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2020 Kia Sportage

$23,990 - $34,990
Price Range (MSRP)
Kia Sportage

2020 Kia Sportage Review

by Roger Biermann

2020 sees the release of the newly facelifted Kia Sportage, featuring updated good looks, a plethora of safety features old and new, and a premium interior normally reserved for a much higher price point. Power is drawn from either a 2.4-liter inline-four-cylinder motor producing 181 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque or a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing an impressive 240 hp and 260 lb-ft. Kia's six-speed automatic transmission delivers that power to either two or four wheels with an optional Dynamax all-wheel-drive system. The Kia doesn't have to look far for competition, however, with Honda's CR-V and the Sportage's South Korean counterpart, the Hyundai Tucson, putting up a stiff challenge for the segment lead.

2020 Kia Sportage Changes: What’s the difference vs 2019 Sportage?

With Kia's mid-life refresh of the Sportage'ss design, we see the exterior sporting new front and rear bumpers, updated headlights and fog lights, brand new designs for its 17-, 18- and 19-inch wheels, as well as a new exhaust tip design. Kia has also reintroduced the S trim to the line-up, offering a mid-range option for prospective buyers. Features have also seen changes made, with an eight-inch infotainment system now standard. We also see the addition of new technology, such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, pedestrian detection, and driver-attention monitor.

Pros and Cons

  • Well-equipped base model
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Optional turbocharged motor has potent performance
  • Superior warranty to most rivals
  • Great infotainment system
  • Below average fuel economy
  • Cargo capacity lags behind the segment-best
  • No manual offering

Sportage Exterior

The Sportage has made great use of its mid-life refresh, sporting 17-inch wheels on the base LX trim, 18-inch wheels in varying designs on the S and EX trims, and 19-inch wheels on the range-topping SX Turbo. The new headlights, meanwhile, resemble those of Kia's performance-oriented Stinger, particularly when equipped with LED functionality on the SX Turbo, which also receives a standard panoramic sunroof and metal-look skid plates. Roof rails are equipped from the S trim upwards.

2020 Kia Sportage Front View Driving
2020 Kia Sportage Front Angle View
2020 Kia Sportage Rear Angle View
See All 2020 Kia Sportage Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Drivetrain configurations see the dimensions of the 2020 Sportage differ slightly, the most notable difference being the approach angle bumping from 16.7 degrees to a generously claimed 28 degrees. Ground clearance is also improved from 6.4 inches to 6.8 inches. Depending on your choice of trim and spec, the Sportage has a curb weight ranging from 3,305 lbs to 3,997 lbs. The total length of the Sportage comes in at 176.4 inches distributed over a 105.1-inch wheelbase and sits 73 inches wide. Height is also affected by drivetrain with FWD models standing 64.4-inches tall and AWD models at 64.8 inches.

Exterior Colors

Keeping in line with its subtle but pronounced exterior styling, color choices for the Sportage range from the usually expected white to black shades, with three colorful options available. Moving from the lighter end of the spectrum, your options are Snow White Pearl, Sparkling Silver, Steel Gray, and ultimately Black Cherry. We notice the omission of Mineral Silver this year around, too. In its base model LX trim, Snow White Pearl is replaced by Clear White, which is the only change to the color palette across Sportage trims. For the more eye-catching colors, Kia offers a very vibrant Hyper Red, Burnished Copper, and a very executive looking Pacific Blue.

  • Hyper Red
  • Snow White Pearl
  • Black Cherry Pearl
  • Steel Gray, Late Availability
  • Pacific Blue
  • Sparkling Silver
  • Clear White
  • Burnished Copper
  • Mineral Silver

Sportage Performance

The 2020 Kia Sportage in SX Turbo trim utilizes a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder motor capable of producing 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Even when paired with Kia's optional Dynamax all-wheel-drive system with locking center differential, power figures only see a reduction of three horsepower. It's this turbocharged engine that proffers the best performance, with a 0-60 mph time of seven seconds dead making it one of the quickest crossovers in its segment. For the rest of the trim range, the Sportage makes use of the 2.4-liter inline-four-cylinder motor, delivering 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Both motors are rated for a 2,000 lbs maximum towing capacity. Compared to its rivals, both the Hyundai Tucson and Mazda CX-5 come with optional AWD systems as well.

2020 Kia Sportage Front View Driving
2020 Kia Sportage Rear View Driving
2020 Kia Sportage Engine

Engine and Transmission

As with last year's model, the 2020 Kia Sportage has a selection of two engines available. The LX, EX, and S trims make use of a 2.4-liter inline-four-cylinder motor producing 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Ensuring smooth and gradual power delivery is Kia's electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission, sending power to either the front wheels or all four when paired with its Dynamax AWD system. Getting up to speed on the highway is done with ease, where the larger engine capacity doesn't feel breathless when pushed, despite the gearbox favoring a more economical driving style. Acceleration from a traffic light is quick as well, leaving little to be desired from the motor.

