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2023 Kia Sportage Details Announced: Hybrid and PHEV Versions Are on the Horizon

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Kia announced details on the global edition of the next Kia Sportage, which will be available first as a 2022 model elsewhere and then in North America as a 2023 model. This comes a few weeks after the presentation of the model’s updated design.

See also: Kia Presents Next-Gen 2023 Sportage

Powertrain details for the global edition outline a choice of two engines, a 1.6L turbo (rated for 177 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque) and a 2.0L diesel unit. It’s safe to say the diesel is unlikely to be offered in North America, so we’ll have to wait and see what the offering looks like for our market in terms of powertrains.

Kia has promised other powertrain choices will eventually be added to the offering, the most intriguing being hybrid and plug-in hybrid configurations. The automaker says it will be sharing details on those closer to launch date of the global edition of the model.

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2023 Kia Sportage, three-quarters rear
Photo: Kia
2023 Kia Sportage, three-quarters rear

Other than that, the next Sportage (with 1.6L engine) gets a 6-speed manual gearbox or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, again for the global edition. Whether we’ll get the manual remains an open question.

The new Sportage will be built on the carmaker’s N3 platform, designed to improve off-road capabilities. To that end, the Comfort, Eco, Sport and Smart drive modes will be joined by a new Terrain mode, which automatically adjusts certain settings in response to snow, mud and sand, for example. The SUV also gets something called Electric Control Suspension (ECS) that provides continuous, real-time damping control. Further down the road, hybrid and plug-in hybrid models will integrate Kia’s high-tech E-Handling system.

2023 Kia Sportage, interior
Photo: Kia
2023 Kia Sportage, interior

Kia’s list of safety and drive-assist features for the 2022 Sportage is long and includes things like the advanced driver assistance system, as well as forward collision-avoidance assist, highway driving assist, navigation-based smart cruise control and remote smart parking assist system.

Trim levels will change with each market, but we know there will be an X-Line variant, which we’ve seen with the Sorento; it features a rugged bumper, side sills and roof rack, among other elements. We can expect as well a GT-Line model with unique interior colours and surfaces.

2023 Kia Sportage, three-quarters front
Photo: Kia
2023 Kia Sportage, three-quarters front