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2020 Kia Sportage Preview

  • Bold looks
  • Good infotainment software
  • Turbo’s healthy punch
  • More safety tech
  • Basic design shows its age
  • Base engine’s light on refinement
  • Not all safety gear is standard
The 2020 Kia Sportage plays catch-up when it comes to active safety tech.

The 2020 Kia Sportage crossover SUV got an early start on the new year.

Updated looks, more active safety tech, and a new S trim level mark the refreshed Sportage, which arrives in dealers by the middle of 2019.

The 2020 Sportage’s new S trim level slots in the lineup atop the base Sportage LX and below the tonier Sportage EX and turbocharged Sportage SX.

LX, S, and EX Sportages make use of a 2.4-liter inline-4 rated at 188 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, while the SX uses a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that puts out a healthier 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Both engines send power to the wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard across the board and all-wheel drive is optional.

No fuel-economy figures have been announced for the 2020 Sportage, but the 2019 models with the turbo engine were rated by the EPA at 21 mpg combined with all-wheel drive while the base engine rated 23 mpg combined. Those figures are on the low end for compact crossover SUVs, so we’re hoping Kia found a way to boost the Sportage’s efficiency.

The Sportage is closely related to the Hyundai Tucson, although that model lost its optional turbo-4 engine last year. Both are on the small side for compact crossover SUVs, as much as half a foot shorter than some rivals. For buyers with limited garage space, the Sportage might appeal—although its roughly 60 cubic feet of cargo space is predictably lower than most competitors.

The 2020 Sportage has style going for it, however.

A chrome line running below its gaping grille marks 2020 for the Sportage’s redesigned front bumper. Optional LED headlights are complemented on higher trims by LED headlights, foglights, and running lamps. The LED theme continues out back with new LED taillights and a new bumper with exposed tailpipes on some trim levels.

Base Sportages ride on 17-inch wheels that grow to 18- and 19-inch diameters on higher trim levels. Additionally, the Sportage adds a new Steel Grey exterior hue to its color palette.

Inside, the Sportage is mostly the same as before, albeit with more features on base models. A previously optional 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is newly standard and it’s surrounded by revised climate control vents. The steering wheel also boasts a fresh design.

Kia adds to the Sportage’s safety tech with newly available  active lane control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go. We’ll have to wait for Kia to detail the Sportage lineup’s standard and optional features, but we’re optimistic that this potentially life-saving tech will be more widely available than last year when some limited features were unfortunately grouped in pricey option packages.

Kia hasn’t said how much the 2020 Sportage will cost when it goes on sale by the middle of 2019.


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