The hot-rod Kia EV6 GT has now arrived.
Redesigned Sportage and Niro; refreshed Telluride, Soul and Seltos.
Last chance to buy a Kia Stinger.
Kia is on a roll as of late, with new electric vehicles on the docket and a full portfolio and cars and crossovers to choose from. That includes a high-performance variant of its new electric crossover that received positive reviews so far, in addition to a bunch of fully redesigned or refreshed models.
Here’s what to expect from the Kia brand in 2023, with models listed in alphabetical order.
Redesigned and renamed for the 2022 model year, the brand’s minivan is now called the Kia Carnival and not much has changed for its second year on the market. In the U.S., it’s available in LX, EX, SX and SX Prestige trim levels, all equipped with a 290-horsepower, 3.5L V6 engine that provides a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds or 1,588 kilograms. The SX receives a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a 12.3-inch infotainment system screen as standard, in addition to blind spot monitoring. Meanwhile, the SX Prestige gets eight-passenger seating as standard, while second-row VIP lounge seating is optional. Both trims get a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system on their options list. In Canada, the lineup consists of LX, LX+, EX, EX+ and SX trim levels, with no significant changes announced.
The big news this year is the arrival of the Kia EV6 GT, a high-performance variant of the fully electric crossover that hit the market last year. The GT features a two-motor setup with AWD and a combined output of 576 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque, and is able to blast from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, according to the manufacturer. Tamer versions of the EV6 carry on unchanged, although the base Light RWD variant has been dumped, leaving Wind and GT-Line trims in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations. The RWD EV6 units are equipped with a single, 225-horsepower motor, while the AWD variants get a two-motor setup with 320 horsepower. The Canadian market continues to offer Standard Range RWD, Long Range RWD, Long Range AWD, GT-Line Package 1 and GT-Line Package 2 trims, in addition to the new hot-rod EV6 GT.
Last year, the compact Kia Forte received styling revisions and a newly available 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, so the 2023 model year will be pretty uneventful. The U.S. lineup includes LX (renamed from last year’s FE), LXS, GT-Line and GT trim levels. All but the latter feature a 2.0L inline-four engine that develops 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, managed by a continuously variable automatic transmission. The GT is equipped with a turbocharged 1.6L four that produces 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet, matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic or a six-speed manual. The GT Technology package is discontinued, but a bunch of its active safety features are now fitted as standard in the automatic-gearboxed GT. In Canada, the base LX trim loses its manual gearbox, meaning the IVT automatic is now standard. Otherwise, the EX, EX+, EX Premium, GT-Line and GT Limited trims are unchanged.
The Kia Forte5 hatchback is available in Canada, but not in the United States. While it doesn’t offer the sedan’s base trim level, it’s available as the EX with the 147-horsepower engine, while the GT and GT Limited variants get the 201-horsepower, turbo 1.6L mill. No changes have been announced for the 2023 model year.
In the U.S., the Kia K5 loses its base LX trim level, while LXS, EX, GT-Line (FWD and AWD) and GT soldier on. All trims get new acoustic glass in the front doors, and the GT-Line trims get new badging as well as an available panoramic roof package. The Canadian lineup serves up LX AWD, EX AWD, GT-Line AWD and GT trims, also getting front-door acoustic glass this year. Powertrain choices include a 180-horsepower turbo 1.6L four and a 290-horsepower turbo 2.5L four.
The Kia Niro gets a major redesign for the 2023 model year, with new exterior and interior styling, more high-end features and additional active safety gear. As before, HEV, PHEV and EV variants are offered. The hybrid combines a 1.6L four with an electric motor and a six-speed automatic transmission for a total output of 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, the Niro PHEV gets a bigger battery and an EV-only driving range of 33 miles (55 km). The fully electric Niro still boasts 201 horsepower, but torque is down from 291 to 188 pound-feet in order to improve driveability and prolong battery life, posting and an increased driving range of 253 miles or 407 km.
The 2023 Kia Rio gets a single change, and that’s the addition of an engine oil level sensor. The Rio is still available in the U.S. in LX and S sedan trims, along with the Rio S five-door hatchback, equipped with a 120-horsepower 1.6L four-cylinder engine. The sedan was cut from the Canadian lineup last year, meaning only the Rio hatchback is still offered north of the border, but with a comprehensive lineup consisting of LX+, LX Premium and EX Premium trims.
The 2023 Kia Seltos carried over unchanged compared to the 2022 model year. However, it will soon make way for the 2024 Seltos, which gets a mid-cycle refresh with revised front and rear styling, new alloy wheels and paint colours as well as a newly available X-Line trim level boasting a blacked-out appearance. Uplevel variants are now available with a wide panel integrating a 10.25-inch digital driver instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. As before, most of the lineup gets a 146-horsepower 2.0L four matched with a continuously variable automatic transmission and available AWD, but the range-topping SX’s turbo 1.6L engine benefits from an output increase from 175 to 195 horsepower, while the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is replaced by a conventional eight-speed transmission. LX, S, EX, X-Line and SX trims are offered in the U.S., while LX, EX, EX Premium, X-Line and SX Turbo variants should be on deck in Canada.
