2019 Kia Sportage Review
2019 Kia Sportage Review
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Used Sportage for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
CorrespondentMark Takahashi has worked in the automotive industry since 2001. He has written thousands of car-related articles and tested and reviewed hundreds of vehicles over the course of his career.
- Smooth ride quality
- Spacious seating front and rear
- Attractive dashboard layout with appealing features
- Quiet interior at highway speeds
- Fuel economy isn't as good as that of some top rivals
- Relatively modest cargo capacity
- Only minor adjustments to feature availability this year
- Part of the fourth Sportage generation introduced for 2017
There's a lot to like about the 2019 Kia Sportage. First and foremost, it's a strong value proposition. It comes with a lot of features for the money, and its warranty coverage is among the longest you'll find. On the road, we give it high marks for its comfortable ride quality, spacious interior and quiet cabin. It's also one of the few small crossover SUVs to offer a powerful optional engine upgrade. On the Sportage SX, you get a turbocharged engine good for 240 horsepower.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2019 Kia Sportage LX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.26 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Avg. Compact SUV
Unfortunately, the Sportage is handicapped by its small cargo capacity and less-than-ideal fuel economy. You'll probably like the Honda CR-V more if utility and saving money at the pump are priorities. You might also want to take a look at the stylish Mazda CX-5 or versatile Subaru Forester during your search for a small crossover SUV. Overall, though, Kia's Sportage easily holds its own in this class, and we think it's a solid pick for most shoppers.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.0 / 10
The 2019 Kia Sportage is one of the value leaders among small crossovers. It comes with a lot of features for the money, and its warranty coverage is among the longest you'll find. Drawbacks such as a small cargo area and mediocre fuel efficiency, however, keep it from getting the top spot.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Kia Sportage EX (2.4L | inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).
|Overall||7.0 / 10|
The base 2.4-liter engine yields adequate but unremarkable acceleration. The pricier SX's turbo engine is punchier, though not to the degree promised by its higher than average horsepower output. True to the Sportage name, handling is a strong point as is braking. A solid performer overall.
The EX feels sprightly at first, but its energy wanes at higher speeds. Zero to 60 mph takes 8.8 seconds, which is average for the class. The turbo SX has more punch, but it lacks the emphatic passing power we expect from an optional engine.
You get predictable and consistent pedal responses in typical driving. In our emergency braking test, the EX stopped from 60 mph in 117 feet, a short distance for this segment.
The Sportage responds quickly to inputs, and the effort required to turn the wheel is appropriate for a vehicle in this class. It tracks confidently on the highway, and the steering wheel itself feels thoughtfully designed and sporty.
Kia's goal is to add a splash of driving excitement to all of its vehicles, and that's roughly what the Sportage delivers. Although the Mazda CX-5 is even better in this respect, the Sportage does feel composed and nimble around corners.
We like the six-speed automatic transmission. It shifts smoothly and predictably, although the lack of torque in the EX requires more downshifting compared to the more powerful SX.
The AWD Sportage can handle a typical dirt road, but there's not enough ground clearance to make this vehicle a serious contender off-road. The AWD system at least has a 50/50-split locking center differential.
The Sportage excels in comfort. The ride is compliant on rough pavement, and the seats provide firm, long-lasting support. Levels of wind noise and road noise are remarkably well-suppressed, further distinguishing this Kia from many similarly priced crossovers.
The Sportage's seats are firm yet welcoming, with an agreeable shape for long journeys and a position that delivers a commanding view. Power adjustments for the driver are standard on the EX, while a power passenger seat is optional, as are cooled front seats.
Ride comfort is class-competitive, even with the larger 18-inch wheels and tires.
Noise & vibration8.0
The lack of typical road and wind noise is apparent in the Sportage's cabin. On concrete freeways, the outside world seems unusually far away. It gives the Sportage an upscale character at speed, a rare thing in this price range.
The Sportage's well-appointed interior is above average by segment standards. The front cabin features a sporty dashboard with intuitive controls, and the rear has an unexpected abundance of legroom for a small crossover. The compromise is limited cargo capacity.
Ease of use7.5
Kia's touchscreens (which come in multiple sizes) feature sharp graphics and quick responses. The main controls are clearly labeled and easy to use. The center stack tilts toward the driver, putting more controls within close reach.
Getting in/getting out7.5
The tall front doors open wide for easy entry. The rear doors are enormous, facilitating entry and exit. There's no issue with head clearance despite the low rear roofline. Feet slide easily underneath the front seats.
No shortage of head- or legroom up front. Surprisingly, the same is true in back — two 6-footers fit without issue. The back seat is remarkably roomy for a compact crossover, and the seat itself is mounted high for good thigh support.
