The current-generation Kia Sportage is a competent rival to vehicles like the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and Toyota RAV4. When we first drove it in 2016, we were impressed by the Sportage’s styling, driving dynamics, and high-quality interior — but that doesn’t mean Kia can rest on its laurels. A refreshed 2020 Sportage, which debuts at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, will get an extra dose of tech.
The Sportage’s styling was already a strong point, helping the Kia stand out in parking lots crowded with other compact crossovers. Kia kept the changes to a minimum for 2020, giving the Sportage new headlights, a redesigned front bumper with more complex detailing, a new rear bumper, and a reshaped exhaust tip, among other tweaks. LED headlights and fog lights are available as optional extras.
On the inside, the 2020 Sportage gets a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen, something previously available only on the top trim level. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard as well, and a wireless smartphone charging tray is available at extra cost. Kia also added several new driver aids, including lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, high beam assist, and a driver-attention monitor.
No mechanical changes were made to the 2020 Sportage. That means the standard engine remains a 2.4-liter four-cylinder producing 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. An optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 240 hp and 260 lb-ft. Both engines are coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission, with standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The turbocharged engine offers more grunt than many rivals, but Kia hasn’t seen fit to transplant one of its hybrid powertrains into the Sportage and challenge the Toyota RAV4 hybrid and Nissan Rogue hybrid.
The 2020 Kia Sportage will be available in four trim levels when it goes on sale later this year. New for 2020 is an S trim level, which joins the existing LX, EX, and SX models. Pricing will be announced closer to the 2020 Sportage’s arrival in showrooms. But the biggest news for Kia in calendar year 2019 is, quite literally, the Telluride SUV. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show and set to go on sale in the coming months, the Telluride is Kia’s largest-ever production model.
Updated on February 7, 2019: Added more photos.
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