2023 Kia Sportage Vs Subaru Crosstrek: A Comparison

Kia Sportage Vs Subaru Crosstrek

Table of Contents

The compact SUV segment has become increasingly popular among drivers seeking a perfect blend of style, comfort, and utility. The 2023 Kia Sportage and Subaru Crosstrek are two such vehicles that have attracted attention for their distinct features and capabilities. In this article, we dive deep into the intricacies of these two models to help you decide which one is the ideal match for your needs and preferences. 

Exterior Design

The 2023 Kia Sportage showcases a bold and sleek design, with its distinctive tiger-nose grille and sharp headlights. The modern, aggressive look is complemented by dynamic lines that flow across the body and an attractive rear end with slim LED taillights. The Sportage’s design is sure to turn heads wherever you go.

On the other hand, the Subaru Crosstrek sports a rugged, outdoorsy design, with its prominent wheel arches, standard roof rails, and a ground clearance of 8.7 inches. The Crosstrek is built to take on various terrains and adventures with confidence, while still maintaining a contemporary appearance.

Interior Design

The interior of the 2023 Kia Sportage offers a modern, driver-focused cabin with high-quality materials and attention to detail. The dashboard features a sleek design, housing a standard 8-inch touchscreen display or an optional 10.25-inch display with crisp graphics and intuitive controls. The cabin is also well-insulated, ensuring a quiet and comfortable ride.

The Subaru Crosstrek’s interior is characterized by its practical and functional design. While not as luxurious as the Sportage, the Crosstrek provides a clean, uncluttered layout with user-friendly controls and displays. The cabin feels roomy and offers plenty of visibility.

Seating

Both the 2023 Kia Sportage and Subaru Crosstrek offer seating for up to five passengers. The Sportage boasts comfortable and supportive seats with plenty of headroom and legroom for both front and rear passengers. Optional features include heated and ventilated front seats, power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a heated steering wheel.

The Subaru Crosstrek’s seating is also comfortable, with well-bolstered seats and ample space for passengers. The standard cloth upholstery can be upgraded to leather, and options include heated front seats and a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.

Storage

In terms of storage, the 2023 Kia Sportage offers 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and up to 62.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Additionally, there are numerous storage compartments and cupholders throughout the cabin for added convenience.

The Subaru Crosstrek provides slightly less cargo space, with 20.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 55.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. However, its standard roof rails offer additional cargo-carrying options for outdoor enthusiasts.

Performance

The 2023 Kia Sportage comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 187 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. An optional turbocharged 1.6-liter engine is available, delivering 227 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The Subaru Crosstrek is equipped with a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. A more powerful 2.5-liter engine is available, offering 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Fuel Efficiency

The Kia Sportage offers competitive fuel efficiency for its class. The base 2.5-liter engine is estimated to achieve 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, while the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine delivers 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. These figures make the Sportage a solid choice for those seeking a balance between performance and fuel economy.

The Subaru Crosstrek, with its standard 2.0-liter engine, boasts an impressive 28 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. Opting for the more powerful 2.5-liter engine results in slightly lower fuel efficiency, with 27 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. Subaru’s standard symmetrical all-wheel drive system contributes to these remarkable fuel efficiency numbers.

Safety

Both the Kia Sportage and Subaru Crosstrek prioritize safety, offering a comprehensive suite of advanced driver assistance technologies. The Sportage comes standard with features such as forward collision avoidance, lane keeping assist, driver attention warning, and rear occupant alert. Available safety features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and smart cruise control.

The Subaru Crosstrek features the highly-regarded EyeSight Driver Assist Technology as standard, which includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and lane-keep assist. Additional available safety features include blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking.

Trim Levels

The Kia Sportage is available in four trim levels: LX, S, EX, and SX Turbo. Each trim offers a variety of standard and optional features, allowing drivers to customize their Sportage to meet their preferences and needs. The base LX trim is well-equipped, while the range-topping SX Turbo offers the most luxurious experience and performance upgrades.

The Subaru Crosstrek comes in four trim levels as well: Base, Premium, Sport, and Limited. Each trim level offers its own set of features and options, ensuring that there is a Crosstrek model to suit various tastes and budgets. The Sport trim introduces the more powerful 2.5-liter engine, while the Limited trim offers a full range of luxury and tech features.

Pricing

The 2023 Kia Sportage starts at a base price of around $25,000 for the LX trim and can reach up to $36,000 for the fully-loaded SX Turbo model. This competitive pricing offers a good balance between affordability and features, making the Sportage an attractive option in the compact SUV segment.

The 2023  Subaru Crosstrek has a starting price of approximately $23,000 for the Base trim and can go up to around $30,000 for the top-of-the-line Limited model. The Crosstrek’s pricing is competitive within its class, providing drivers with a well-rounded, capable vehicle at an attractive price point.

