The 2022 Subaru Forester Vs. The 2023 Kia Sportage, Which Wins Out?

September 23rd, 2022 by


The 2022 Subaru Forester has proven itself to be a highly capable and versatile compact SUV. As one of the most popular Subaru vehicles, the Forester paves the way for owners with its four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. The compact SUV also has powerful trims like the Wilderness that increase its ruggedness. One of the competing SUVs in the Forester’s class is the 2023 Kia Sportage. The Sportage offers a unique style as well as a hybrid powertrain. It also has an X-Pro trim that helps with off-road capability. Both the 2022 Forester and 2023 Sportage offer consumers good choices, but we’ll take a look at both and see which has the competitive edge.

The 2023 Kia Sportage

The first compact SUV we’ll take a look at is the 2023 Kia Sportage. The compact SUV arrives with a new redesign for the 2023 model year as well as new hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains. For engine options, the 2023 Kia Sportage offers a 2.5L four-cylinder engine that delivers 187 horsepower and 178lb-ft of torque. It pairs with an 8-speed automatic transmission. There’s also a hybrid setup that utilizes a 1.6L engine with a single electric motor. This generates 226 horsepower. Finally, there’s a plug-in hybrid option that features a larger motor and battery. Owners also have the option between either all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive. 

As for fuel economy, the Sportage gets 25 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. With the hybrid powertrain, this is increased to 42 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway. Inside the 2023 Sportage, owners will note a roomy interior cabin with a nice two-tone design. For entertainment, there’s either an 8-inch or 12.3-inch display that offers driver assist features like Alexa and Google integration. For safety, the crossover SUV offers a blind-spot monitor and features like forward-collision alerts and rear cross-traffic assist. 

The 2022 Subaru Forester

Next up is the 2022 Subaru Forester. Although the 2023 model year Forester has not been released yet, the 2022 Forester still manages to leave an impact. The crossover SUV comes standard with a 2.5L flat-four cylinder engine that’s capable of 182 horsepower and 176lb-ft of torque. This performance is increased with the latest Wilderness trim which has been upgraded with a shorter final drive ratio and transmission tuning. This leads to faster throttle response and increased acceleration. The Forester is also paired with Subaru’s unique all-wheel-drive system and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) which lets it do exceptionally well both in the city and on trails.

The 2022 Forester is better in fuel efficiency than the 2023 Kia Sportage with 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The Sportage offers a hybrid system, but this limits performance. Performance is an area where the Forester shines as it offers Subaru’s unique X-Mode as well as 9.2 inches of ground clearance. Inside the Forester, owners will note a spacious and comfortable interior. With higher-end trims, the cabin receives saddle brown leather upholstery with glossy-black plastic on the center stack. The Forester also provides drivers with good visibility and, in terms of storage, offers up to 74.2 cubic feet of space. For safety, there’s Subaru’s advanced EyeSight suite. Features include blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alerts, and automatic pre-collision braking. A rear vision camera is also available.

The Verdict

The 2022 Subaru Forester starts at an MSRP of $25,895 (plus destination fee) while the 2023 Kia Sportage starts at an MSRP of $25,990 (plus destination fee). While both SUVs offer consumers affordable options, the 2022 Subaru Forester clinches it with stronger capability and more advanced standard safety features. The crossover SUV offers on-road and off-road capabilities even without the Wilderness trim while the Sportage’s X-Pro trim only slightly enhances off-road performance. The Forester also offers more storage room and additional safety features with its EyeSight safety system. While close in price, the Subaru has a lead that only grows with higher-level trims. 

Come Test Drive a Brand-New Subaru at Kenny Ross!

If you’re in the market for a Subaru Forester, look no further. Here at Kenny Ross Subaru, we can help you find the best vehicle for your needs. At Kenny Ross, we’re more than happy to help our customers find what they are looking for. Check out our new vehicle inventory or our quality pre-owned vehicles. We can offer suggestions like auto financing to help make paying for a vehicle easier.

If you’re in need of service, schedule an appointment with our expert technicians. They will provide you with everything you need to feel safe and secure on the road. Stop by today and see what we can do for you right now.

Photo Credit: Subaru/Kia

Posted in Subaru