2022 Kia Sportage

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2022 Kia Sportage Review: Good Looks And Party Tricks

by Michael Butler

The Kia Sportage is now in its fourth generation, and it is showing no sign of slowing down its crusade against mall parking lots and school pickup zones. With the new year comes minimal changes, except that last year's Nightfall package becomes a permanent trim this year, called the Nightfall Edition - but that doesn't mean that the Sportage is falling behind in the race for best compact crossover SUV. In fact, there are still a ton of things to like about this plucky Korean, including what we consider to be one of the best exterior designs in the business, a comfortable and well-built interior, and most importantly, a wide range of active driver safety assistance systems. Powering the 2022 model is one of two engines, either a 181-horsepower 2.4-liter motor or a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine producing 240 hp, making the whole package hard to fault. In the US, the Sportage goes up against vehicles such as the Toyota RAV4 and its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Tucson.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 6 /10
  • Fuel Economy 6 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 7 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 8 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2022 Kia Sportage Changes: What’s the difference vs the 2021 Kia Sportage?

New for 2022, the new Nightfall Edition trim replaces the previous S trim, featuring blacked-out exterior styling elements and specific equipment. It seems apt, as night is falling on the current Sportage; a brand-new redesigned model that will launch in 2022 as a 2023 model has already been shown. Besides the new second-from-bottom Nightfall Edition trim, there is now also an LX Value Edition package available on the base LX trim to shore up its standard specification with several items that used to be reserved for the higher trims, such as 18-inch wheels, heated front seats, and push-button start, among others. Additionally, the EX trim now gets a standard panoramic sunroof and both the optional EX Technology package on this trim and the SX Turbo trim get new navigation features and complimentary map updates for ten years. Two paint colors, Burnished Copper and Clear White, have been discontinued.

Pros and Cons

  • Handsome styling
  • Good value in lower trims
  • Impressive standard safety tech
  • Faultless build quality
  • Awesome warranty
  • Punchy turbocharged engine
  • Unimpressive fuel economy
  • Sluggish performance in lower trims
  • Outward visibility is limited
  • Not a spacious as some competitors

What's the Price of the 2022 Kia Sportage?

The price of the 2022 Kia Sportage spans over a broad spectrum when you consider that each trim level can be selected in FWD or AWD configuration. Starting with the cheapest base model, the LX can be yours for $24,090 MSRP, that's excluding tax, registration, and a destination fee of $1,175. The Nightfall Edition trim will set you back $28,090, the FWD EX has a price of $28,390, and the top of the range Kia Sportage SX Turbo costs $33,750. Adding AWD to any of these models adds a further $1,500 to all trims, except the Nightfall Edition, which asks $1,700 for the privilege because it adds heated front seats as well.

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2022 Kia Sportage Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
SX Turbo
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Kia Sportage Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The last thing you want from a crossover like this is a harsh and bumpy ride, and, like any modern, urban-centric car, the Kia Sportage manages to cradle the driver and passengers in competent comfort. Driving around town at lower speeds reveals a compliant chassis and suspension damping that treads a fine line between being stiff and being supportive. Out on the highway, the ride is smooth and comfortable: perfect for long road trips. SX Turbo models are fitted with a more sports-oriented suspension setup, and that translates into a slightly stiffer ride than the rest of the range, but this characteristic pays off when pushing the Sportage through the corners at top speeds. In base form, the Sportage feels composed during hard cornering, but there are definite signs of body roll and understeer, but we expect this type of behavior from a vehicle in this class. The SX derivative shows more composure, but we don't know if the tradeoff is genuinely warranted; after all, this is no sports car.

Verdict: Is the 2022 Kia Sportage A Good SUV?

The Kia Sportage offers something for everyone, whether it be good looks, practicality, or comfort. What it does particularly well is to provide a balanced approach to the suburban SUV class of vehicles; its exterior looks are arguably the most attractive in its group, it has a well-built and comfortable interior, and it is offered with both front or all-wheel drive. The engine choices on offer are two sides to a coin, with the one being slightly sluggish, while the other might just be too powerful for the application. The downside to both is a disappointing fuel consumption figure. The Sportage partially makes up for that with a decent amount of passenger space and excellent safety and reliability ratings, thanks to the inclusion of a plethora of advanced driver assistance systems. Now in its fourth generation, the Sportage has proven itself to be a reliable daily commuter, and we would happily recommend one.

Which 2022 Kia Sportage should I buy?

With so many options on the table, Kia makes it easy to find the perfect fit for every customer, and we think there are many valid choices. It boils down to features, seeing as three out of the four cars are offered with the 2.4-liter engine. The LX is a good choice for families on a budget that are looking for a safe and reliable compact SUV. The fact that it comes standard with features such as forward collision warning with pedestrian detection is a big bonus. But the interior feature list is rather short. On the other extreme lies the SX Turbo which offers all the bells and whistles, but costs a pretty penny, and delivers disappointing fuel consumption figures. It is for that reason that we would recommend the EX, which offers a good compromise between base price, fuel consumption, and features. The EX offers dual-zone climate control, a power liftgate, push-button start, a ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat and 18-inch alloy wheels. Additionally speccing it with the EX Technology Package adds everything you could wish for.

Check out other Kia Sportage Styles

2022 Kia Sportage Comparisons

Kia Sorento CarBuzz
Hyundai Tucson Hyundai

2022 Kia Sportage vs Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento was redesigned for the 2021 model year and is a fresh product. With enough space for seven passengers and a small enough footprint to allow for nimble inner city driving, the Sorento offers a practical package which, just as with the new Hyundai Tucson, comes in a very modern new package that ages the Sportage instantly. Power comes in the form of a 191 hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or more powerful 281-hp turbocharged version of the same engine. The base engine is comparable to the Sportage power wise, but the powerful turbocharged 2.5-liter engine is more powerful, getting the Sorento to 60 mph in around 6.5 seconds. Fuel consumption for the base Sorento sits at 24/29/26 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles which actually matches the smaller Sportage's figure. On the road, the Sorento is a larger, more modern, and more accomplished car and well worth a thought if you need the extra space.

See Kia Sorento Review

2022 Kia Sportage vs Hyundai Tucson

The brand-new 2022 Tucson is a superb product that leapfrogs most competition, placing it near the top of its class. From the outside, the Tucson looks more modern and futuristic and is ready to park in that junior corporate parking space, whereas the Sportage looks, well, rather mundane by comparison. The Tucson offers about a third more trunk and a lot more overall cargo space. The interior is brand-new and well-equipped with a digital gauge cluster and quality materials. Performance from the default 187-hp 2.5-liter engine is decent enough but doesn't come close to the 2.0-liter turbo on offer in the Sportage. Both cars also offer an excellent, comparable warranty. Choosing between these crossovers is easy if you want a modern and spacious crossover with daring looks - the Tucson is the one. The only thing that could sway you is the (thirsty) Sportage SX Turbo's performance advantage.

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