Avenue Motors NJ Used
 Sales 973-319-8566
Service 973-313-5256
1453 Lawrence St Rahway, NJ 07065
Today 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Open Today !
Sales: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
All Hours

2023 Kia Sportage LX vs. Ex

1. Key Differences

In terms of the performance of the vehicle, the LX and EX are built on the same platform and suspension system, so there is no difference in ride quality between the two models. The 6-cylinder EX model will, in fact, have a faster acceleration speed than the LX, but it will also be consuming more fuel. The LX and the EX 4-cylinder models would have similar gas mileage given that both vehicles weigh approximately the same. [1][2][3][4][5]

There are also changes to the ride with the 6-speed transmission offered in the EX, while the LX is only available with a 4-speed electronic automatic transmission with overdrive.

Starting out with the exterior, the most notable difference between the Sportage LX and the EX is the 17" alloy wheels on the EX vs. the 17" alloy wheels on the LX. The EX also includes roof rails, which are not available on the LX. Both models have the option of installing a dealer-added back-up warning system. Moving on from the appearance of the vehicles, the Kia Sportage LX has a standard 4-cylinder 140 hp engine with the option of upgrading to a 6-cylinder 173 hp engine. When comparing the LX to the 6-cylinder EX model, the difference here would be the more powerful 6-cylinder EX model. Learn more about: Kia infotainment.

1.1. Exterior Features

Moving onto the LX model, the chrome window surround stands out compared to the Ex model and is a key difference for an improved sense of character and luxury. Continuously at the back, the LX model inherits the dual exhaust muffler and a chrome beltline, which are all unique to the LX model. Available for the LX and Ex package, both models can come with a black roof, which adds a very sharp look to an already sporty SUV. And around the sides, fender garnish is available in body color for the LX model but in silver paint for the Ex model. Overall, both models provide a unique but still contemporary and upscale look.

As the outsiders of the new 2023 Kia Sportage LX and Ex have slightly different appearances, we will go over the similar features they have in common and then discuss the differences. Similar to the Ex model, the 2023 Sportage LX shares its style from the full-time LED headlight cluster and double boomerang LED DRLs. Coming standard with 17" alloy wheels, the dark finish hyperwidth adds a sense of refinement to the LX model over the base model. Around the back is where the LX and Ex models start to change in appearance. The Ex model has updated tail lights to mimic the headlights and a different rear bumper compared to the LX model. To finish things up, the Ex model comes with 18" alloy wheels to add a bigger and bolder look to the exterior.

1.2. Interior Features

2023 Kia Sportage LX. The Kia Sportage Ex is only available in all-wheel drive, and the Sportage LX is available in FWD. The Ex has an AWD lock feature, which gives it some off-road ability. It can lock the center differential to provide a 50/50 power split between the front and rear wheels at speeds up to 25 mph. Both the Sportage LX and Ex use the same engine, the 2.4-liter Theta II engine. This provides adequate power and good fuel efficiency. The six-speed automatic transmission with shiftronic is a good match for the engine. The final drive ratio for the Ex is slightly lower, which improves acceleration by increasing the force applied to the driven wheels. Both the Sportage LX and Ex 2013 models come with 4-wheel independent suspension, which is rare in this vehicle segment. Most of the vehicles in this class have a non-independent rear suspension. This really helps to improve handling and ride quality. Gas pressurized shock absorbers and stabilizer bars on both the front and rear suspension help performance and ride. The Kia Dynamic Shock Absorbers provide improved resistance when the amplitude of input increases, creating a good handling car with a smooth ride. The LX and Ex both come with power-assist steering. The difference lies in the type of wheel. The LX has a Motor Driven Power Steering, and the Ex has an electric power steering system. The abundance of steering parts from all the motors at Kia makes for a low-cost retrofit to the EPS system for improved fuel efficiency. EPS can decrease fuel consumption by up to 5%. All 2013 Sportage models will come with all-wheel disc brakes. The LX and EX will have 12-inch ventilated front discs and 11.9-inch solid rear discs. A 4-channel, 4-sensor ABS system with electronic brake force distribution and a brake assist system helps maintain control braking.

