The Kia Sportage compact crossover comes with some updates for 2020, including styling and interior revisions and a handful of new features.
Kia’s changes to its smallest crossover are what the industry calls a mid-cycle refresh, which comes, right on schedule, for the Sportage’s fourth year since its last complete redesign, in 2017.
Outside, the Sportage gets new headlights sporting LED accents (a look that Kia first pitched on the 2019 Forte sedan). The other usual suspects are here, too, in a new front bumper, wheel designs, grille, exhaust tips and taillights.
Inside, Kia has made an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen standard in all trims -- LX, EX, SX and a new S trim that slots in between LX and EX. There are new details like vent surrounds and a redesigned steering wheel, while new tech features comprise lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision detection with pedestrian detection and automatic braking and automatic high beams.
Kia has left the Sportage’s powertrains as is. A 2.4L four-cylinder powers most trims with 181 hp and 175 lb-ft, while the top-trim SX gets a 2.0L turbo with 237 hp and 260 lb-ft. LX is a front-driver with an AWD option, while AWD is standard in all other trims. Regardless of engine and drive type, a six-speed automatic is standard kit.
Despite the updates to this good-looking vehicle, the Sportage is one of the oldest designs in the compact crossover segment. Toyota has just redesigned its RAV4, the Mazda CX-5 now reaches upscale with a new Signature trim and, significantly, Ford is about to roll out an all-new Escape. Even tiny Mitsubishi has a newer model in play with the Eclipse Cross it introduced as a 2018 model.
As far as features go, the LX gets 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, fog lights, heated side mirrors, cloth upholstery, heated front seats, air conditioning, 8.0-inch display audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and cruise control.
EX adds 18-inch wheels, LED running lights, a front wiper de-icer, power driver’s seat with lumbar, heated steering wheel, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shifter, wireless smartphone charging, electric parking brake, passive keyless entry and push-button start, part-digital gauge cluster, lane keep assist and forward collision avoidance assist.
An EX Premium package brings LED taillights, power-folding side mirrors, leather seating, dual-zone climate control with automatic defogging, hands-free power tailgate, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert.
EX Tech trim gets LED headlights, power front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, navigation, upgraded sound system, UVO connected car services, auto-dimming rearview mirror and a garage door opener.
Finally, SX models ride on 19-inch wheels and boast LED fog lights, silver exterior accents, sport steering wheel, piano black and chrome interior trim, paddle shifters, selectable drive modes, adaptive cruise control, advanced forward collision avoidance assist and front and rear parking sensors.
Kia’s fuel consumption estimates for the Sportage are 10.8/9.1 L/100 km (city/highway) for 2.4L AWD models and 12.1/9.6 for 2.0L turbo AWD versions. At the time of this writing, Kia hadn’t published ratings for the 2.4L FWD combination.