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Some of the best used compact SUVs out there are the Honda CR-V and the Kia Sportage. When it comes to shopping for a used model, the 2018 model year for both of these SUVs is a solid option. Picking one to invest your hard-earned money in can be difficult. Here we compare the two so you can decide for yourself what SUV you want to purchase for your family. 

A quick comparison of both used compact SUVs

2018 Honda CR-V 2018 Kia Sportage
Avg. used price$25,517-$32,244$21,960-$28,369
Engines2.4-liter Inline four2.4-liter Inline four
Horsepower/torque   184 hp/180 lb-ft181 hp/175 lb-ft
Transmission/drivetrainCVT/ FWD Six-speed automatic
Acceleration/top speed 7.7 seconds/130 mph8.8 seconds/N/A
Fuel efficiency(FWD)26 mpg city/32 mpg hwy23 mpg city/30 mpg hwy
Safety ratingsFive-star ratingsFive-star ratings

The 2018 Honda CR-V’s pros and cons

The 2018 Honda CR-V is the brand’s best-selling SUV in the lineup. It has roomy seating with 41.3 inches of space for legroom in the front and 40.4 inches in the back. The CR-V also impressed critics with its excellent handling and ride quality as well. 

When it comes to fuel economy, the Honda outshines some of its rivals with 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg when traveling on the highway with the front-wheel drive version, according to U.S. News. If you choose an AWD model, you’ll get around 25 mpg on city roads and 31 mpg on the highway. 

As for cargo space, the 2018 Honda CR-V offers 39.2 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats and 75.8 cubic feet total if you fold down the back seats. Another area the CR-V impressed critics is with its safety scores. It received five stars overall from NHTSA and was awarded the IIHS Top Safety Pick distinction. 

When it comes to cons, though, the U.S. reviewers only had one to report and it was with the pricing. It’s more expensive than most of the competitors in its class. The Sportage starts at about $4000 less than the Honda. 

2018 Kia Sportage: the good and the bad

The 2018 Kia Sportage has a spacious interior, including the seats. For the front driver and passenger, you get 41.5 inches of legroom, while the occupants in the rear get 38.2 inches of space for their legs. This model also excelled in the way it handled on their road tests

Kia’s last impressive trait with the Sportage model is its predicted reliability rating, which earned a four out of five score from J.D. Power, which beats out Honda, who received a three out of five. Safety scores were similar to those the CR-V received; it also received a Top Safety Pick award for that year. 

2018 Honda CR-V vs. 2018 Kia Sportage in driving and performance

U.S. News had no problem testing out the Honda CR-V due to its driving capabilities. The reviewers reported that it had an excellent suspension system, absorbing all sorts of bumps and dips in the road. The steering was also responsive and it remained balanced throughout all sorts of curves and turns. 

The Sportage didn’t perform as well, though. While its suspension system was good and the steering was top-notch, it didn’t have enough power under the hood to accelerate. The Kia Sportage can go from 0 to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds, which is about a full second slower than the Honda. 

Neither the 2.4-liter Inline four standard on the model nor the available 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder could muster enough pep. With the CR-V, you got plenty of zip with its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (standard). Its available 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine produces 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque, which was also impressive. 

2018 Honda CR-V vs. 2018 Kia Sportage: interior and tech

The 2018 Honda CR-V offers manually adjustable cloth seats in the front, a 5.0-inch infotainment display screen(base), a 7.0-inch touchscreen (all other trims), 12-volt power outlets, and a four-speaker audio system. If you want a premium interior, you can upgrade to leather seating and a heated steering wheel with leather coverings. 

The Sportage has a standard 5.0-inch touchscreen, but there’s an available 7.0- or 8.0-inch display if you want to upgrade. You also get a six-speaker system, Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. The 2018 Kia Sportage offers leather seating as well as an available feature. 

2018 Honda CR-V vs. 2018 Kia Sportage: trim levels and features

Honda offers four CR-V trim levels. The base is the LX, which comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, halogen headlights, a multiview rear camera, remote keyless entry, and automatic climate control. Upgrading to the EX model gets you three USB ports, satellite radio, push-button start, and dual-zone climate control. 

Next up, the EX-L offers leather coverings, power-adjustable front seats, an eight-speaker stereo system, and a power liftgate. The Touring model, the top trim of the CR-V gets you LED headlights, a navigational system, a nine-speaker audio system, a hands-free power liftgate, and an HD radio. 

The Kia Sportage begins with the LX version, which offers a rearview camera, a 5.0-inch touchscreen, and a six-speaker system. Upgrading to the EX model will get you heated front seats, leather upholstery, and rear-cross traffic alert. The top trim is the SX Turbo, which offers an auto-dimming rearview mirror, autonomous emergency braking, and lane-departure warning. 

Which used compact SUV is the right fit for you?

Both used compact SUVs offer decent interior space and a wide range of standard features. Which one you should buy will boil down to what items are important for you and your situation. If you think fuel economy and cargo space are top priorities, the Honda CR-V would be an excellent choice, but not everyone needs that. 

Those that might be more interested in good reliability ratings and decent tech features should probably consider a Kia Sportage. You’d still get some cargo space, but not as much as the CR-V. 


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