2020 Kia Sportage

Starting Price: $25,035 | Price Yours

Above Average: Optional strong turbocharged engine; outstanding warranty; knobs and buttons for climate control and other things (not all touchscreen); some nice luxury even in the entry-level model

Below Average: Not great off road; a bit tight inside for passengers and cargo compared to others; fuel economy isn’t great

Consensus: The Kia Sportage is a solid little compact SUV that offers a lot in a small package. In addition to its recent facelift, it comes with plenty of options right out the gate, included heated and ventilated front seats. a 320-watt Harman Kardon stereo, and an excellent warranty. It’s comfortable, fun, and looks sporty, and has an excellent and strong optional 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. There are better choices off road, however.


2019 Buick Envision

Starting Price: $32,990 | Price Yours

Above Average: Luxurious and comfortable interior; plenty of cargo room and space for five;

Below Average: Tuned more for comfort than handling; not the best choice off road

Consensus: The Buick Envision is a comfortable and luxurious compact SUV with plenty of space for five passengers and ample cargo room. With its emphasis on luxury, the Envision is tuned for comfort, so while it has responsive steering, it’s not the most fun choice when the road turns twisty. All-wheel drive is optional, although there are better choices for off-roading.

As American consumers increasingly turn from cars to crossovers and SUVs, more and more manufacturers have offered their interpretation. In the compact class, Kia offers its 2020 Sportage, with Buick’s Envision, only in its second year, already making a name for itself. But the two manufacturers approach the segment a bit differently. 

Buick has consistently positioned itself as more of a luxury brand, with a focus on quiet, comfort, and a smooth ride. The Envision, therefore, has a comfy ride and lots of luxury features, with ample space for five passengers.

With the Sportage, Kia has taken a different tack. As evidenced by its name and its sharper, more angular features, the 2020 Sportage is intended to be a bit feistier, with a spunky 4-cylinder that, if you so desire, can be upgraded to a turbo. It has a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic and optional all-wheel drive.

Both models are offered with plenty of standard tech and safety features, storage spaces, and comfortable interiors. However, neither is the best choice off-road, and resale values are about middle ground within their class.


Identical fuel economy figures; both offer optional upgraded turbocharged engines; both offer optional all-wheel drive, although neither is the best off-road choice.

Kia Sportage Advantages

Significantly lower starting price; unbeatable warranty; sharper handling.

Buick Envision Advantages

Seats five comfortably; very quiet and comfortable; base model is more powerful.

Final Recommendation

The bottom line here is price, because at every level, from the base model to the optional turbo, the 2019 Buick Envision is $8,000 more expensive than its corresponding Kia Sportage.

The other factor here is size, because the 2019 Buick Envision seats five in comfort, where the Kia is best for four, so if you regularly carry five passengers, then there’s only one choice here.

Beyond those important distinctions, it’s hard to make the case for the Envision. It’s a very nice and comfortable ride, and if your primary concern is one of luxury and quiet, then it’s the obvious choice. But aside from that, it’s hard to escape that significant price gap, making the Sportage is the obvious choice here. It’s fun, it comes with Kia’s unbeatable warranty, and it has sharp, head-turning looks. 

Ready to buy? Find a Buick Envision or Kia Sportage on sale at a dealer near you.

  2020 Kia Sportage 2019 Buick Envision
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.4-liter I4 2.5-liter I4
Horsepower 181 hp @ 6,000 rpm 197 hp @ 6,300 rpm
Torque 175 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 192 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 6-Spd Automatic, 6-Spd
Fuel Economy 25 mpg (22 city/29 hwy) 25 mpg (22 city/29 hwy)
Also Available 2.0-liter turbo I4 2.0-liter turbo I4; 9-spd auto
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars n/a
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 105.1 inches 108.3 inches
Overall Length 176.4 inches 183.7 inches
Width 73.0 inches  72.4 inches 
Height 64.4 inches 66.8 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 36.4 feet
Headroom, Front 39.3 inches 40.0 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.1 inches 38.5 inches
Legroom, Front 41.5 inches 40.9 inches
Legroom, Rear 38.2 inches 37.5 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 57.1 inches 57.0 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.1 inches 55.8 inches
EPA Interior Volume 129.3 cu. ft. 127.2 cu.ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 60.1 cu. ft. 57.3 cu. ft
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