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MSRP: $23,990 - 34,990

8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 8.1
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2020 Kia Sportage Review

The 2020 Kia Sportage features an attractive interior, plenty of easy-to-use technology, and a smooth ride. This level of all-around quality earns the Sportage a spot in the top third of our compact SUV rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable ride
  • Composed handling
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Roomy cabin with handsome materials
  • Below-average fuel economy estimates
  • Less cargo room than rivals

New for 2020

  • Standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 8-inch touch screen
  • Driver condition monitor and forward collision warning with pedestrian detection now standard

Is the Kia Sportage a Good SUV?

Yes, the 2020 Kia Sportage is a good compact SUV. It has a comfortable ride and composed handling, and its upscale interior looks great. There are plenty of tech features, including a user-friendly infotainment system. This crossover isn't perfect, as some rivals offer more cargo space and better fuel efficiency. Overall, though, the Sportage stacks up well against the competition.

Should I Buy the Kia Sportage?

There’s a lot to like about the Sportage. It’s well-rounded, with strengths in areas ranging from ride quality to infotainment controls. In this competitive segment, though, there are other SUVs worth eyeing too. The Mazda CX-5 boasts exceptional athleticism, and the Honda CR-V has a huge cargo hold and lots of room for passengers to stretch out.

Compare the Sportage, CX-5, and CR-V »

Should I Buy a New or Used Kia Sportage?

Kia last redesigned the Sportage for the 2017 model year. You might save money by choosing a Sportage from the previous generation, but you’d lose out on major updates, such as a standard touch screen and rearview camera, available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, improved fuel economy estimates, and more cargo and passenger room.

Outside of some feature shuffling, there haven't been any major changes since the 2017 redesign. For example, Kia made several features standard in the 2020 Sportage that were extra-cost options in earlier models. These include an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a few safety features, such as a driver condition monitor and forward collision warning with pedestrian detection. You might find a similarly equipped used Sportage for less money.

Visit our reviews of the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Sportage if you're interested in an older model. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Kia Sportage »

We Did the Research for You: 23 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about the Kia Sportage in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data like fuel economy estimates, predicted reliability ratings, and cargo space dimensions with professional evaluations from 23 automotive sources. This Kia Sportage review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for the 2017 model year.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Kia Sportage Cost?

The base Kia Sportage LX has a starting price of $23,990. That’s in line with the base prices of many class rivals. The top-level SX Turbo trim starts at $33,490. Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Kia dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Kia deals page.

Kia Sportage Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Kia Sportage or Hyundai Tucson?

The Hyundai Tucson is a good compact SUV. Like the Kia, the Hyundai provides a comfortable ride and an easy-to-use infotainment system. It has adequate engines, though the Sportage's turbocharged engine is stronger than anything the Tucson offers. These two vehicles earn similar mpg estimates and have similarly sized cargo holds. However, the Kia has more engaging handling and nicer cabin materials. Both are good picks, but the Sportage is a slightly better one.

Which Is Better: Kia Sportage or Toyota RAV4?

The Toyota RAV4 is another great choice. It boasts a spacious cabin and an intuitive infotainment system, plus it has more cargo room and standard safety features than the Sportage. It’s also one of the most fuel-efficient models in the class. At the same time, the Toyota rides smoothly and remains balanced around turns. For its part, the Kia has a more upscale cabin and more buttoned down handling. Choosing between these two is a matter of preference.

Compare the Sportage, Tucson, and RAV4 »

Sportage Interior

How Many People Does the Sportage Seat?

This SUV seats five people on standard cloth upholstery. Heated, ventilated, and power-adjustable front seats are available, as are synthetic or genuine leather seats and a heated steering wheel. The seats are comfortable and both rows are spacious with generous amounts of head- and legroom.

Sportage and Child Car Seats

The Kia Sportage has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the rear outboard seats, as well as a third tether anchor for the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the setup the second-best rating of Acceptable for ease of use because the lower anchors are set too deep in the seats.

Sportage Interior Quality

Premium cabin materials and available chrome and leather accents help this vehicle feel luxurious.

Sportage Cargo Space

This Kia has 30.7 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 60.1 cubic feet with them folded down. Both figures are lower than class rivals' dimensions, but the fold-flat seats, adjustable-height cargo floor, and available power liftgate help make the space easy to use.

Sportage Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Sportage include an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, and a USB port. A navigation system is available, along with wireless phone charging, a second USB port, a Harman Kardon eight-speaker sound system, and satellite radio.

