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2014 Kia Sportage Review

The 2014 Kia Sportage has better handling than most compact SUVs, but its harsh ride and below-average fuel economy do it no favors in this competitive class. It’s also short on rear-seat room and cargo space.

Pros & Cons

  • Nimble handling for the class
  • Powerful turbocharged engine in the SX trim
  • Confined back seat
  • Less cargo space than rivals
  • Firm, harsh ride
  • Subpar fuel economy

New for 2014

  • More powerful base engine
  • Standard tilt/telescopic steering wheel
  • No manual transmission
  • Upgraded premium audio system

Rankings & Research

The 2014 Kia Sportage's #6 ranking is based on its score within the 2014 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Kia Sportage has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 42 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 8.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2014 Kia Sportage Overview

Is the 2014 Kia Sportage a Good Used SUV?

The Sportage will appeal to you if you want an SUV with edgy handling. You should look elsewhere, however, if cargo space, interior comfort, and a smooth ride are important to you.

The Sportage comes with one of two four-cylinder engines, producing either 182 or 260 horsepower. Acceleration is brisk with the base power plant, but the SX trim’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine is livelier. Fuel economy is poor for the class: 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with the base engine and 20/26 mpg city/highway with the turbo four. An automatic transmission and front-wheel drive come standard. All-wheel drive is available. The Sportage has responsive steering and nimbler handling than most compact SUVs. Ride quality is poor, however, particularly over rough surfaces.

Read more about Sportage performance »

The Sportage’s cabin is noisy and cramped compared to rival crossover SUVs. Its five seats are too firm for optimum comfort. Leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat are available. Rear seats are too cramped for adults, and visibility out back is poor. There are two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats and a tether-only connection in the middle seat. The Sportage has below-average cargo space for a compact SUV.

The LX (base) trim comes with a four-speaker audio system with satellite radio, a USB port, and Bluetooth. The EX and SX trims add an Infinity six-speaker audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control, a cooling glove box, and Kia's UVO infotainment system. Models with the Premium package have navigation – which works well once you become familiar with it – and a panoramic sunroof.

Read more about Sportage interior »

Used 2014 Kia Sportage Prices

The base 2014 Sportage LX is priced around $14,000, while the top-level SX model with all-wheel drive costs about $20,000. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, location, and mileage.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2014 Kia Sportage?

J.D. Power and Associates gives the 2014 Kia Sportage a reliability rating of three out of five – about average for the compact SUV class.

How Safe Is the Sportage?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2014 Sportage a rating of Good (the highest score) in four out of five test categories. The IIHS gave it a Poor rating, however, for the small overlap front test. The Sportage earned four out of five stars in rollover crash testing from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

A rearview camera with rear parking sensors is available in the LX (base) trim and standard in the EX and SX trims. Some rivals offer more advanced safety features.

See Sportage safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Sportage?

The 2014 Kia Sportage is part of the SUV’s third generation, which spans the 2011 through 2016 model years. You'll likely save money with a 2012 or 2013 Sportage, but you’ll miss out on some updates. For 2014, Kia improved the Sportage’s suspension, added reclining rear seats, and made the automatic transmission the only gearbox available.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Sportage »

Which Used Kia Sportage Is Right for Me?

The 2014 Kia Sportage comes in three trims: LX, EX, and SX. For the best value, go with the EX trim. It comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera with rear parking sensors, a cooling glove box, and 18-inch alloy wheels. You also get the UVO infotainment system, which comes with an Infinity six-speaker audio system and HD Radio. Seating enhancements include a power-adjustable driver’s seat and heated front seats.

You may want to buy a certified pre-owned Sportage. Kia’s certified pre-owned vehicles receive the balance of the original 10-year/100,000-mile new-car powertrain warranty, plus a one-year/12,000-mile Platinum warranty for non-powertrain parts. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Kia warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

We Did the Research for You: 42 Pieces of Data Analyzed

We don't base our buying advice on our personal opinions; we use data. We gather and analyze trustworthy reviews, reliability and safety scores, and total ownership costs to give you a clear picture of how the 2014 Kia Sportage stacks up against other compact SUVs.

Why You Can Trust Us

At U.S. News & World Report, we've been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs for a decade. Our Best Cars team has a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive industry. To remain unbiased, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from the car companies, and an outside team handles our advertising.

2014 Kia Sportage and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2014 Kia Sportage or 2014 Kia Sorento?

You’ll pay a little more for the Kia Sorento, a midsize SUV, but the extra cost is worth it. There’s more seating and cargo space in the Sorento, and an available third row brings seating capacity up to seven. The Sorento's first two rows are roomy and comfortable, though third-row seating is tight. Acceleration with the base engine is adequate, but an available V6 offers more power. Unlike its smaller stablemate, the Sorento rides smoothly.

Which Is Better: 2014 Kia Sportage or 2014 Ford Escape?

Like the Sportage, the Ford Escape has good handling but a firm ride. However, the Escape offers better fuel economy overall, and its fuel-efficient turbo-four will save you about $200 per year in fuel costs compared to the base Sportage. Unlike the Kia Sportage, the Ford Escape comes with roomier rear seats, more cargo space, and a standard rearview camera. Some of the Escape’s available features are uncommon for the class, like parallel park assist and a foot-activated liftgate.

Which Is Better: 2014 Kia Sportage or 2014 Hyundai Tucson?

The Hyundai Tucson and its cousin the Sportage have a lot in common. Both are relatively sporty handlers. Neither has a strong base engine, comfortable interiors, or generous cargo holds. However, the Tucson is better on a day-to-day basis because it offers a more comfortable ride.

Compare the Sportage, Escape, and Tucson »

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