The 2020 Kia Sportage Is More Competitive Than You Might Think

You could say that 2020 has been the year of Kia. Kia’s new Telluride has primarily stolen the spotlight this year. But even so, older Kia models are worth your attention too. Kia’s Sportage crossover SUV has become a standout in its own right, especially in 2020.

What made the 2020 Sportage special?

2020 Kia Sportage on display in a showroom
2020 Kia Sportage on display | Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The 2020 Sportage has a lot going for it. For starters, the Sportage will actually give you a sporty driving experience, which isn’t something we can say for many of its competitors. The Sportage offers two appealing engine choices. In fact, the Sportage’s responsive performance is partly why Consumer Reports recommends it over class rivals like the Jeep Compass.

Base Sportage models come with a 181-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The base engine should satisfy most drivers. But as U.S. News pointed out, some critics said it would be nice if it had more passing power. With front-wheel drive, the four-cylinder has a fuel economy rating of 26 mpg overall, which is slightly below average for the class.

For more power, there’s the available 240-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The turbo-four provides a quicker experience, and critics appreciate its liveliness. This option gets up to 21 mpg overall. No matter which engine you choose, a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic is standard. 

“It’s certainly a sporty ride for the segment, but the higher handling abilities thankfully don’t necessarily come at the expense of ride comfort. Even on the SX’s 19-inch wheel and tire package, the Sportage rides smoothly enough…”

CNET 2017

There’s plenty of cabin comforts too

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The Sportage also earns praise for its interior. It can seat up to five, and it’s remarkably generous on passenger space for the class. Additionally, the Sportage is the type of vehicle that can be as luxurious as you want it to be. It comes with cloth upholstery with faux leather and genuine leather as upgrades. Other amenities here include a heated steering wheel and heated and cooled seats. 

Tech lovers will also find a lot to like about the Sportage. This Kia’s user-friendly infotainment system and standard safety features are why U.S. News considers it the best new car for teen drivers. The 2020 Sportage comes with an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a six-speaker stereo. You can also add a navigation system, a larger stereo, and a wireless charging device. 

Consumer Reports also recognizes the Sportage for its advanced safety features. In addition to a backup camera, forward-collision warning, driver attention monitoring, and pedestrian detection. Optional functions include blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. 

Safety and reliability 

2017 Kia Sportage is on display at the 109th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place
The Kia Sportage | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

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You’ll be pleased to know that the 2020 Sportage has earned excellent ratings overall. The IIHS named this Kia as a Top Safety Pick; the NHTSA gave it a five-star crash test safety score. Furthermore, CR and U.S. News gave the SUV solid predicted reliability ratings. The Sportage’s starting prices also make it more competitive. Base models begin at $23,990.