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2019 Kia Sportage

Starting Price: $24,745 | 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

Consensus: The Kia Sportage is a solid little compact SUV that offers a lot in a small package. 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.
 

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2019 Mazda CX-5

Starting Price: $25,325 | Price Yours

Above Average: Engaging driving experience, sharp styling, excellent build quality and reliability; decent fuel economy

Below Average: Not terribly spacious; not a great choice for off-roading

Consensus: The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is that rare compact crossover SUV that does everything right. It has plenty of technology and safety features, excellent build quality and reliability, and has some of the sharpest looks in its class. It’s also fun to drive, with a peppy 4-cylinder and excellent handling. It’s not the most spacious in its class, however, and there are better choices for off-roading.
 

The 2019 Kia Sportage and Mazda CX-5 make their ways in the compact crossover class by taking similar paths. They’re both reasonably priced, stylish, and comfortable, and they’re both fun to drive, with responsive engines and optional turbocharged upgrades. The Mazda leans a bit sportier and tighter on the suspension, with the Kia emphasizing comfort and a smooth ride. Consider their reasonable starting prices, both of these also pack in a lot of luxury, with the added bonus of good build quality and reliability.

They both do many things very well, but interestingly enough, their shortcomings are similar as well, with neither the Kia nor the Mazda being the space leader in the class, although they both can seat five in a pinch. They also offer all-wheel drive, but there are certainly better choices if you frequently drive past where the pavement ends.

Similarities

Similar starting prices, sporty looks, lots of tech; good build quality

Kia Sportage Advantages

Better warranty, smoother ride, lots of high-tech features

Mazda CX-5 Advantages

A bit more power; better fuel economy; more fun to drive on windy roads

Final Recommendation

It’s hard to go wrong with either of these compact crossover SUVs if you’re looking for a fun, sporty engine, stylish looks, good build quality and luxury features. As a result, neither is the clear winner. The Kia has a significantly longer warranty and a smoother ride, but the Mazda is a bit more fun to drive and has marginally better fuel economy. They’re both certainly worth a test-drive.

Get a free price quote on a Kia Sportage or Mazda CX-5!

  2019 Kia Sportage 2019 Mazda CX-5
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.4-liter I4 2.5-liter I4
Horsepower 181 hp @ 6,000 rpm 187 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 175 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 186 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 6-Spd Automatic, 6-Spd, with Manual and Sport modes
Fuel Economy 25 mpg (22 city/29 hwy) 28 mpg (25 city/31 hwy)
Also Available 2.0-liter I4, turbocharged 2.5-liter I4, turbocharged
Specs    
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 105.1 inches 106.2 inches
Overall Length 176.4 inches 179.1 inches
Width 73.0 inches  72.5 inches 
Height 64.4 inches 66.2 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 36.0 feet
Headroom, Front 39.3 inches 39.7 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.1 inches 39.0 inches
Legroom, Front 41.5 inches 41.0 inches
Legroom, Rear 38.2 inches 39.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 57.1 inches 57.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.1 inches 54.8 inches
EPA Passenger Volume n/a 103.6 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 60.1 cu. ft. 59.6 cu. ft.
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