The infotainment system is easy to use, and there are lots of physical controls. The touch screen responds quickly to inputs.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Sportage Performance

Sportage Engine: Strong Enough

Standard in the Sportage’s lower trims is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 181 horsepower. A 240-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder comes in the SX Turbo trim. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The base engine performs adequately and holds its own on highway jaunts and when you're cruising around town. For brisker acceleration and more energy, look to the SX Turbo and its turbocharged engine. The automatic transmission shifts seamlessly.

Sportage Gas Mileage: Slightly Thirsty

This SUV gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. When equipped with all-wheel drive, it gets 22 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. With the turbocharged engine, the Sportage's fuel economy estimates drop to 20/28 mpg city/highway. AWD Sportages with the turbo engine get 19/24 mpg city/highway. All figures are slightly subpar for the class.

Sportage Ride and Handling: Gentle and Composed

The Sportage strikes a sweet balance between comfort and sportiness. Few road flaws transmit to the cabin, and though it’s not as agile as some rivals, the Sportage feels composed and confident tackling twists and turns. Front-wheel drive comes standard; all-wheel drive is available.

Read more about performance »

Sportage Reliability

Is the Kia Sportage Reliable?

The 2020 Sportage has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Kia Sportage Warranty

Kia covers the Sportage with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. That’s one of the longest warranties among compact SUVs.

Read more about reliability »

Sportage Safety

Sportage Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested this Kia SUV as of this writing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it an overall rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in the side crash test and four stars in frontal crash and rollover tests.

Safety Features

The entry-level LX trim has a driver attention monitor, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, a rearview camera, automatic high beams, and a pre-collision warning and braking system with pedestrian detection. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are available, as are front and rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control.

Read more about safety »

Sportage Dimensions and Weight

The 2020 Kia Sportage is about 14.7 feet long. It has a curb weight ranging from 3,305 to 3,997 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Sportage Built?

Kia builds the 2020 Sportage in Korea.

Which Kia Sportage Model Is Right for Me?

Kia offers the Sportage in four trim levels: LX, S, EX, and SX Turbo. The first three have a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 181 horsepower. The SX Turbo swaps that out for a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 240 horsepower. This means shoppers who want the more capable turbo-four will need to jump to the top-of-the-line trim. For others, the base LX is a good pick, as it comes with ample tech and safety features.

All-wheel drive is available as a $1,500 option in all but the S trim, where it costs $1,700.

Kia Sportage LX

The base Kia Sportage LX has an MSRP of $23,990. Standard equipment includes an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker stereo, cloth seats, a rearview camera, lane keep assist, a driver attention monitor, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, brake assist, and pedestrian detection. Kia offers an LX Popular package for $1,595. It features dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

Kia Sportage S

With an MSRP of $25,990, the S trim adds blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and synthetic leather seats. An S Sunroof package costs $1,100 and adds a panoramic sunroof. The S Premium package ($3,200) includes the sunroof and the contents of the Popular package, as well as proximity keyless entry, push-button start, heated front seats, a wireless phone charger, satellite radio, a second USB port, and adaptive cruise control.

Kia Sportage EX

The Sportage EX retails for $27,190. It gains dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start. The EX Technology package costs $4,500 and adds the remaining contents of the Premium package, as well as ventilated front seats, a navigation system, an eight-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound stereo, leather upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, a heated steering wheel, and front and rear parking sensors.

Kia Sportage SX Turbo

The SX Turbo (MSRP: $33,490) is the top-of-the-line Sportage. Its main addition is the turbo-four engine mentioned earlier, but it also gains all the options listed above.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Kia dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Kia deals page.

See 2020 Kia Sportage specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Kia Sportage earns a spot in the top third of our compact SUV rankings on the strength of its many appealing traits. These include roomy seats, intuitive tech features, an upscale cabin, and a cushioned ride. There are several intriguing options in the class, but this Kia is worth a look.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • The 2020 Kia Sportage is a capable and reasonably priced compact-crossover SUV with updated looks, a choice of engines and a good selection of high-tech features. Four fit comfortably inside this compact Kia SUV, and there’s plenty of space in back for all your luggage." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It's hard to find style and versatility in the same place, but the redesigned Kia Sportage delivers on both counts. You'll like the number of features that Kia has packed into this small crossover, too. It's one of our top choices for 2017." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The fourth-generation Kia Sportage has an all-new look wrapping a stronger chassis festooned with more connectivity than you can shake a smart remote at." -- Autoweek (2017)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: September 12, 2019

Warming Sales: Sales of the Sportage sit near the bottom of the highly-competitive compact SUV segment. Rivals like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V are outselling the Kia more than 4 to 1. However, dealerships have sold 5.4 percent more Sportage models so far this year compared to the same period in 2018. 

Research more buying advice »
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