The side windows are large enough to keep track of nearby traffic, and the sizable side-view mirrors also help. The standard rearview camera can be paired with parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning.
The materials quality has improved in the latest Sportage and now ranks among the segment's best thanks to low-gloss plastics and soft-touch surfaces. We noted no squeaks or rattles, though the driver's footrest came loose in daily use.
The Sportage falls short in terms of overall utility due to a cabin that puts its priority on passenger space rather than cargo space. The cargo area is pretty small. But small-item storage is good, and towing capacity is a bit better than that of class best-sellers.
There are plenty of storage bins, including deep door pockets and a variety of center-console spaces. The cupholders are big and useful. The Sportage offers good utility without looking utilitarian.
This is an SUV that puts emphasis on space for passengers rather than for their belongings. The cargo area is still fairly useful, but the Sportage has significantly less cargo capacity than other compact SUVs.
The Sportage's 2,000-pound towing capacity is above-average for the class. However, trailer brakes are required to handle the full 2,000 pounds. Otherwise, the limit is 1,650 pounds.
Kia's touchscreen interfaces are refreshingly easy to use, with the larger two featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All trim levels can be equipped with accident avoidance tech.
Which Sportage does Edmunds recommend?
The 2019 Sportage LX with the optional Popular package gets you a lot of features for the money. If you're looking to get some advanced safety features, you'll have to upgrade to the EX trim and add its Technology package.
2019 Kia Sportage models
The 2019 Kia Sportage is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV available in LX, EX and SX Turbo trim levels. The LX has a decent amount of standard features, while the EX adds a few more and offers the most choice for optional packages. The sporty SX comes with nearly all of the Sportage's features as standard.
Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is an option on all versions. The LX and the EX have a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (181 horsepower, 175 pound-feet of torque). The SX Turbo has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque). Adding all-wheel drive drops output slightly to 237 hp.
Standard equipment on the LX includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, rear privacy glass, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding and reclining back seat, a rearview camera, a 5-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio, a CD player and one USB port.
We suggest getting the LX with the Popular package. It adds roof rails, UV-reducing glass for the front windows and windshield, a windshield wiper de-icer, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, upgraded seat fabric, and Kia's 7-inch Uvo touchscreen interface that includes Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Kia's eServices remote and emergency services.
The EX includes all of the above items plus 18-inch wheels, foglights, power-folding and heated mirrors, upgraded exterior and interior trim, keyless ignition and entry, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, leather upholstery and a rear USB charging port.
Kia offers three main option packages for the EX. The EX Premium package adds a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel, a universal garage door opener and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. On top of that, you can get the EX Premium package for its forward collision warning and automatic braking, lane departure warning, automatic high-beams, a hands-free liftgate, front and rear parking sensors, a spare tire, a power-adjustable passenger seat, an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system and an eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. There's also the EX Sport Appearance package. It adds LED exterior lighting, special exterior and interior trim, paddle shifters and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Topping the Sportage range is the SX. It gets the more powerful engine plus a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels, xenon headlights, LED foglights, an electronic parking brake with auto hold, special exterior trim, the flat-bottom steering wheel, a larger gauge display, and the contents of the EX Technology and Premium packages.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Sportin' a Premium Sportage (1yr update)
2018 Kia Sportage SX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
We've put nearly 25,000 miles on the car since its purchase in January 2018. The car still feels solid and is still squeak and rattle free. Fuel economy is averaging 3-4 mpg above the EPA combined rating. Turbo engine is legitimately happy with regular gas. Car has been very reliable. The only times the car has seen a mechanic is for scheduled maintenance. EDMUNDS editors say the … optional engine "lacks punch" in their reviews. An AWD vehicle of this ilk, doing 0-60 in less than 7 seconds makes the Sportage SX among the fastest compact SUV's available. Also, its mid-range acceleration times that are posted in Car and Driver and other magazines are at or very near the top of its class. (Original review that follows still stands up) Purchased a pacific blue/beige interior AWD SX, a bit over a month ago, after shopping for a replacement for my wife's 180,000 mile 2007 Mitsu Endeavor SE AWD. We checked out/test drove the Mazda CX5 GT, Subaru Outback Limited 2.5, Ford Escape, and Nissan Rouge before making a decision to buy the KIA. We didn't test drive the Honda CR-V or a Chevy Equinox/GMC Terrain because she wasn't fond of their appearance (the CRV exterior looks low rent with all the plastic looking chrome stuck all over it). There were multiple things that sold us on the KIA over the others. The first of which was the premium, well designed interior that has more than enough room for us empty nesters. The interior quality and materials are better than any new Buick. There's enough room for a 6 foot + passenger to sit behind 6'1' me with any front seat position compromises. The second thing is how the KIA performs and feels. I feels solid like it is made out of one hunk of metal. No flexing or squeaking over bumps. It rides like a good German car. There's no float, it feels planted and its seriously quiet. KIA has come a very long way over the last 5 or 6 years. Acceleration to 60mph is sub-seven seconds and engine has very good low to mid-range torque. The last thing of note that sold us on the Sportage is its unique looks. It has a good stance and the satin finished and gloss black highlights compliments its shape nicely.I also own a 2012 KIA Forte5 SX which is my work commuter. It's been very reliable over the 75,00 miles I've driven it. Just normal maintenance and tires. But the difference between it and the Sportage fit and finish and build quality wise is nuts. There are couple things its missing that would of put the second cherry on the sundae. It lacks memory seat and mirrors. Also the front seat bottoms could use a bit more length for a little more thigh support.