1.3. Performance

The Dynamax system offers a fully active, high-performance AWD coupling that can provide up to 40% of available torque to the rear wheels, and it can also automatically direct torque to the wheel with the most traction. This system also includes features like cornering control, which automatically applies the inside rear brake to help reduce understeer and increase cornering performance, all while being unnoticeable to the driver. The Dynamax AWD system would not only increase acceleration performance over all models but also bring quiet and easier handling during acceleration due to its torque distribution system. This would give AWD Sportage models, in any trim, a definitive edge in performance over its class rivals. [6]

The AWD model comes standard with a 2.4 liter 176 hp 168 lb ft torque engine, with an optional upgrade to the more powerful 2.0 liter turbo engine. The AWD system offers the more powerful 2.0L I4 turbo GDI engine that can generate 260 hp at 6,000 rpm and a substantial 269 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,850 – 3,000 rpm. This is available, allowing for greater performance and handling on a variety of road surfaces, gathered through an optional add-on to the base package, that being the Dynamax AWD system.

The Kia Sportage EX and LX alike come standard as FWD with the option of upgrading to the AWD package for increased performance and handling. The 2013 EX model comes standard with a 2.4 liter 176 hp 168 lb ft torque engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The LX model, on the other hand, comes standard with a 2.4 liter 176 hp 168 lb ft torque engine. A significant increase in performance can be achieved by the LX model with the option of upgrading to the 2.0 liter turbo engine with 260 hp and 269 lb ft torque, coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission. This gives the LX model a greater acceleration performance over the EX model, making its 0-60 time quicker.

2. Similarities

The LX and EX trim lines share identical safety sets, and the two are compared here. Kia's safety quotient across the entire Sportage range has been a big drawcard, but some changes specifically for the 2023 model year ramp it up further. If you'd like to know what they do to earn a 2023 Sportage five stars, read our article on Kia safety changes. As safety is one of the highest priorities for car buyers, it is beneficial to make a comparison between the latest medium SUV models. Both LX and EX come standard with every available Kia feature except adaptive cruise control. This standard safety equipment includes six airbags (dual front, side and curtain) and driver's knee, stability control, ABS, traction control, seatbelt warning system, 3-point ELR seatbelts for all seating positions, child restraint anchorage points and shock sensing automatic door unlocking. The LX and EX models both come with a larger touchscreen head unit compared to the recommendation and entry variants and a new steering wheel. Smartphone mirroring technology has been dropped for the new models, but it still has wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so phone connectivity remains easy for everyone. Additionally, there is one extra USB port for a total of two. The premium 7-speaker JBL sound system upgrade from the EX now comes with the LX as well, and an all-automatic DIM (day-night) rearview mirror is another added feature for the 2023 model year.

2.1. Safety Features

High beam assist is another feature that helps better illuminate the road and potential threats by automatically switching back to low beam when an oncoming vehicle is detected and will then turn back on high beam when the vehicle has passed. This provides better visibility at night and can help avoid collisions caused by a lack of visibility at appropriate times.

Both trims also come with driver attention warning and high beam assist. These features also help avoid collisions by monitoring the driver's actions and external factors to make split-second decisions to give driver aid. Driver attention warning provides alerts when erratic or fatigued driving is detected and suggests that the driver takes a break in order to avoid accidents caused by loss of concentration.

Lane keep assist also helps to avoid collisions with visual and audible signals to drivers that help guide the vehicle back into the lane in situations where the driver begins to veer out of the lane without the use of a turn signal. This feature is one of the leading causes of single driver collisions that result in injury. The guidance provided by this feature helps reduce fatalities and injuries caused by these types of collisions.

Both trims come with exceptional standard advanced safety features such as forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, driver attention warning, and high beam assist. These features help provide protection to drivers and their passengers through a variety of situations. If a significant emergency happens, the driver will have peace of mind knowing that the vehicle will be able to take control and can implement predetermined measures to help avoid a potential collision or minimize the impact.

