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 could be better

Consensus: The Kia Sportage is a solid little compact SUV that offers a lot in a small package. Facelifted with a new nose for 2020, 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 Jeep Compass

Starting Price: $22,790 | Price Yours

Above Average: Good off-road capability; optional manual transmission on upper trims.

Below Average: Engine isn’t terribly powerful or refined; neither reliability nor resale ratings are particularly strong.

Consensus: There’s on mistaking the lineage and brand of the 2019 Jeep Compass, which as a compact crossover SUV slots perfectly between its Renegade and larger Cherokee brothers. Continuing the brand’s reputation, the Compass is a solid off-roader, particularly when equipped with the Trailhawk package. It’s offered with a single four-cylinder engine that’s not terribly powerful, but it gets the job done. Resale value and reliability are not class-leading.

As American consumers increasingly turn from cars to crossovers and SUVs, more and more manufacturers have offered their interpretation. In the compact/subcompact class, Kia offers its 2020 Sportage, and putting its off-road foot forward, Jeep submits the 2019 Jeep Compass. The Kia comes considerably better equipped out of the gate, with a respectable stereo and some nice luxury touches. Its base 4-cylinder provides great power, and there’s an optional turbocharged I4 if you need even more pep. Buyers can also opt for a new S trim level. The Compass brings Jeep’s formidable off-roading chops, particularly with the Trailhawk package, decent fuel economy, and a very reasonable starting price. And while it only offers one engine choice compared to the Sportage’s two, Jeep offers the Compass in every trim with an optional manual transmission.


Nearly identical horsepower and torque figures; comparable cargo capacity.

Kia Sportage Advantages

Unbeatable warranty; higher resale value; optional upgraded engine.

Jeep Compass Advantages

Better off-road; slightly better fuel economy; optional manual transmission; cheaper at both the bottom and top ends.

Final Recommendation

Given its optional turbocharged engine and long list of standard and available equipment, not to mention its road manners and comfort, the 2020 Kia Sportage is our pick here. It also has a longer warranty, a better reputation for reliability, and a higher resale value. The only way the 2019 Jeep Compass wins here is if your priority is off-road driving, because that has always been the hallmark of Jeeps and it’s a class leader. If you’re primarily sticking to the pavement, then look no further than the Sportage.

Ready to buy a Jeep Compass or Kia Sportage? See what's in dealership stock near you!

  2020 Kia Sportage 2019 Jeep Compass
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.4-liter I4 2.4-liter I4
Horsepower 181 hp @ 6,000 rpm 180 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque 175 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 175 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 6-Spd Manual, 6-Spd
Fuel Economy 26 mpg (23 city, 30 hwy) 26 mpg (23 city, 32 hwy)
Also Available 2.0-liter I4, turbocharged Automatic, 6-Spd; Automatic, 9-Spd 
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 4 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 105.1 inches 103.8 inches
Overall Length 176.4 inches 173.0 inches
Width 73.0 inches 80.0 inches
Height 64.4 inches 64.6 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 36.3 feet
Headroom, Front 39.3 inches 39.2 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.1 inches 38.5 inches
Legroom, Front 41.5 inches 41.8 inches
Legroom, Rear 38.2 inches 38.3 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 57.1 inches 56.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.1 inches 55.1 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 129.3 cu. ft. 126.7 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 60.1 cu. ft. 59.8 cu. ft.
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