4 out of 5 stars
A surprising 5 star car, with some caveats
2018 Kia Sportage SX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
PROS: Truly a good looking and unique looking SUV in a field of station wagon looking models. Great features including a very well laid out and intuitive control system. For example, turning on the rear wipers initiates a status change on the dash info area letting you know the wiper change. Parking assist beeping uses the stereo system so you know where the obstruction is without even … looking. Every feature (almost) is customizable, if you don't want the auto liftgate, for example. A very fun car to drive, which is a hard to put on paper feature. Also an easy to follow feature and model set, compared to say the RAV4 which has (if you can believe) 10 different models that cannot even all fit on a screen to tell which is which. The visibility is astounding and the sunroof is almost like a convertible. And on the Turbo model the power is unreal, almost feels too fast for an SUV, but again fun to drive. CONS: The biggest con is the MPG, which is truly crap. However, even the much heralded Subaru Forester is just 5MPG higher than the Kia which translates to about $200/year. Not nothing but not worth paying thousands more for the Subaru. The reality is that car companies should not be crowing about 5MPG here and there, most SUVs get crap MPG. In 2018 MPG should all be in the 30s or 40s and not crowing about tiny differences in MPG. OTHER: I am a bit confused about the features that are available worldwide that are not standard throughout. Such as heated front windshield, heated rear seats, wireless charger, auto parking assist (SPAS system), etc depend not on what you spend but where you live....seems odd. Storage is an odd thing to complain about in this SUV because it is one of the smallest SUVs in it's class. It of course won't store more than a car that is a foot longer, but it's also going to be easier to maneuver. Kia also included a unique "Auto Hold" feature that keeps the brake applied when at stop lights to avoid foot fatigue or accidental rear endings...but oddly you have to turn it on manually every time you start the car. So there are quirks but they are minor in a sea of great. NOTE: I have only owned the SUV for a few weeks so I can't comment on the reliability but I will if something noteworthy occurs.
5 out of 5 stars
Luxury in a Spunky mid range SUV.
2018 Kia Sportage SX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I've shopped for an SUV since 2016 (in prep for my move to snow country). I was set on the Subaru Forrester originally so why did I buy the KIA? In a nutshell... Comfort, warranty & pricing. I drove the Sportage LX AWD 1st, then the Forrester. Compared to the Sportage, the Forrester felt like a sturdy work horse (acceleration was better but road noise, comfort & sound system were … so-so). Acceleration was important but Subaru would not budge on the 38K sticker price so I went back to KIA and drove the Sportage SX Turbo GDI AWD. The zippy Turbo, Luxurious interior, sound system and low road noise made it a slam dunk. I felt so pampered. I drive a lot on rural roads so acceleration (for passing) is a MUST and the SX gets 5 stars. For an SUV, it has a tight turning radius, low road noise, Car Play Hands Free and a wonderful sound system. The only things that do not surpass the Forrester are the mileage and visibility. (the Subaru made me feel a little exposed and vulnerable with all that glass tho). This SUV really feels like a luxury car. It has 3 drive modes (ECO, sport and normal). I've only used sport mode for the snow so far so cannot rate the 4 wheel drive lock feature. Speaking of the 4 wheel lock, it should be on the dash, not on the console. I've set my purse on it and accidentally turned it on twice. I'd like the front windows of the KIA to be higher at the curve because I hit my head a couple times when I got in (my legs are short and I like to sit high so I have the seat lifted to its max and almost all the way forward). My brother, however, is a large 6'2" and had no problem when he adjusted the seat down and back. His wife commented that the back seat is a lot more comfortable than her brother's Honda CRV. When I can keep my foot out of it, I can get descent mileage but most of my road trips have mountains and rural roads so not the optimum conditions for maximizing the MPG (28 is the best, 23 worst). The car MPG gauge is pretty close to the calculated mileage if you zero it between fill-ups. The stirring wheel controls are very driver friendly and intuitive. (trip instrumentation, cruise controls, hands free etc) but I am not crazy about the Navigation system. The graphics and screen size are awesome and the route guidance accurate but controls are not at all intuitive. The Nav system also only lets you save 10 favorites. The backup camera shows the vehicle angle in red plus where you will go (in yellow) if you do not adjust. I learn a little more each trip but may have to resort to reading the Nav system & Multi Media manuals to get the full benefit. I've only had this car a month so I really can't rate reliability but I have put 2500 on the odometer in road trips and this car is great to drive. I highly recommend the Sportage SX Turbo GDI AWD. Updated at 7 months Updated at 9 months: I've driven