The Kia Soul rolls into 2023 with a mid-cycle refresh, gaining new front and rear fasicas, revised paint colours and wheel designs. Meanwhile, the Soul’s cabin receives an available 10.25-inch infotainment system touchscreen, and the autonomous emergency braking system now includes avoidance assist and junction turning capability. Every trim level is now equipped with a naturally aspirated 2.0L inline-four with 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, meaning the range-topping SX and Turbo variants and their 201-horsepower, turbo 1.6L four have been dumped. The U.S.-market X-Line trim has also been discontinued, leaving a lineup composed of LX, S, EX, GT-Line and GT-Line Tech variants. Canada gets LX, EX, EX+, EX Premium and GT-Line Limited trims.
Kia Soul EV
The Kia Soul EV, available in Canada but not in the United States since the 2020 model year, curiously doesn’t receive the ICE Soul’s design enhancements, and carries over unchanged for 2023. The fully electric crossover’s EV Premium trim gets a 134-horsepower motor and a 39.2-kWh battery, while the EV Limited boasts 201 horsepower and a 64-kWh battery pack, good for an estimated driving range of 383 kilometres (239 miles).
After being redesigned for the 2021 model year, the Kia Sorento returns with a few changes for 2023. The U.S. market’s lineup consists of LX, S, X-Line S, EX, X-Line EX, SX, SX Prestige and X-Line SX Prestige trim levels, and several of these benefit from equipment level revisions, bringing features to a lower price point. That includes wireless phone charging in the Sorento S, an eight-way power front passenger seat in the EX, as well as a 12.3-inch digital driver instrument cluster, power-folding mirrors and rain-sensing windshield wipers in the SX. The SX Prestige now includes AWD as standard. No significant changes have been announced for the Canadian-market Sorento, which offers LX+, LX Premium, X-Line, EX, EX+ and SX trims. The powertrain list includes a 191-horsepower 2.5L four, a 281-hp turbo 2.5L four, a 227-hp hybrid turbo 1.6L four and a 261-hp plug-in hybrid turbo 1.6L four.
The Kia Sportage is completely redesigned for the 2023 model year, and went on sale in the spring of 2022. The U.S. lineup includes LX, EX, X-Line, SX, X-Pro, SX Prestige and X-Pro Prestige trim levels, while buyers in Canada get LX, X-Line, EX, EX Premium and X-Line Limited variants. Powertrain choices include a naturally aspirated 2.5L four with 187 horsepower, a hybrid turbo 1.6L four with 227 horsepower, and a plug-in hybrid turbo 1.6L four with 261 horsepower. The new Sportage boasts bigger dimensions, all-new styling, available dual 12.3-inch digital display screens and more advanced safety features.
The 2023 Kia Stinger gets a simplified lineup in the United States with GT-Line and GT2 trim levels, although Apex and Grand Tourer packages are also on offer. The GT-Line Apex package features black exterior accenting and faux carbon fibre interior trim, while the GT2 Grand Tourer package gets black exterior accenting along with suede interior trimmings, red seat piping and stitching and red seat belts. The GT-Line is equipped with a 300-horsepower, turbo 2.5L four and the GT2 benefits from a twin-turbo 3.3L V6 with 368 horsepower. Both can be matched with a rear-wheel or all-wheel drivetrain. In Canada, only the twin-turbo V6 and AWD are available in GT Limited and GT Elite variants, while the latter offers a suede interior package. The Stinger will be discontinued after the 2023 model year, and to celebrate its upcoming departure, a final Tribute Edition has been announced with a worldwide production of only 1,000 units. This fully loaded edition will offer Ascot Green or new Moonscape matte gray paint, black Brembo brake callipers, gloss black mirror caps, gloss black 19-inch wheels, a Terracotta brown leather interior as well as a numbered dash plaque.
The Kia Telluride enters the 2023 model year with a mid-cycle refresh, presenting new front and rear styling revisions, new X-Line and X-Pro trim levels, a reworked interior, new tech goodies and updated active safety features. The U.S. line now consists of LX, S, EX, EX X-Line, SX, SX X-Line, SX X-Pro, SX Prestige, SX Prestige X-Line and SX Prestige X-Pro trims, while Canada gets a lineup consisting of EX, SX, SX Limited, X-Line and X-Pro trims. Each one is equipped with a 3.8L V6 that develops 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque and an eight-speed automatic transmission, while AWD is optional in the U.S., standard in Canada. The X-Line trims benefit from a 5,500-pound (2,495-kilogram) towing capacity while the rest of the lineup’s tow rating is pegged at 5,000 pounds or 2,268 kg.