2020 vs 2021: What's the Difference?
For 2021, the Kia Sportage remains largely unchanged. One slight tweak is that the optional Sunroof and Premium packages on the S trim have been replaced with the Nightfall Edition and Nightfall Edition Premium packages. They come with, as one would expect from their names, a number of dark exterior accents that give them a more aggressive look.
What Do the Various Trim Levels Offer?
The 2021 Sportage lineup starts with the LX. What's really nice about the LX is that it has a modern infotainment system and safety package while still being competitive priced. Customers who might want to limit their spending don't have to sacrifice too much in terms of technology if they get the LX. The LX rides on 17-inch wheels, and it has LED daytime running lights.
Things are a bit sportier in the S trim. The 18-inch dark gray wheels and roof rails help in this regard, as do the front fog lights and skid plates. The seating upholstery is upgraded to synthetic leather, and some people may appreciate that this trim has monitoring systems that can watch out for rear cross-traffic and vehicles in their blind spots.
In the EX, the level of sophistication is noticeably higher. It has a smart key system and a smart power liftgate, and people can stay cozy thanks to heated front seats and a two-zone climate system. Some people may take advantage of the available leather seats and heated steering wheel.
Finally, the SX Turbo offers the best of both worlds. It has many elegant upgrades, and it also has significant performance-oriented enhancements. It's the only trim to have a panoramic sunroof, full LED exterior lights, and 19-inch wheels as standard components. Most importantly, the SX Turbo is the only one out of all the Sportages that gets to use a more responsive engine. This will make driving a lot more exciting.
Which Trim is Right for Me?
Considering how much more powerful the turbo engine is, the SX Turbo trim may be the most attractive to many potential customers. It's over $5,000 more expensive than the next trim, but it's still reasonably priced in comparison with SUVs made by some other companies. It has many high-end amenities that are appealing, like leather upholstery, navigation, and a large sunroof.
However, if a buyer doesn't want all of those extra features, either because of personal preference or a lack of funds, the other options are all solid vehicles. There are a lot of reasons to like the base model, but if someone wants SiriusXM, a smart key, or leather seats, he or she will have to upgrade to either the athletic S or the elegant EX. The S and EX are quite close to each other in price, so the choice will really depend on the stylistic touches that each trim has.
What Kind of Technology Does it Have?
All of the Sportage trims have eight-inch touchscreens, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. SiriusXM is an option on the mid-level trims, and if anyone likes listening to music, it may be a good idea to get this program since it comes with dozens of radio stations. Navigation is an additional upgrade that is available on the EX and standard on the SX Turbo. On the SX Turbo, there's also a Harman Kardon audio system that consists of eight speakers.
How Does It Perform?
In the LX, S, and EX, there is a 2.4-liter engine. In the SX Turbo, there's a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Both types have four cylinders and are paired with electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmissions. The difference is that the standard engine has 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque while the turbo engine has 240 horsepower and 237 pound-feet of torque. This boost in capability is definitely noticeable, especially by drivers who value performance and like to push things to the limit.
Regardless of trim, the Kia Sportage can tow up to 2,000 pounds. This model is available with a front-wheel or all-wheel drivetrain. Since the all-wheel-drive system is always on, it can make adjustments to power delivery whenever necessary. The center differential can be locked to enhance traction when conditions are especially slippery.
Is It Safe and Reliable?
Every Kia Sportage is equipped with advanced technology that allows the vehicle to watch out for potential issues and take action, if necessary. The standard safety features include forward-collision avoidance-assist, lane keeping assist, and pedestrian detection. These give the Kia ability to warn drivers about certain problems and help them avoid accidents. On the higher trims, blind spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring are included as well.
Another available safety component is smart cruise control. When this program is engaged, the Kia can adjust its speed if necessary to maintain proper distancing with the vehicle in front of it. It's very useful on long road trips because it can reduce fatigue. In the case of heavy traffic, it can bring the Sportage to a stop.
What's the Interior Like?
As a fairly traditional two-row SUV, the Kia Sportage has comfortable seating and an open cargo area in the back. Leg room in the second row is just over 38 inches, so most adults will have room to spread out in the back. The cargo area has a volume of 30.7 cubic feet, and cargo capacity can be increased to 60.1 cubic feet by folding the rear seats down.
The cabin is nicely arranged. Multiple storage compartments are useful, and there are a number of high-end features available. Select trims may come with heating elements in their steering wheels, front seats that are both heated and ventilated, and leather or synthetic leather upholstery.
What are the Alternatives to this Model?
SUVs that are on the smaller side are quite popular. Some alternatives to the 2021 Kia Sportage are the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, and Hyundai Kona.
Note: All Kia Sportage lease prices and dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.