2023 Kia Sportage The X-Pro Off-Road – The new 2023 Kia Sportage can be utilized as a reliable hybrid as well as an off-road speedster or a low-cost commuter or even a plug-in hybrid that is coming soon. However, it’s not able to be all things at one time Kia’s three engine choices along with seven trim level options show the limitations of the options available. On top of the 5th generation’s line-up there are 3 new models that can be sold as rough, ruff and ritzy. Similar to many automakers that are releasing off-road appearance kits, Kia splits the difference between the soft-road pretender and off-road intender with its X Line and X-Pro grades that will debut in 2023.
I tried my hands on the X-Pro Prestige that sits at the top of the newly designed Sportage range. With its wood dash trim and heated windshield wipers, heated windows in the rear and front and cooled front seats and two 12.3-inch screens that tilt towards the driver in a single sheet of glass. The price of $38,045 is a clear example of Kia’s move into a market share in the top segment. With its alloy wheels of 17 inches with BF Goodrich all-terrain tires, it is also a great choice for outdoor individuals who prefer the Subaru alternative. Despite its multi-faceted nature, and high ambitions, it’s not the top 2023 Sportage. This honor goes to the Sportage Hybrid. I’ll revisit this issue later. The first thing I’ll mention is that hour off-roading in Kia’s latest off-road-oriented trim showed its advertising intent. In a desert high valley that was surrounded by hills and fringed with creosote bushes, Sportage X-Pro scrambled up loose ascents, walked across an unpaved creek bed as it sat on a sandy bank curve, and slid across loose gravel. It’s not a Bronco or Wrangler however it could keep up with the Subaru Forester through rutted service roads that were deep enough to reach established hunting areas.
2023 Kia Sportage The X-Pro Off-Road Redesign
The primary distinction between Kia’s X-factors is the X-Line pretends to be a vehicle and the X-Pro is designed to be off-road. Both come having all-wheel drive as well as 8.3 inches of clearance to the ground (front-wheel-drive models come with 7.1 inches). The design of the X-Line has a blacked-out appearance common in the cross-over universe. It has distinct bumpers and fake skid plates and gloss-black side mirrors, window frames, roof rails, and 19-inch wheels that have all-season tires. It comes with four driving modes: Normal, Sport, Smart, and Snow, however, it does not have more off-road capabilities than other grades.
Similar to LX, EX, and SX grades, the primary engine is the 2.5-liter inline-4 engine that produces 187 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. Kia believes that 40 percent of 2023 Sportage non-hybrid sales will be to X-badged models. This is pretty optimistic considering the first appearance of the X-Pro which is now used for the 2023 Telluride and likely, on other models. The most notable difference between X Line as well as X-Pro versions is in the type of footwear. On the exterior, a black roof with two-tone choices distinguishes X Pros in addition to the LED headlights and fog light that are available on the X-Pro Prestige models. Inside the cabin, a gear shifter made of mechanical substitutes for the dial shifter on the console of other models.
By pressing a button in the console the locking center differential will lock torque 50/50 between axles for greater grip. If the center differential is not locked the AWD system allocates the torque between the axles automatically according to the speed of the wheel or throttle input as well as the steering angle. It is better to have it locked when ascending, and when you’re negotiating ruts using one wheel up. It’s a common system on Kia’s Sorento along with various Kia vehicles. The additional ground clearance is helpful however the absence of skid plates means that those who drive on the trails that are rocky should be cautious and turn back. The course had only loose rocks. Moving across the creek bed through the down and up to three-foot banks, using one wheel in the air, and a MacPherson front strut that was compressed on either side or both, the X-Pro demonstrated its capabilities. The suspension could bend enough to provide excellent articulation, while the big knobby tires allowed it to move without any issue. In addition to one mini-mesa, Kia told us to turn on the hill descent control. This was not necessary. It’s not the most advanced system available, however, it’s also the easiest to use. There are no settings for speed to push; it will automatically adjust to the speed you set with a speed of less than 15 mph. And when you let your foot go off the throttle, it’ll maintain the same speed. You can throttle it and it will adapt to that speed. If the system is able to determine that the vehicle is been level, it will automatically stop.
Another off-road option that’s equally suitable for a dense switchback as it can be ideal for parking garages, is the surround-view camera. Three projection options can be split, with bird-eye views on the 12.3-inch touchscreen. In reverse or park projections, they look to into the rear; while in drive, they look towards the front. It is possible to wide-screen the bird’s-eye view, choose an angle from the rear that has backup lines, or go for a view that is close to 180 degrees in front. When driving, it’s able to anticipate what’s to come by using grid lines, then spread across a wide-angle or split in half to display the view from side mirror cameras that show what’s happening in the area within the front wheels. The tire view was beneficial for off-road driving.
Engine & Specs
Its 2023 Sportage X-Pro handled the kind of terrain that draws Subaru owners, but not Subaru marketing. In contrast to the Outback or Forester, however, it was more suited for off-road gear on the pavement. The 2.5-liter inline-4, as well as its coarse 8-speed automatic, are more raucous and harsher than the Hybrid and due to the fact that the 8-speed has been tuned for efficiency rather than power, it can be strained as if a heart attack occurs when it is pushed. With 17 inches of wheels, offroad tires, and the same size they add roughness to the handling on road surfaces, and the increased space between the wheels makes it less slack in turns. The change of wheels could improve the road habits, but that appears like a lot of work for a road-weary tire.
2023 Kia Sportage The X-Pro Off-Road Future
The X-Pro fulfills its purpose to make its customers the Kia Sportage a Subaru competitor as well as any number of other grades for soft-roads. It’s a method to cast the broadest net to see what comes in. I’d prefer the Hybrid but.