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2014 Kia Sportage Review

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2014 Kia Sportage Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

Kia's oldest running nameplate, the 2014 Sportage, has evolved from a basic 4x4 SUV into a stylish, powerful, compact crossover SUV. Today's Sportage is a more civilized creature, touting a sophisticated yet firm suspension, an available turbocharged engine, and a long list of features aimed at providing maximum comfort and convenience. Although competitors such as the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Ford Escape all offer more interior space and better fuel economy, the Sportage counters with a number of advantages ranging from horsepower to price. Toss in the standard 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and the Sportage begins to look like a very good bet.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for the tall ride height, all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction and flexible cargo carrying capacity of a compact SUV, but you don't want to sacrifice style, power and creature comforts, the 2014 Kia Sportage deserves a good long look.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Sportage isn't as roomy inside as most of its competitors, especially in the rear cargo area, and its ride quality can be downright harsh. The Sportage's fuel-economy figures are also on the lower end of the compact SUV spectrum.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.5
  • 6.2
  • 5.4
  • 7.8
  • 6.8
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#10

out of 13

Fuel Economy

#2

out of 13

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.5 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Kia Sportage Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

All 2014 Kia Sportages gain a new grille design, new suspension dampers, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, rear-seat heating vents and reclining rear outboard seats. The 2.4-liter engine gets gasoline direct injection, while new options include HID headlights and ventilated front seats.

Driving the Sportage
2014 Kia Sportage Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions If you like power, you'll like what's under the hood of the 2014 Kia Sportage. The improved 2.4-liter engine now delivers 182 horsepower, more than enough to move the Sportage...

... at a good clip. Along the way, you'll find the Sportage's ride is stiffer than most of its competitors, but without the advantage of offering bettering cornering capabilities and less body roll. Opt for the SX trim and you'll get 260 turbocharged ponies. Both engines use gasoline direct-injection technology that helps maximize power and fuel economy. While we like the Sportage's steering feel and brakes, the harsh ride and tendency for body lean in the curves can become tiring after a bit. We also found the Sportage's high beltline and narrow windows somewhat limit 360-degree visibility, which is the exact opposite of what most SUV buyers want in this kind of vehicle.

PANORAMIC SUNROOF
You can never get enough sun and fresh air in our opinion, and the 2014 Kia Sportage's big panoramic sunroof delivers both in abundance.

2.0-LITER TURBOCHARGED ENGINE
Offered exclusively on the SX trim, the Sportage's 2.0-liter GDI turbocharged engine delivers 260 horsepower, the most in its class.

2014 Kia Sportage Details
2014 Kia Sportage Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Functionally, there is much to like inside the 2014 Kia Sportage SUV, with a roomy rear seat that can be folded flat to make a modestly roomy 54.6-cubic-foot cargo hold. While useful, the Sportage's cargo bay is not quite as large as in the Honda CR-V, which offers over 70 cubic feet of cargo space. EX trims feature special anti-bacterial cloth that helps eliminate odors and stains. We like a number of the Sportage's interior options, but the panoramic sunroof's manual sunshades don't strike us as very useful and should be power-operated.

Exterior
2014 Kia Sportage photo

The 2014 Kia Sportage SUV's sleek design includes sharp lines, narrow side glass and Kia's signature "tab" front grille. The clever interplay between the dark lines surrounding the grille, lower air ducts and painted wheel inserts gives the Sportage a keenly sinister appearance. The Sportage's high beltline and big wheel-and-tire combo make it look a bit like a hopped-up VW GTI. Don't be fooled by the Sportage's sporty appearance, however, as its available all-wheel drive (AWD) and nearly seven inches of ground clearance make it a capable compact SUV.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Kia's Sportage SUV for 2014 is offered in three trims: LX, EX and SX. Standard equipment for the LX includes air conditioning, a tilt/telescopic steering column, 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control and a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/satellite audio system with USB/iPod input. Some notable standard features that come with the EX and SX trims include Kia's UVO infotainment system, Infinity premium audio system with a subwoofer, back-up warning system, rearview camera, a cooling glove box and automatic climate control. Exclusive to the SX are HID headlights, a turbocharged engine and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Optional Equipment

All of the options available for the 2014 Kia Sportage come in packages. Some noteworthy highlights of the Sportage option packages include a navigation system with enhanced UVO eServices, heated and ventilated front seats, power-folding side mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, leather seat trim and push-button start with Smart Key keyless entry. The LX can be equipped with the rearview camera and warning system, an important safety feature we highly recommend. All-wheel drive is available on all trims.

Under the Hood
2014 Kia Sportage Engine photo

The 2014 Kia Sportage SUV's 2.4-liter engine gains gasoline direct-injection technology delivering a small bump up in horsepower and torque. This engine is robust and fuel-efficient and should suffice for most drivers' needs. Costing a bit more is the turbocharged 2.0-liter, which provides V6-like power and 4-cylinder fuel economy. Both engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, which delivers impressive fuel-economy numbers and can be shifted manually.

