Skip to main content

Toyota and Honda are the gold standard in reliability. The Japanese auto giants also make two of the most successful compact SUVs: the RAV4 and the CR-V. However, a new study shows the most reliable compact SUV isn’t a Toyota or Honda. It’s the Kia Sportage.

The Kia Sportage is the most reliable compact SUV in 1 new study

A 2023 Kia Sportage, the mot reliable compact SUV per J.D. Power
2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro | Kia

Reliability is a crucial consideration when shopping for a compact SUV. That factor can have a significant impact on vehicle ownership. If a car is highly reliable, it will likely have fewer and less severe repairs, resulting in lower repair costs and less hassle. Other benefits include better performance, safety, and longevity.

And in compact SUV dependability, the best choice isn’t the Toyota RAV4 or the Honda CR-V, according to J.D. Power. The most reliable compact SUV is the Kia Sportage.

J.D. Power recently released the results of its 2023 Vehicle Dependability Study, honoring the three highest-rated models in each vehicle segment. The Sportage took the top spot among compact SUVs. Neither the RAV4 nor the CR-V appear. The Buick Envision placed second, and the Jeep Cherokee placed third. 

Owners reported very few Kia Sportage problems

Moonroof in 2023 Kia Sportage, J.D. Power most reliable compact SUV, not a Toyota or Honda
2023 Kia Sportage | Kia

The Kia Sportage earned the title of the most reliable SUV because it performed well in the 2023 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study. For the study, J.D. Power collected thousands of owner surveys over the previous year. The owners of 2020 model-year vehicles identified various problem areas. They include exterior, interior, powertrain, driving experience, climate, infotainment, driving assistance, seats, and controls. 

Because the Sportage had the fewest issues in these problem areas, J.D. Power named it the most reliable compact SUV — beating out the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and all other vehicles in the segment. 

Along with the Sportage, the Kia brand fared well in the study. J.D. Power recognized it as the third most reliable car brand — and tops for reliability among mainstream automakers. Other Kia models also took home honors. The Forte compact car and Optima midsize car earned the top spots in their classes. In addition, the Sedona earned second place for minivan reliability, while the Sorento took the second spot for three-row midsize SUVs.

The 2023 Sportage got an exciting redesign

The Kia Sportage is even better in 2023, thanks to a superb redesign. It has a stylish new look, with a more technical tiger-nose grille, boomerang daytime running lights, angular fenders, and notch-shaped taillights.

The attractive styling continues into the modern and refined cabin. This reliable compact SUV also touts new tech features, including a massive panoramic curved display with two 12.3-inch screens. Plus, the redesigned Sportage saw a growth spurt, resulting in more interior space. That includes class-leading rear cargo capacity (39.6 cubic feet) and rear legroom (41.3 inches).

Furthermore, the 2023 Sportage offers new hybrid models with better fuel economy. The standard hybrid gets an estimated 43 mpg city/highway combined, while the plug-in hybrid gets 84 MPGe in electric-only mode and 35 mpg combined in hybrid mode. Additionally, adventure seekers can choose from the new X-Pro and X-Pro Prestige off-road trims.

The Kia Sportage is a compact SUV with excellent reliability. It tops its class rivals in the J.D. Power study, including the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V.