Key Differences

Interior Luxury

The Kia Sportage offers a more luxurious interior, with high-quality materials and a sleek, driver-focused cabin design. The Subaru Crosstrek, while still offering a comfortable and functional interior, focuses more on practicality and durability, catering to its adventure-ready image.

Performance

The 2023 Kia Sportage offers two engine options, with the more powerful turbocharged 1.6-liter engine producing 227 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. In contrast, the Subaru Crosstrek’s most powerful engine option is the 2.5-liter engine, delivering 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. The Sportage provides a more performance-oriented driving experience, while the Crosstrek focuses on practicality and off-road capability.

Fuel Efficiency

The Subaru Crosstrek has a slight edge in fuel efficiency, with its base 2.0-liter engine achieving 28 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. The base 2.5-liter engine in the Kia Sportage offers 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. The Crosstrek’s standard all-wheel-drive system contributes to its impressive fuel efficiency.

Off-Road Capability

The Subaru Crosstrek is designed with off-road adventures in mind, offering a standard symmetrical all-wheel-drive system and a ground clearance of 8.7 inches. The Kia Sportage, while still offering available all-wheel drive, has a lower ground clearance and a more urban-oriented design.

Pricing

While both vehicles offer competitive pricing within their segment, the Subaru Crosstrek has a lower starting price, with the base model starting at around $23,000. The Kia Sportage starts at around $25,000 for the base LX trim. 

However, the top-of-the-line Sportage SX Turbo model offers more luxury and performance features compared to the top Crosstrek Limited model, with a higher price tag of around $36,000 versus the Crosstrek’s $30,000.

Final Thoughts

After thoroughly comparing the 2023 Kia Sportage and Subaru Crosstrek, it’s evident that both vehicles offer compelling packages with their own unique strengths. The Sportage appeals to drivers who value bold design, a luxurious interior, and more powerful engine options. In contrast, the Crosstrek caters to those who prioritize off-road capabilities, practicality, and fuel efficiency. 

The choice between these two SUVs ultimately boils down to individual tastes and requirements. Regardless of the final decision, both vehicles are excellent options in the compact SUV market.

Features Breakdown

2023 Kia Sportage Features

  • Exterior Design:
    • Bold and sleek design
    • Distinctive tiger-nose grille
    • Sharp headlights and slim LED taillights
  • Interior Design:
    • Modern, driver-focused cabin
    • High-quality materials
    • 8-inch or optional 10.25-inch touchscreen display
  • Seating:
    • Comfortable and supportive seats
    • Heated and ventilated front seats (optional)
    • Power-adjustable driver’s seat (optional)
  • Storage:
    • 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space (rear seats up)
    • 62.8 cubic feet of cargo space (rear seats down)
  • Performance:
    • Standard 2.5-liter engine (187 hp, 182 lb-ft of torque)
    • Optional turbocharged 1.6-liter engine (227 hp, 258 lb-ft of torque)
  • Fuel Efficiency:
    • Base engine: 25 mpg city, 33 mpg highway
    • Turbocharged engine: 23 mpg city, 30 mpg highway
  • Safety:
    • Standard features: forward collision avoidance, lane keeping assist, driver attention warning, rear occupant alert
    • Optional features: blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, smart cruise control
  • Trim Levels: 
    • LX, S, EX, SX Turbo
  • Pricing: 
    • Starts at around $25,000 (LX) and goes up to $36,000 (SX Turbo)

2023 Subaru Crosstrek Features

  • Exterior Design:
    • Rugged, outdoorsy design
    • Prominent wheel arches
    • Standard roof rails and 8.7-inch ground clearance
  • Interior Design:
    • Practical and functional layout
    • User-friendly controls and displays
    • Roomy cabin with good visibility
  • Seating:
    • Comfortable and well-bolstered seats
    • Heated front seats (optional)
    • Six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat (optional)
  • Storage:
    • 20.8 cubic feet of cargo space (rear seats up)
    • 55.3 cubic feet of cargo space (rear seats down)
  • Performance:
    • Standard 2.0-liter engine (152 hp, 145 lb-ft of torque)
    • Optional 2.5-liter engine (182 hp, 176 lb-ft of torque)
  • Fuel Efficiency:
    • Base engine: 28 mpg city, 33 mpg highway
    • Upgraded engine: 27 mpg city, 34 mpg highway
  • Safety:
    • Standard features: adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist
    • Optional features: blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, reverse automatic braking
  • Trim Levels: 
    • Base, Premium, Sport, Limited
  • Pricing: 
    • Starts at around $23,000 (Base) and goes up to $30,000 (Limited)

About Marcus The Car Guy

I've been in car sales and finance for over 20 years, working at the highest volume dealerships in the nation including Fletcher Jones, DCH and more. Want to pick my brain on finding cars, negotiating cars, and structuring car deals?

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