2023 Kia Sportage debuts in US with off-road X-Pro variant, not for Oz

Kia has revealed its North American market Sportage with unique powertrain and 'trail ready' variant options.

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James Wong
James Wong
Production Editor
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Kia America has taken the wraps off its 2023 Sportage crossover, headlined by new ‘trail-ready’ X-Pro and X-Pro Prestige models. They’re scheduled to go on sale in the North American region during the first quarter of 2022.

Unlike the Australian range, which will be produced in South Korea, the bulk of the American Sportage line-up will come from the company’s West Point, Georgia plant in the USA – the same facility that builds the K5, Sorento and Telluride for the region.

A 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine is the sole engine option confirmed to be available at launch, ‘targeting’ 187hp (139kW) teamed with an eight-speed automatic and the option of front- or all-wheel drive.

Kia has confirmed a hybrid version is headed to the US and will be detailed “at a later date”.

Speaking with CarExpert, a Kia Australia spokesperson said: “The 2.5-litre engine offered over there is an upgrade on the 2.4L we currently offer here – we have opted to replace the 2.4L with the 1.6 T-GDi”.

It’s worth noting the 2.5-litre petrol isn’t available on Korean-market Sportage models, where the Australian range will be sourced from.

The Australian-market Sportage will offer three powertrains at launch: a 115kW/192Nm 2.0L petrol FWD, a 132kW/265Nm 1.6L turbo petrol AWD and a 137kW/416Nm 2.0L turbo-diesel AWD. It’s expected that a 169kW/350Nm 1.6L turbocharged hybrid will come to Australia at a later date, though it’s not officially confirmed as yet.

As for the X-Pro and X-Pro Prestige variants, or something similar, the local arm has confirmed that “the all-new Sportage will be available in S, SX, SX+, GT-Line as per the current trim line-up”.

“We’re not planning to offer a special-edition trim locally in the short-term, however, it does have a five-year life-cycle so could consider doing so in the future.”

Speaking of the X-Pro, Kia’s American division claims the adventure-ready Sportage variant is actually trail-ready.

Key features include:

  • B.F. Goodrich all-terrain tires
  • 17-inch matte black off-road wheels
  • LED fog lights and available LED Projector headlights (standard on X-Pro Prestige)
  • Heated windshield and wiper washer nozzle
  • Multi-terrain drive modes with Normal, Sport, Smart, and Snow modes
  • Available two-tone roof
  • Ventilated front seats (X-Pro Prestige)
  • 8-way power front passenger seat (X-Pro Prestige)

Further to the above highlights, all AWD versions of the Sportage gain 1.5 inches (38.1mm) in ride height compared to FWD models. Kia America doesn’t list an actual ground clearance figure, nor does the Korean division.

As we already know from the Australian and Korean models, the new Sportage benefits from the Hyundai/Kia group’s new N3 large vehicle architecture which claims to offer better dynamics and improved refinement, and the US will get the long-wheelbase body too.

It’s grown in just about every dimension, and also claims to offer best-in-class rear-seat accommodation and rear cargo capacity.

Beyond that, the American model will be available with a comprehensive suite of driver assists as well as dual 12.3-inch displays for the digital instrument cluster and central infotainment systems. Other new features for the Sportage include a 360-degree camera system and Kia’s nifty Blind Spot View Monitor cameras.

The 2022 Kia Sportage for the Australian market is due to arrive throughout the course of November, with a media launch pencilled in for November 8. Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest Sportage coverage in the coming weeks.

Click the images for the full gallery

MORE: 2022 Kia Sportage – Initial specs for Australia
MORE: Everything Kia Sportage

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James Wong
James Wong

James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert.

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