating aspect of the Kia Sportage’s poor fuel economy is that it wasn’t a tradeoff for powerful engine performance. Usually, a vehicle’s fuel economy tradeoff is expected to be the result of a more powerful engine or additional features. Still, in this case, the Kia Sportage falls short in both areas. It has a lower fuel economy than its competitors while also lacking the engine power that would make it more competitive in the SUV market.

For drivers who prioritize fuel efficiency, the Kia Sportage’s disappointing fuel economy rating may be a deal-breaker. And for those willing to overlook this drawback, the lack of engine power may still be a concern. As a result, the Sportage’s performance and fuel economy issues are significant factors that potential buyers should carefully consider.

What improvements does the base 2023 Kia Sportage need?

The Edmunds review also pointed out that the Sportage’s handling and ride quality could be improved. The steering felt disconnected and lacked precision, making it difficult to maneuver the vehicle confidently. The suspension felt stiff and uncomfortable over rough roads, which could concern drivers who frequently drive on uneven surfaces.

The interior of the Sportage also received criticism in the review. While the materials were of good quality, the design felt outdated and lacked the modern technology found in other SUVs. Furthermore, the touchscreen inputs were frustrating, as they would lock out when the car was in motion.

Due to these drawbacks, Edmunds’ review recommends the Kia Sportage EX to customers looking for exceptional value and features. Ultimately, potential buyers should weigh the pros and cons of the vehicle to determine whether it’s the right fit for their needs and preferences.


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