How Does the Honda CR-V Compare to the Kia Sportage?

The Honda CR-V  has been a longtime leader in the compact SUV class. However, class rivals like the Kia Sportage are starting to gain in on the CR-V’s territory. But you might be wondering, is the Honda CR-V or the Kia Sportage better for you?

What the Honda CR-V does well

A sharp, gray 2020 Honda CR-V Touring model parked in the city.
2020 Honda CR-V Touring | Honda

The CR-V has remained popular for its outstanding reliability and charmingly predictable performance. While some 2020 models are still available, more 2021 CR-Vs will be hitting the streets soon. In fact, there aren’t any significant changes with the 2021 version compared to the outgoing one, as U.S. News highlights. 

Some critics say that the CR-V has the most competitive engine in its class. The CR-V gets its power from a 190-hp turbocharged four-cylinder and a continuously variable automatic transmission. This turbo-four accelerates quickly and makes for a responsive ride. It’s also excellent when it comes to fuel economy.

The estimated fuel economy rating for the 2021 model is 30 mpg overall. This makes the CR-V one of the most efficient options in the segment also. Furthermore, the CR-V is also available as a hybrid

What the Kia Sportage does well

A red Kia Sportage on display at an auto show
Kia Sportage | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

RELATED: 2020 Kia Sportage vs. Chevy Equinox: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Most of the 2020 Sportage models are gone now, so now Kia is all about the 2021 model. While the CR-V is distinguished by its calmness and refinement, the 2021 Sportage is known for its agility.

Yes, the Sportage is one of the few options in the compact SUV class that can give you a taste of sporty performance. The Sportage offers two satisfying engine options. Both options are fun to drive too. However, the Sportage is below-average for fuel economy and only gets up to 23 mpg overall. 

If you stick with the base model, you get a 181-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. This option is plenty satisfying for everyday driving situations. But if you want more passing power, there’s the available 240-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder on the SX Turbo trim. No matter which option you choose, a six-speed automatic comes standard. 

Cabin comforts 

The front row of a 2020 Honda CR-V Touring with wood trimmings.
2020 Honda CR-V Touring | Honda

RELATED: The 2018 Honda CR-V Is One Of the Best SUVs for the Money

The CR-V and the Sportage have a lot to offer on the inside. Both can essentially be as upscale as you want them to be depending on the trim you pick. These SUVs can seat up to five people, but the CR-V is more generous with interior space. As U.S. News pointed out, the CR-V has an advantage over competitors like the Sportage because of its passenger room and larger cargo space. 

While the CR-V’s interior is more practical, the Sportage offers more regarding in-car tech. The Sportage comes with features including an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth. A standard CR-V is pretty basic and comes with a 5-inch display screen and Bluetooth. You would have to upgrade your CR-V for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity apps. 

Although, the CR-V and Sportage are more similar regarding advanced safety features. Both come with gadgets, including forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Automatic high-beam lights are also standard on both. 

Additional things to consider 

A 2021 Kia Sportage begins at $23,990, while the estimated cost for a 2021 CR-V is $26,500. The CR-V comes with a more powerful and efficient base engine, additional space, and boasts Honda’s signature reliability. But for those who want an affordable SUV packed with features, the Sportage might be hard to pass up.