2019 Kia Sportage Review


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2019 Kia Sportage Overview

One of Kia’s oldest models is the Sportage, dating all the way back to 1993. In 2016, Kia completely redesigned the Sportage for its fourth generation. Trims include LX, EX, and SX Turbo. While the Sportage doesn’t offer much “sport,” the turbo model offers a decent amount of oomph. The Sportage goes into 2019 with no changes.

Engine choices for the 2019 Sportage start with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, driving through a 6-speed automatic. Next up is a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder in the SX Turbo with 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, which matches up with a 6-speed automatic. All models come in front-wheel drive (FWD); all-wheel drive (AWD) is available as well.

The naturally aspirated LX models will manage 23 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined. All-wheel drive takes a big chunk out of those figures, dropping them to 21, 25, 23. EX models with a 2.4 liter-engine will return 22 mpg city, 29 highway, and 25 mpg combined with FWD; mileage drops to 21 mpg city, 25 highway, and 23 combined with AWD. The SX Turbo, meanwhile, will manage 21, 26, and 23 with front-wheel drive and 20, 23, and 21 with all-wheel drive. The Sportage is a small SUV -- and it drives like one. The SX Turbo model livens things up a bit with firmer suspension and revised dampers, as well as tweaks to the steering.

The Sportage doesn’t offer a ton of room for passengers in the rear seats, but the 30.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up -- and 60.1 cubic feet with them folded -- are impressive. Base models don’t get much equipment standard in order to keep the price down. Features include cruise control and a 5.0-inch infotainment touchscreen; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both available. Heated front seats, a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and automatic climate control are also available on the base LX. The EX adds an available upgraded infotainment system, an extra USB port, and blind-spot monitors. Other options for the EX include cooling front seats, a power tailgate, a Harman/Kardon stereo, and a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen. Finally, the SX Turbo adds the aforementioned options and the livelier underpinnings.

The current generation of the Kia Sportage earned Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave it five out of five stars overall. Available active safety features include automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors. The 2019 Sportage isn’t a clear standout in terms of design or equipment in a competitive segment of the market, but Kia has a well-earned reputation for solid warranties. The Sportage, for example, gets a 5-year 60,000-mile warranty and 10-year 100,000-mile powertrain coverage.


Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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