Opting for the SX Turbo trim nets you a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, generating a much more impressive 240 hp and 260 lb-ft. Most notable is the stronger acceleration from a standstill, where the increased torque gets the Sportage moving rather quickly. Overtaking at highway speeds isn't an issue for the turbocharged motor either, delivering strong acceleration without much hesitation. The automatic transmission does take away a lot of the fun normally associated with a turbocharged motor though, with a modicum of energy sapped and a certain amount of transmission lag at hand. Still, this engine is one of the only powerplants available that can rival the turbocharged Mazda CX-5.

  • Engines
    2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Kia's engineers have gone to great lengths to insulate the cabin from road noise, without completely dulling it from the outside world. This continues to show in the ride quality, which feels as refined as the rest of the Sportage's looks. The suspension soaks up the bumps and imperfections on those well-traveled roads with relative ease, too. Despite its obvious size, the Sportage also handles like a much smaller car than you might expect and is especially true when utilizing its different driving modes. Equipped as standard across the range is DMS (Drive Mode Select), giving you a pick from Eco, Normal, and Sport driving modes to adapt the steering, transmission and throttle response to your needs.

The emphasis on comfort carries on with braking being effective but quite forgiving and easy to modulate, affording the Sportage a very easy to drive feel and a sense of additional refinement. To add to its versatile and practical nature, the Sportage also gets an optional Dynamax AWD system, which means you don't have to shy away from gravel and snow roads. All things considered, the 2020 Sportage is quite a capable SUV and makes a great companion for the business and family man or woman alike.

Sportage Gas Mileage

Economy for the Sportage is below average for the segment. EPA figures place the EX and LX variants sporting the 2.4-liter motor at 23/30/26 miles per gallon for city/highway/combined cycles in front-wheel-drive guise, while opting for all-wheel-drive sees fuel economy decrease, placing figures at 22/26/23 mpg respectively. Figures for the SX Turbo follow suit with 21/28/23 mpg in FWD format and 19/24/21 mpg with AWD equipped. The 2020 Kia Sportage has a 16.4-gallon fuel tank capacity, allowing for an estimated range of 426 miles in the most economical 2.4-liter/FWD equipped configuration in mixed driving conditions.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    16.4 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 23/30 mpg
* 2020 Kia Sportage LX FWD

Sportage Interior

With its refreshed looks, the Sportage has a swept and angled dashboard that favors the driver, with controls positioned well within reach and in clear view. Despite its eight-inch touchscreen positioned dead-center of the dash, there are still plenty of buttons and knobs to be found for those preferring a more analog feel in the digital age. Visibility is taken care of by large windows all-around, whilst satin trim accents line the vents and center console controls. The cabin is generously proportioned for those occupying both the front and rear seats, with compromise made in cargo volume for the sake of occupant comfort.

2020 Kia Sportage Dashboard
2020 Kia Sportage Driver Seat
2020 Kia Sportage Steering Wheel
See All 2020 Kia Sportage Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The 2020 Sportage is a five-seater crossover SUV with generous amounts of interior space for driver and passengers alike. Both the driver and front-seated passenger enjoy 39.3 inches of headroom, with 39.1 inches of headroom at the rear - enough to see six-foot-tall passengers comfortably accommodated without having to duck at all. Shoulder and hip room at the rear are a fair 55.1 and 51.2 inches, making it perfectly suitable to seat three adults comfortably. Legroom is also on the generous side with 38.2 inches allowing comfort even for slightly taller passengers. Seats are supportive for both long and short journeys, and ultimately, one will find that the Sportage favors occupant comfort over cargo-carrying capacity - much like its corporate sibling, the Hyundai Tucson.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

The interior exudes a refined and premium feel, utilizing a mix of hard and soft plastics, and gloss trim pieces, with a dash of chrome on higher trim levels. In base LX trim you get the option of either a gray or black interior, with woven cloth seats to match. Stepping up to the S trim, Kia makes use of its SOFINO leatherette trim on the seats and armrest. The EX model follows suit, with the addition of leather seat trim when opting for the EX Technology Package ($4,500). At the top of the range, the SX Turbo is available with beige, black and gray interior leather options as standard.

