2019 Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage attempts to stand out in the extremely competitive compact-crossover class with quirky exterior styling and engaging driving dynamics. Accordingly, this unusual compact ute can be loaded with a host of desirable infotainment and active-safety features. Add to that athletic handling and a speedy turbocharged version that ups the fun factor. Too bad it has mediocre fuel economy and cargo space. Still, the Sportage’s nicely crafted interior is an upscale environment, and Kia offers one of the best warranty plans available.

The Sportage is essentially a carryover model for 2019, with no visual or mechanical updates. While it has the same standard equipment and available features, Kia decided to drop the LX Technology package on base models. This means the LX trim is no longer available with any active-safety features, which is peculiar considering that package was just added for 2018.

Trims and Options We’d Choose

The mid-level EX trim combines an affordable price with plenty of fancy features. Starting at $27,595 ($400 more than last year), the EX is only a couple of thousand dollars more than the base LX (which starts at $24,745 for 2019), but it includes extra tech and upgraded interior appointments. While the SX Turbo provides excellent performance and a longer list of luxury accoutrements, those upgrades come with poorer fuel economy and aren’t worth the $6500 premium. We stand behind the better value provided by the EX’s standard 2.4-liter inline-four and front-wheel drive, which are more than adequate for most driving scenarios. Those who want the bad-weather confidence of all-wheel drive can add it to any Sportage for $1500. Beyond the aforementioned standard features, the EX also includes:

• 7.0-inch UVO3 touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
• Blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert
• 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
• Leather-trimmed interior
• Heated front seats