Seltos, Sorento, Sportage, Telluride, Soul, and Niro.
Each of these SUVs from Kia nestles itself into the hearts of Americans by filling one need or another. But when you really think about it, that’s quite a lineup of four-doors — especially from a company that’s equally as strong in the sedan market.
A;though Kia’s heritage does include both sedans and SUVs, the Sportage has quietly been carrying the torch for this foreign automotive manufacturer. This year, the Sportage gains a few upgrades and brings its nameplate closer to the forward-thinking design of the entire Kia lineup.
To help you determine if a new 2020 Kia Sportage fits into your garage space, we’ve gathered the low-down on details such as powertrains, safety features, and fuel efficiency. We’ve also taken a look at the competition to let you know just how much value you’ll be getting with the new Sportage. You may be surprised to find it’s more than you first thought.
As is the case with many SUVs these days, the 2020 Sportage is available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive. A pair of four-cylinder engines powers the Sportage. The first, a 2.4-liter, puts out 181 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. The second, a turbocharged 2.0-liter, puts out 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Both are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Navigate to Kia’s website to check out the following colors on the 2020 Sportage.
- Clear White
- Steel Gray
- Black Cherry Pearl
- Mineral Silver
- Burnished Copper
- Hyper Red
- Pacific Blue
- Sparkling Silver
- Snow White Pearl
Trimlines and Prices
Customers will have four trim levels to choose from on the 2020 Kia Sportage. They are, in order, the LX, S, EX, and SX Turbo. We’ve broken down the options on each trim below for easy navigation.
It’s only on the LX model that you can choose the Clear White paint. This base model comes with 17-inch wheels and cloth seats. Starting around $24,000, the LX draws power from the naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine. It also includes LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth, automatic headlights, and an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard as well.
The S model rides on 18-inch wheels and basically adds back creature comforts to the stripped LX model. You’ll enjoy heated mirrors, fog lights, and remote keyless entry. Leather seating couches both driver and passengers alike. Choose from three basic driving modes — Normal, Sport, and Eco — standard on all models to adapt to your terrain and driving style. Speaking of style, that flat-bottom steering wheel and paddle shifters definitely give the Sportage at least an air of sportiness. This version starts at $26,140.
Choose the EX model if you’re looking for heated front seats and dual climate control. The leather upholstery extends to the steering wheel on this model, which also rides on 19-inch wheels. LED headlights and taillights make sure everyone on the road sees you. The dual exhaust tips ensure they hear you as well. Unfortunately, you won’t get the flat-bottom steering wheel if you choose this model, which is priced at $27,290. It returns for the top trim, though.
Finally, the SX Turbo model is the only 2020 Sportage that comes with a turbocharged engine beneath the hood. It also comes with a sliding and tilting sunroof, SiriusXM radio, and GPS navigation. A heated steering wheel complements the sport suspension that rounds out the sportiness of this Sportage. And yes, the SX Turbo also comes with better brakes up front so you can stop your sportster just as easily as you get it going. The price jumps to $33,590 for this model.
You’ll be glad to hear that the 2020 Sportage received high ratings from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). With 5 out of 5 stars and a “Good” rating in all categories, the Sportage proves to prioritize safety.
Kelley Blue Book reports Kia includes standard safety features such as emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beam assist. Optional systems add adaptive cruise with stop-and-go feature and a driver attention warning system. As with most car manufacturer these days, added safety means paying a bit more in terms of sticker price.
To be competitive in the compact SUV segment, the 2020 Sportage must balance off-road ability with a fuel-sipping powertrain. The Sportage’s numbers are proof that such a stance is possible.
For instance, the 2.4-liter base four-cylinder engine achieves 23 city and 30 highway EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon (MPG) when configured as a front-wheel drive vehicle. Put it in all-wheel drive and you’ll lose only a point in the city and four mpg above speeds of 55 miles-per-hour. Even in the turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder, numbers still hover around the 20 MPG mark. Front-wheel drive models make 20 city and 28 highway MPG, with 19 city and 24 highway MPG found on the all-wheel drive variant. These achievements keep the Sportage an attractive choice if you’re not trying to spend a fortune at the pumps.
As you’ve probably seen from researching compact and/or crossover SUVs, there’s a lot to choose from. One of the easiest ways to distinguish between the parking lot of options is to decide if you want a two-row or a three-row SUV.
The 2020 Sportage slots into the two-row SUV category, which also includes models like the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Crosstrek, Jeep Compass, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, and Volkswagen Tiguan. Each of these will cost you about the same amount, at least for entry models. However, the Compass and Subaru siblings will probably get you farther on rough terrain. The CR-V and RAV4 both offer incredible standard equipment, including safety features most other manufacturers charge more for. Although the VW Tiguan might be the most affordable of the whole bunch, the term “getting what you pay for” applies.
So let’s look at the 2020 Sportage, at least in terms of what the experts had to say about driving the new model. TopSpeed names the Sportage “a value-centered compact SUV.” The updates only improve the overall package. Edmunds’ experts appreciate the dashboard layout, calling it “attractive.” Even Kelley Blue Book reported the Sportage was “reasonably priced” and had “a good selection of high-tech features.”
However, all that good came a bit of disappointment. Cargo capacity fell short in Edmunds’ expert’s eyes, along with the fuel efficiency ratings. And with only two engines to choose from — and no hybrid — the 2020 Sportage trails competitors when it comes to available power options. When it comes down to it, Kia does well to turbocharge the model and add all-wheel drive. At the end of the day though, the 2020 Sportage remains a jack of all trades and a master of none.
The Last Word
The 2020 Kia Sportage holds its own among the many ranks of compact crossover SUVs. Even among family members, the Sportage fills a niche the Telluride and Sorento leave wide open. We encourage you to contact your local Kia dealership to find out more about the 2020 Sportage. Test drive a model and make your own judgments. And if you find yourself still looking for a new ride afterwards, check back with us. We’re always adding new model reviews and related content so you can make the best, most informed decisions.