2.2. Technology and Connectivity

Both models are equipped with Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Essentially, these features allow a third-party application on your phone, such as maps or music, to be displayed on the vehicle's infotainment screen. It is safer and more convenient to use the map app for directions, rather than looking down at your phone held in your hand. It also provides clear access to the music app and allows the use of voice to control the app to keep both hands on the wheel. In our opinion, these are the most useful apps for an infotainment system to have. The 2022 Kia Sportage ranks the highest in customer satisfaction with multimedia at 833 (on a 1,000-point scale), and the trend is likely to continue with the 2023 Sportage. The final similarity is a wireless charger. This is an incredibly useful feature to charge up a mobile device. Often times, charging cords can get in the way, and a wireless charger can mitigate that problem. It is also hard to dislike a wireless charger, up until you are forced to use a charging cord in a rental car that does not have a charger for your specific device. Learn More about: Sportage LX vs EX

3. Pricing and Options

Pricing is an important aspect of the buying process, and below will be a comparison between the two trims along with optional packages. In general, the SUV segment has been replaced by the crossover segment in the past years, and as a result, the cost has lowered for the consumer. As a result, the new 2023 Kia Sportage is aimed at mid 20-30 year old consumers who may be just starting a family. The prices of the LX and EX trims are not much different from one another. The LX starts at about $20,000 with 2WD or about $21,000 with 4WD. A significant upgrade to the 2023 Sportage LX trim is the air conditioning. This may sound rather trivial to consumers, but imagine getting with your very close to $20,000 purchase, only to find that it doesn't have air conditioning. The Sportage LX includes standard performance features, such as a 2.0L I4 16-valve DOHC engine, paired with either a 5-speed manual with OD or a 4-speed automatic with overdrive transmission. Always included is a 5-mph bump on the front and rear, along with the BOSCH 8.0 antilock brakes with 2 channel, 4 sensor ABS. There are also standard safety features including dual front airbags with a supplemental restraint, 3-point seatbelts at all seating positions, front and rear crumple zones, side impact door beams, and a child seat lower anchors. A great feature included in the LX and EX trims is the choice between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. This is found in the BorgMatic control, which provides excellent handling in slippery driving conditions. This is a great feature to have for people not living in the temperate states. To sum it up, at $20,000, the 2023 LX is a great value for someone only spending the initial cost for a vehicle or worried about those expensive student loans.

3.1. LX Trim Pricing

As the base model of the 2023 Kia Sportage, the LX trim gives a new impression. Cheap price doesn't mean bad. Kia tries to give something different to the LX trim. The all-new 2023 Kia Sportage LX offers a lot of added value from the outside and inside the car. The all-new 2023 Kia Sportage has a new design to make it more elegant and stylish than before. It can be seen from the front of the car, which has a Tiger Nose grille, giving it a muscular and bold style. LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and halogen headlamps provide better visibility when turning right or left in the afternoon or at night. At the back of the car, there is a rear spoiler connected to the high mount stop lamp and LED rear combination lamps, improving visibility from the rear. This car has the same length as the old Kia Sportage. We can see the design similarities in the rear door and the back of the old Kia Sportage. However, these cars have a different belt line design. The new Kia Sportage has a lower belt line, providing better visibility for the driver and passengers. The wheel arch has slightly more room because the new Kia Sportage has a larger wheelbase than before. This car uses 17-inch alloy wheels made from aluminum, making it lightweight. This alloy is an added value because the old Kia Sportage used 16-inch steel discs. This car has a better body structure to enhance safety, making it more rigid and stronger. It can be seen from the average of the H-shaped subframe (60%) which improves collision impact absorption. The roof strength has been increased by 2 times compared to before, and more high-strength adhesives (400% more) have been used to improve steering handling and ride quality. This car is available in 6 colors and the price is the same. Stepping into the car, it has higher interior quality than the old one. It can be seen from the soft-touch upper surface on the instrument panel and the doors. The new white illumination gives it a futuristic look and better visibility than before. The old Kia Sportage didn't have a supervision instrument cluster and Rear Camera Display or Rear Parking Assist System (RPAS) at the low trim level. Now it has been added to the LX trim. The Kia Sportage also provides a 6/4-way manually adjustable driver's seat for better comfort while driving. The cargo room has an 18% greater volume than before, and a dual-level board provides numerous storage levels. We can put the board in the lowest floor to get more cargo room or put it in the highest floor to hide the cargo. The second-row seat has a 1-step reclining function and a 17-step adjustable backrest. Lastly, the center armrest with a cup holder provides better comfort for the passengers. This car has the same audio system as the EX trim, but it doesn't have as much variety. It only has a USB jack with iPod or BlackBerry connection support and a 3-month subscription for SiriusXM. The all-new 2023 Kia Sportage has better safety features than the old one. Usually, low trim levels don't have good safety features, but Kia has now taken that into consideration. It has 4-wheel ABS and ESC as standard safety features for all the series. It also has 4 airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, to provide better collision protection for the passengers. Lastly, the rollover sensor makes the airbag deployment longer when the car overturns. All the safety and added value features give momentum to the LX trim pricing. Now customers will get better features at a cheaper price, and of course, this car has better fuel economy than the old one.