Sportage Trunk and Cargo Space

With occupant comfort at its core, the Sportage doesn't disappoint with interior space. However, this is at the compromise of cargo volume, which at 30.7 cubic feet with the seats up is well below the Honda CR-V's 39.2 cubic feet. It is still sufficient for a week's worth of grocery shopping, though, or a few medium-to-large boxes. Fold the rear seats down, and trunk space increases exponentially to 60.1 cubic feet. The back seats fold all the way flat, allowing the Sportage to deal with several golf bags, suitcases, and all your camping gear with ease.

For the rest of the cabin, Kia has you covered with a rear armrest with cupholders, front and rear door bottle holders, driver and passenger seatback map pockets, a center console with armrest, center console cupholders, and small stowage compartments in all four doors.

2020 Kia Sportage Rear Passenger Seats
2020 Kia Sportage Side View
2020 Kia Sportage Side View

Sportage Infotainment and Features

Features

With the S trim reintroduced for 2020, features have shifted again between trim levels. At base trim, you get a rearview camera, drive mode select, power windows and door locks, cruise control with steering-wheel-mounted controls, 12-volt power outlets, forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, driver attention warning, remote keyless entry, and single-zone air conditioning with rear vents. Moving up to S trim, we see blind-spot collision warning and rear cross traffic collision warning added to the list. Another step up at EX trim, we see the addition of features like push-button start and dual-zone climate control. Finally, at the top of the range, the SX Turbo gets a front and rear parking assist system, electronic parking brake, and a wireless device charger, as well as a panoramic sunroof.

Infotainment

Kia tends to excel in the infotainment department, and the 2020 Sportage is no exception with a colorful, intuitive, and responsive eight-inch touch screen display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality, USB/AUX inputs, and a six-speaker audio system all packed as standard. On the S trim, specs remain the same unless opting for the S Premium Package ($3,200), which sees the infotainment system bolstered with an upgraded eight-inch touchscreen display, with native support for SiriusXM Satellite radio and traffic streaming. The EX trim is where we first see the optional Harman/Kardon premium surround sound system available as part of the EX Technology Package ($4,500), increasing speaker count to eight. The SX Turbo is 'all-in', with SiriusXM Radio and Traffic and Harmon/Kardon all as standard.

Sportage Problems and Reliability

The 2020 Kia Sportage holds a good track record, with owners of the current fourth-generation (2017 - present) not reporting any major issues and no recalls issued by Kia. This is solidified by its ten-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty. 24-hour roadside assistance is also included for the full basic warranty period.

Sportage Safety

Carrying on its reputation for a strong safety record, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has rated the Sportage as having an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has yet to crash test the 2020 Sportage, but the lesser equipped 2019 model scored best available ratings of Good in most tests conducted.

Key Safety Features

Doing well not to disappoint, even the base model LX Sportage boasts a long list of safety features, namely six airbags (dual front, front side, and side curtain). Also included as standard, is a rollover sensor, ABS, electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance-assist with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, driver attention warning, and automatic headlights. For the more wholly featured trim levels, you gain additional safety features, such as blind-spot collision warning and rear cross traffic collision warning.

Verdict: Is the 2020 Kia Sportage a good SUV?

The 2020 Sportage has a lot to offer. With its ample cargo and storage space, optional all-wheel-drive system, spacious interior cabin, and a plethora of safety features, its a practical, versatile, and a safe driving companion for the urban crawler and long-distance traveler alike. It doesn't disappoint with its styling either, with the difference between bold and subtle being a color choice away. Being the fourth iteration of the Sportage, it holds a strong track record for being reliable, and as an early 2020 release, is a good time to buy as well, with a number of great deals to be found. The interior also feels a step above its price point and is a comfortable place to be. Where it does disappoint is its below-average fuel economy and the slow transition away from older technologies. That said, the Sportage is a very strong competitor in the compact SUV segment, and Kia's exceptional warranty makes it a very attractive option for prospective buyers, old and new.

What's the Price of the 2020 Kia Sportage?

Pricing for the 2020 Kia Sportage starts at an MSRP of $23,990 for the LX base model, excluding tax, licensing, registration, and a $1,045 destination charge. For $2,000 more, the S trim model is the second in the line-up, followed closely by the EX model at $27,190. Topping the range is the SX Turbo model, with a considerable price bump to $33,490, but that does buy you all the bells and whistles as standard, with no additional packages available to bolster its features. All-wheel-drive is an additional $1,500 on all trims except the S, on which it costs $1,700. Kia dealerships tend to offer incentives and are responsible for their own pricing, so shopping around might net you a great deal.

2020 Kia Sportage Models

The Kia Sportage range consists of four trim levels: LX, S, EX, and SX Turbo, all with optional all-wheel-drive available. The former three models are all powered by a 2.4-liter inline-four-cylinder motor, mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox producing 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque.