this car for almost 8000 miles & I still love it. I upgraded the safety to 5 stars because visibility was just a matter of adjusting from a small car and using the mirrors. After going through a very hot summer I upgraded climate control to 5 stars. Cooling a large space like the Sportage interior quickly is a big deal. The air conditioning kicks hinny in this high desert summer. I have an older (2002) everyday bump around car but always drive the Sportage on the hot days. The car still feels like luxury, and still has a new car smell. I kept the interior to 4 stars because there are some things that really bug me. 1) I metioned in the inital review, that the 4-wheel Lock being on the console is a design flaw and I stick to that. No matter how careful I am I still set something on the lock 3.) The hidden key hole and only one external key lock. I needed to unlock the door manually once and my key did not work. At least I thought it didn't. Even the tow truck driver did not know that the little slot on the underside of the drivers door handle is not for the key but a button that pops off a cap over the actual lock. That adds absolutely nothing to the attractiveness of the car and is confusing even to the service department in most shops. It serves no purpose. Positives are still positive: The lumbar/seat comfort are outstanding. I am still happy I bought the KIA over the Subaru and highly recommend this SUV. I love it more than when I bought it. Everyone who gets into my Kia has a comment on the luxury and comfort. My son just bought a GMC Arcadia and we compared the interior. The KIA seats are a lot more comfortable, and has more back seat leg room with the cargo spaces being about the same. His highway mileage is lower than mine. Best mileage on my KIA has improved. I've gotten as high as 29.5 hwy by closely watching and using the mileage monitor, with no cruise control. The hwy avg mpg is 28, around town about 24. I still feel the trade off for the speed and luxury of this vehicle are well worth the lower mpg.
5 out of 5 stars
Old fella with a young persons car
2019 Kia Sportage SX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Most comfortable, best driving machine I have ever owned and I traded a much higher priced SUV for this small gem. I get a lot more gas milage than what was advertised and it corners much better than the Acura I traded for it and its much quieter.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2019 Kia Sportage, so we've included reviews for other years of the Sportage since its last redesign.
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 23 City / 30 Hwy / 26 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.4 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: 6-speed shiftable automatic
- Inline 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 181 hp @ 6000 rpm
- Torque: 175 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
- Length: 176.4 in. / Height: 64.4 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 73.0 in.
- Curb Weight: 3305 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 30.7 cu.ft.
Our experts like the Sportage models:
- Autonomous Emergency Braking
- Detects pedestrians and stopped or suddenly slowing vehicles. Warns the driver and automatically brakes if needed.
- Lane Departure Warning System
- Warns the driver if the Sportage drifts out of its lane without the driver using a turn signal.
- Blind-Spot Detection System
- Monitors your blind spots and alerts you to other vehicles through lights in the side mirrors.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover15.5%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2019 Kia Sportage
Used 2019 Kia Sportage Overview
The Used 2019 Kia Sportage is offered in the following submodels: Sportage SUV. Available styles include LX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A), EX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), EX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A), SX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and SX 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A). Pre-owned Kia Sportage models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 181 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2019 Kia Sportage comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2019 Kia Sportage comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2019 Kia Sportage?
Price comparisons for Used 2019 Kia Sportage trim styles:
- The Used 2019 Kia Sportage LX is priced between $17,475 and$26,998 with odometer readings between 9507 and113944 miles.
- The Used 2019 Kia Sportage EX is priced between $21,874 and$26,999 with odometer readings between 6879 and82669 miles.
- The Used 2019 Kia Sportage SX is priced between $21,998 and$29,000 with odometer readings between 31761 and95451 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2019 Kia Sportages are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2019 Kia Sportage for sale near. There are currently 57 used and CPO 2019 Sportages listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $17,475 and mileage as low as 6879 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2019 Kia Sportage.
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Should I lease or buy a 2019 Kia Sportage?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.