Kia has officially begun production of the all-new 2023 Kia Sportage subcompact SUV at their plant in West Point, Georgia.

The vehicle was introduced by Sean Yoon, president and CEO of Kia North America during a special ceremony. This celebratory model was driven off of the line by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and James Watson, vice president of production at Kia Georgia.

The Sportage is currently Kia’s longest running nameplate, having gone through various iterations before. The 2023 model will, according to Kia, see it’s most significant overhaul yet, with new exterior string, new packages, and additional features.

The 2023 Kia Sportage can be equipped with a new 2.5-liter inline-four engine, paired up with an 8-speed automatic transmission to deliver a targeted 187 horsepower. Standard models will utilize a front-wheel drive configuration with optional all-wheel drive; however, certain trims will include all-wheel drive as standard-- such as the first model the Georgia plant produced.

The “jungle green” Sportage seen rolling off the line was outfitted with the X-Pro Prestige trim package. This adds a multi-terrain all-wheel drive system with 4 driving modes, exclusive two-tone paint with a black-painted roof, segment-exclusive BF Goodrich All-Terrain Tires, high-utility roof rails, and interior SynTex seating materials. The X-Pro also gains an additional 8.3 inches of ground clearance for off-road travels.

Another trim is the Sportage Hybrid, which Kia advertises at a possible 39 miles per gallon. This is achieved by way of a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder and a 44kW electric motor; the latter powered by a 1.49kWh lithium-ion battery. Combined, this system is set to deliver around 226 horsepower.

New models will include a suite of standard safety tech, including Forward Collision Avoidance, Driver Attention Warning, LED Headlights with High Beam Assist, Lane Following and Keeping Assist, Rear Occupant Alert, Rear View Monitor, and Reverse Parking Distance Warning.

The 2023 Sportage will offer a variety of optional tech and safety features, including dual 12.3-inch screens containing both the instrument panel and infotainment center, a blind-spot view monitor which appears on the instrument panel when the turn signals are activated, and a wider 360 degree Surround-View Monitor.

The 2023 Kia Sportage is expected to arrive sometime in the first quarter of 2022, and we'll have plenty more on it soon on MotorWeek!