3.2. Ex Trim Pricing

Upgrade to an EX and pricing for the Sportage begins at $24,000. Standard gear includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic high beam assist, front and rear parking, blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning and unique to the EX, driver assist emergency stopping. Additionally, a smart powered tailgate and rear USB port are added. Interior additions include leatherette seating surfaces with heated front seats and steering wheel and the availability of a two-tone light grey interior. EX trim vehicles have the availability of a Premium package which includes a panoramic sunroof, LED interior lighting, heated rear seats, 8-way power adjustable passenger seat, auto dimming mirror with Homelink and power folding outside mirrors. The EX Sport appearance package goes one step further with the addition of LED fog lights, chrome side sill and door handle trim, and a dual muffler tip for $1,300 that can only be paired with the Premium package.

3.3. Optional Packages

The 2023 Kia Sportage offers optional packages that are integrated in addition to the existing features of the LX and EX trim levels. The Luxury Package is offered to LX automatic transmission trim. This package includes simulated leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, and a power sunroof. The Premium Package is offered to the EX automatic transmission trim and integrates luxury and convenience with a 6CD changer and an auto-dimming mirror. These packages include a 3-month trial subscription to XM Satellite Radio. Also included in the 3-month trial to XM Satellite Radio is a 3-month trial to over 130 channels of best-in-class music, talk, comedy, sports, and news. Everything worth listening to is on XM. In addition to the best-in-class music, XM leads the industry in sports, news, and talk radio. With so much variety, it is like having cable TV for your radio. These packages give the Sportage extra comfort and convenience without breaking the bank.

4. Conclusion

Based on the upgrades and the changes made to the new 2023 Kia Sportage LX and EX, it is safe to say that the 2023 Kia Sportage is superior when compared to the previous generation and other vehicles within the same class. Through the use of higher quality materials, the blending of functionality and design, and the use of advanced technologies, the 2023 Kia Sportage truly stands out when compared to other SUVs within its class. The 2023 Kia Sportage offers drivers and passengers a great versatile vehicle that is also safe and fun for everyday driving. With the offering of two trim levels, the 2023 Kia Sportage will appeal to those with a variety of needs, with a very appealing price range. The changes and advancements made to the 2023 Kia Sportage truly show how dedicated Kia is to producing a great SUV and always striving to be the best. Read More about: Detailed Sportage trim analysis.


[1] Y. Li, W. Yang, X. Zhang, X. Kang et al., "Research on automatic driving trajectory planning and tracking control based on improvement of the artificial potential field method," Sustainability, 2022. mdpi.com

[2] L. Labanieh, R. G. Majzner, D. Klysz, E. Sotillo, C. J. Fisher, et al., "Enhanced safety and efficacy of protease-regulated CAR-T cell receptors," Cell, vol. 2022. [Online]. Available: cell.com. cell.com

[3] S. F. Baumgarten, R. Verma, O. Lunov, A. Dejneka, "Liver organoids: recent developments, limitations and potential," in Frontiers in ..., 2021. frontiersin.org

[4] L. Chen, L. Li, F. Y. Wang, A. Khajepour, "Proximity based automatic data annotation for autonomous driving," IEEE/CAA Journal of Automata Sinica, 2020. academia.edu

[5] P. M. N. G. Cássio, "Boutique hotels: Understanding service quality dimensions through the analysis of online reviews," 2021. iscte-iul.pt

[6] B. Kundrotas and J. Kundrotas, "Modern car handbook," 2020. mab.lt​​​​​​​​​​​​​​