At base trim, the LX sports 17-inch wheels, projector beam headlights, LED daytime running lights, an eight-inch touchscreen display infotainment system with six speakers, Bluetooth, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, a rear-camera display, cruise control, lane keep assist, driver attention monitor, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic headlights, and cloth seating.

The S adds 18-inch wheels in a dark gray finish, a gloss black front grille with chrome inlays, roof rails, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and leatherette seats.

Next in line is the EX model, which offers 18-inch alloy wheels with a machine finish, dual-zone climate control, a power liftgate, push-button start, and a ten-way power adjustable driver's seat.

To top the range, the SX Turbo gains a turbocharged 2.0-liter motor, producing 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. You also get 19-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, chrome dual exhaust tips, SiriusXM radio, navigation, Harman Kardon audio, and front/rear parking sensors.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
LX
2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$23,990
S
2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$25,990
EX
2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$27,190
SX Turbo
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$33,490
See All 2020 Kia Sportage Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

The base model LX benefits form the LX Popular Package, priced at $,1595. It adds a ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat with two-way power lumbar support, tricot cloth seats, dual-zone climate control, power-folding outside mirrors with LED indicators, heated outside mirrors, blind-spot collision warning, and rear cross-traffic collision warning.

The S trim has two packages available, the first of which is the S Sunroof Package. Priced at $1,100, it nets you a panoramic sunroof with power sunshade, solar glass, and LED interior lighting. The second package is the S Premium Package ($3,200), which adds 18-inch alloy wheels with a dark gray finish, ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat with two-way power lumbar support, LED rear tail lights, LED front foglights, push-button start, dual-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped gearshift knob, heated front seats, Piano Black interior trim, auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink and compass, UVO link eight-inch touchscreen with SiriusXM Satellite radio & traffic, a rear USB charging port, Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, and a wireless charger.

The EX Technology Package ($4,500) bolsters the EX trim's equipment with an eight-inch touchscreen display with navigation, SiriusXM Radio & traffic, Harman Kardon eight-speaker audio system, ventilated front seats, front/rear parking assist sensors, eight-way adjustable front passenger seat, leather seat trim, auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink and compass, a panoramic sunroof with power sunshade, heated steering wheel, LED interior lighting, a wireless charger, smart cruise control with stop & go, and an electronic parking brake with auto hold.

What Kia Sportage Model Should I Buy?

We recommend the EX model as the ideal trim to go for. Featuring all the technology and features of its lesser trim models, it's also the highest trim you can opt for without the turbocharged motor, which sees a considerable price jump between trims. Although the much stronger motor sets it apart from the competition, the 2.4-liter engine is more than capable as a daily powerplant and handles towing loads with ease. It's also the more economical choice, even in all-wheel-drive configuration. If you need more tech at your fingertips, the EX Technology Package ($4,500) still places the EX at a better price point than the SX Turbo.

2020 Kia Sportage Comparisons

2020 Kia Sportage
2020 Kia Sportage

2020 Kia Sportage vs Hyundai Tucson

Based on the same platform and sharing many aspects with each other, the Tucson and Sportage have minor differences to set them apart. The exterior of the Tucson is a more conventional and clean design, where the Sportage leans towards a more sporty look altogether. Both Hyundai and Kia offer exceptional warranty periods to accompany their SUV's too. The Tucson does boast better cargo and trunk capacity, even if only by a small margin. Gas mileage is also largely the same, with the advantage going to the Sportage for a stronger engine in base trim. The same is true on the other end of the spectrum, where the 2.0-liter turbocharged motor dominates the Tucson's best offering. Until such time as the Tucson is updated, the Sportage reigns supreme.

See Hyundai Tucson Review

2020 Kia Sportage vs Honda CR-V

Honda carries a strong reputation for having practical and spacious cars, and the CR-V is no exception. Offering an immensely larger cargo hold of 39.2 cubic feet compared to the Sportage's 30.7 cubic feet, the CR-V is not only more spacious but more practical as well. Fuel economy sees the same trend, with the CR-V being more economical at 28 mpg on the combined cycle compared to the Sportage's 26 mpg. Even the all-wheel-drive variant is more economical compared to the Sportage in a front-wheel-drive configuration. The Sportage redeems itself with better safety features equipped as standard, as well as a vastly superior warranty compared to its Japanese rival with five years and 40,000 miles extra cover on the powertrain. Ultimately, it comes down to a choice between practicality (CR-V) and performance (Sportage).

See Honda CR-V Review

Kia Sportage Popular Comparisons

See All 30 Comparisons