2.4-liter inline-4
182 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg (front-wheel drive), 19/26 mpg (AWD)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
260 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque @ 1,850-3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 mpg (front-wheel drive), 19/24 mpg (AWD)

The 2014 Kia Sportage SUV comes with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $22,500. Stepping up to the EX trim brings the price to around $26,000. The turbocharged SX trim starts just under $28,000 but, when it's topped with every option, that price can creep past $32,000. A look at the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com shows what others are paying for the Kia Sportage in your area, so be sure to check it out before you buy. As for residuals, we expect that the Kia Sportage won't hold its value as well as the Honda CR-V or Subaru Forester, should remain on par with the Chevy Equinox and Toyota RAV4 and will be better than the Nissan Rogue, Jeep Compass and VW Tiguan.

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2014 Kia Sportage Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 109 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Good value for the money, fun to drive

By on Monday, June 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,050

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun, looks good, many features, compact design"

Cons: "winter road handling, mpg s/b better"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"It's a very nice small SUV, "a cute ute" with a lot of bells and whistles and decent mpg. It has been good to me, no issues...and the maneuverability, handling and overall appearance is nice. It is limited in rear cargo space and towing capability, so I can't imagine really using this to do anything off-road or adventurous. It's a 4-banger which is great for commuting and everyday errands. Have to say the traction in winter is bad...could be the 18" rims and low profile tires but I say it just not a good winter vehicle. Yet overall, better than average vehicle. For the right location and right person, it will be perfect."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

I love my Sportage

By on Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,650

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Style, comfort and adjustability, accessories"

Cons: "could be quieter. 23,000 miles and need new tires"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have been exceptionally happy with the Sportage. Perfect size for me, enough cargo space. Like the adjustable height in the driver's seat as well as the heated/cooled front seats. Comfortable on long trips. Leather package holding up well. Is a little noisier than my previous vehicle which was a sedan. Very sharp looking, 3 years old and I still get positive comments from strangers. Panoramic sun roof MPG as advertised"

15 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Good, almost great

By on Saturday, May 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"2012 Sportage EX AWD with premium package. I’ve owned the car for about four months now and love it overall – makes me enjoy driving more again. A few positives: looks, peppy, tight turn ratio, smooth riding (except speed bumps). I get ave. 23-25 mpg and 26-38 mpg highway-only. Front seats are not uncomfortable, but could be slightly more “cushy”. I have to say the biggest irritation with the car is oddly the steering wheel position – at its farthest it does not come down near low enough for me and I am an average 5’6 125lbs. It is a very oddly frustrating thing they missed in this design flaw; if I sit with the seat in the right position for the wheel, my head is almost touching the roof nor far from the pillar and I don’t feel safe. If I sit at a comfortable level from the roof, the steering wheel is so high it feels like attempting to drive a bus. It lessens my steering ability ease and quickness, which would be more dangerous in a jam. I have already noticed a hindrance a few times. Other negatives, in order of importance: (1) solid front corner, back corner, and rear blind spots (even with convex stick-on mirrors) (2) very low paint quality not made to last for the long-term: looks good, but there is only 36k on my car and a PLETHORA of small dings and chips over the entire front of the car. My 120k mile, 14-year-old Mustang didn’t even have those. (3) The premium sound does not contain speakers nor produce sound most would consider “premium” and what one expects to receive when purchasing this option for a reason. I believe all they did was add more speakers and an amp, leading to (4) there is absolutely no sound leveling, so the bass level between one song to the next is atrocious and impossible not to notice, even if the volume is not up high. One will thump you out of the car and the next song you couldn’t hear bass if you have it at 100%; disturbing. Also, the only thing I have found that does not function on the vehicle – is the speed-based-volume. (5) There is a noise coming from my steering wheel that is only noticed when first starting the car and pulling out – sounds like something simple like plastic or external materials rubbing when turning the wheel, but who am I to say it isn’t something more serious. (6) I am a woman I found that the gas pedal is dangerous while wearing heels (again, something that never existed with the Mustang. My heels slides on the plastic piece attached to the bottom of the pedal, forcing me to take them off to drive; I have carpeted what I could, but still don’t feel is a non-issue as was in previous car. (7) Sometimes somewhere between 1st and 3rd gear the car acts like it’s not sure what it wants to do so stutters, or more accurately – it feels like when you shift a stick shift of a truck into gear. Has only been minor so far – hoping it stays a non-issue. (8) The back seat does not recline nor move. Appears they added this feature on the new models. Cheapness: The first test-drive, I passed on the car solely because my logic was if the interior felt this cheap (mainly the dash and hollow “handles” surrounding the cup holders), that doesn’t reassure me that the mechanics are not the same and this car will last me over the years. I still have a concern for this for the future because after purchasing the car, I found that I can bend in both the front and back bumper areas with my fingers. WOW; talk about solid. ?! However, even with those drawbacks (could also do without the entirely-glass roof - gives me anxiety), I still really like the vehicle. As long as nothing major changes, I could definitely keep this long term."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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