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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2023 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid EX AWD

Vehicle Type: SUV Hybrid
 overall score
Category Ranking: 42

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $30,990
Price as Tested: $33,860

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 13.7
EPA City mpg38
EPA Highway mpg38
EPA Combined mpg38
with specific headlights

Advanced Safety Features

  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [O]
  • Driver Monitoring [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
  • Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking [O]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

The Kia Sportage, now in its fifth generation, has been completely redesigned for 2023. The changes from the previous version are immediately noticeable - a bolder and more aggressive-looking exterior design, verging on futuristic. This year, for the first time, the Sportage is available in the hybrid version reviewed here and as a PHEV. The hybrid’s gas-electric powertrain bumps the Sportage’s overall mpg a sizable 13 mpg, to 38 mpg in combined driving for the all-wheel-drive version. Because it does so many things well at a reasonable price, the Sportage stands out as an excellent value in its class. Its many desirable features include a smooth throttle response that translates into a refined driving experience, excellent fuel efficiency, plenty of space for passengers and cargo, easy entry and exit, and LED headlights with auto high beams. High-tech features include blindspot collision-avoidance assist, which can actively change the vehicle’s path to avoid a collision. Sportage downsides are relatively minor and not likely to be deal-breakers: a noisy engine during hybrid transitions; an unsettled ride over rough pavement, with some body roll in the corners; a noticeably weak AC system; some cheap interior materials (albeit with generally good fit and finish); and a tinny feel and sound when closing the doors.

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • • Excellent value for the money
  • • Smooth, responsive throttle; refined driving experience
  • • Plenty of space for passengers and cargo
  • • Strong mpg ratings
  • • Advanced ADAS features

Weak Points

  • • Engine is a bit noisy in gas-electric transitions
  • • Suspension feels unsettled over bumps; excess body roll in corners
  • • Some interior plastic trim looks cheap
  • • Weak A/C
  • • Door-closing sound and feel lacks solidity

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2023
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 3860.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 183.5 / 73.4 / 66.3
Wheelbase (in): 108.5
Number of air bags: 7
Warranty (months/miles): 60/60,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Goodyear Assurance
Front and rear tire size: 235/60 R18
Max towing capacity (lbs): 2,000
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Hybrid drive
Drivetrain type: All wheel
Engine/motor: 1.6L I4 turbo
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 177 @ 5,500
Electric motor horsepower: 59.3 & 17.4
Combined system horsepower: 227

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


Fuel Efficiency:


EPA Emissions Score:





Handling: 5.74
Quality and Drivability: 6.72

Ride Quality:


Interior Size:


Easy of Entry and Exit:




Interior Noise:


Cargo Capacity:

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