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Kia Sportage Review

The 2015 Kia Sportage ranks 9 out of 19 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Kia Sportage, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Kia Sportage is ranked:

Thanks to its athletic handling and spirited optional turbocharged engine, the 2015 Kia Sportage is fun to drive, auto critics write, though some think it has a stiff ride and a smaller cargo area than rivals.

Reviewers say the 2015 Kia Sportage has decent power in most cases with its standard four-cylinder engine. A few add that the available turbocharged four-cylinder engine gives the Sportage more punch and faster acceleration. An automatic transmission is standard with either engine. According to the EPA, base 2015 Sportage gets up to 21/28 mpg city/highway, which is just below average for the class. Test drivers praise the Kia Sportage's agile handling, which they say is sportier than that of many competitors. Still, they agree that its sharp handling comes at the expense of the Sportage’s jarring ride quality. Some automotive writers think the Sportage has responsive steering and strong brakes.

Even with its plastic materials, the Kia Sportage's interior is well-built and stylish, test drivers report. Some say it has comfortable front seats, but others think they need more padding. Several also comment that outward visibility is poor in most directions, and they write that the rear seats don't offer much legroom. The 2015 Kia Sportage comes standard with satellite radio, Bluetooth and a USB port. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, a UVO eServices infotainment system, a 7-inch touch-screen navigation system, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, an Infinity stereo system and rear parking sensors. Test drivers say the Kia Sportage's dashboard controls are straightforward and easy to reach. Most also agree that its available navigation system, which absorbs audio and phone settings, is intuitive. With 54.6 cubic feet of overall cargo space, the Kia Sportage has less cargo room than that of most rivals.

  • "Thanks to a fun-to-drive nature, the 2015 Kia Sportage is an entertaining alternative to other small crossover SUVs on the market." -- Edmunds
  • "… the Sportage emphasizes the first five letters of its name, with a firm suspension and a powerful available turbocharged engine. While the smaller interior and cargo space, not to mention the stiff suspension, may turn off some buyers, the undeniably sporty Sportage has carved out a niche for itself against its competitors." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “Other strengths include an available 260-horsepower turbocharged engine, which really puts the ‘Sport’ in ‘Sportage.’ Throw in adequate backseat room and a wealth of standard and optional features, and it's clear that the Sportage's strong first impression is just the beginning." -- AutoTrader
  • "Sportage's racy styling sacrifices some outward visibility, and fuel economy falls a bit below par for the class. Otherwise, Sportage delivers a host of standard features, an impressive list of luxury options, and the bonus of Kia's strong warranty." -- Consumer Guide (2013) 

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Other SUVs to Consider

The Buick Encore earns excellent fuel economy for the class and comes equipped with lots of standard features. Reviewers say the Encore offers a balanced ride, and they like its attractive cabin, which includes first-rate materials. 

The Nissan Rogue has more cargo space than most SUVs in the class, and it can seat up to seven with an available third row. Reviewers agree that it has a well-appointed cabin. The Rogue also earns much better fuel economy estimates than the Sportage.

Compare the Sportage, Encore and Rogue »

Details: 2015 Kia Sportage

The 2015 Kia Sportage seats five and comes standard with front-wheel drive. The base Sportage is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive are optional. The Kia Sportage is available in three trims: LX, EX and SX. The Sportage was last redesigned in 2011 and sees few changes for 2015. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011 through 2015 model years.

See 2015 Kia Sportage specs »

Review Last Updated: 8/21/15

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