Crossover & Midsize

Don’t Sleep on the 2018 Kia Sportage

When considering bargain deals for SUVs, the Kia Sportage ranks high on the list. The Kia Sportage is a value buy, as it is one of the most well-rounded SUVs on the market. But before you go purchasing a brand-new model, you may want to consider a used 2018 Kia Sportage.

The Kia Sportage has become a top contender in the compact SUV class since its 2017 redesign, consistently faring well with critics. The 2018 edition might provide the best price/performance ratio, as Consumer Reports estimates its resale value between $15,625-$22,250.

The 2018 Kia Sportage looks excellent on paper, but does it do enough to surpass other model years of the vehicle as well as rival SUVs?

Maximize savings with the 2018 Kia Sportage

A Kia Sportage on display at an auto show advertising its available all-wheel-drive system
A Kia Sportage on display | Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

It’s tempting to get into a brand-new 2020 or 2021 Kia Sportage, but there’s more value to be had elsewhere. Older models have already taken a significant depreciation hit. So, instead of losing money with a new SUV off the lot, you’d see immediate savings by investing in an older model. Plus, you’d be able to upgrade to a higher trim level for less than the cost of a newer model’s base trim.

Meanwhile, the Kia Sportage hasn’t done much in the way of added features over the years. Some amenities and technologies have shifted between trims, but all-in-all, the Sportage is pretty much the same vehicle across the board.

However, the 2018 Kia Sportage seems to set itself apart in two significant categories. According to Consumer Reports, the 2018 Sportage has a better reliability rating (73%) and owner satisfaction rating (68%) than 2020, 2019, and 2017 models. Notably, Consumer Reports has yet to rate the 2021 Kia Sportage.

Value and safety play a huge role 

The 2018 Kia Sportage holds its own against the competition as well. It won U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best New Car For Teens award, which heavily weights crash scores, active safety features, and reliability. Meanwhile, it is more affordable than most of the other heavy-hitters within its class. For instance, the sporty 2018 Mazda CX-5 has a resale value between $18,525-$23,225 – that’s nearly $3,000 more than it cost to get into a 2018 Sportage.

The 2018 Kia Sportage comes with a 181-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that achieves an EPA-estimated 26 MPG city/highway combined. Meanwhile, the athletic SX trim is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which kicks out 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

This compact SUV comes standard with a rearview camera, but other driver-assistance technologies are available. You’ll find blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, automatic pre-collision braking, and more in higher trims. These features make the Kia Sportage a safe option, eliminating stress on new drivers and ensuring security for seasoned motorists. 

The Sportage is plush with high-quality materials throughout its cabin, and it has reclining rear seats, unlike most of the other SUVs in its class. Buyers will have access to premium available features like leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

The final verdict 

RELATED: The Worst Kia Sportage Model Year Had a Catastrophic Problem

The SUV resale market is flooded with options, so arming yourself with knowledge before purchasing is paramount. Keeping essential features such as safety, reliability, and fuel economy at the top of the list while also searching for a bargain can seem nearly impossible. Kia SUVs should not be ignored by shoppers looking for a great deal. 

However, the 2018 Kia Sportage comes in to save the day by checking all the criteria for savvy shoppers. One would do well to consider this sleeper hit when hitting the lot in search of a new vehicle.