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2018 Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage OEM Exterior Primary Photo
OEM Interior Primary
OEM Exterior Standard
OEM Exterior
OEM Interior
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Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2018 LX 4dr Front-Wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $23,600
2018 LX 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $25,100
2018 EX 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $26,400
2018 EX 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $27,900
2018 SX Turbo 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $32,900
2018 SX Turbo 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $34,400


The Kia Sportage is an animated-looking, versatile compact crossover with sporty dynamics. It slots between the Niro plug-in hybrid and the Sorento in Kia’s crossover SUV line-up and competes with the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and the Hyundai Tucson for market space.

What's New for 2018

The present-generation Sportage has been on sale for just over a year, so Kia hasn’t made any styling or mechanical changes for 2018. That said, the equipment list has been reorganized, with the entry-level LX variant getting a new Technology Package and the mid-level EX trim adding a Sport Package.

Kia Sportage

Choosing Your Kia Sportage

The Sportage is available with two engine options – a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated unit that produces 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pushes out 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Both the engines are paired to a six-speed automatic gearbox with front-wheel drive as standard. All-wheel drive system is a $1,500 optional extra on all three trims – LX, EX and SX.

The 2.4-liter engine is available in the LX and EX trims, while the 2.0-liter turbo can be had with the range-topping SX trim only.

Kia Sportage


The Sportage LX costs $24,395 (including $895 destination charges) and is equipped with 17-inch wheels, LED running lights, fabric upholstery, six-way adjustable driver’s seats, keyless entry, and a five-inch touchscreen multimedia system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

For those not satisfied with the base equipment, there are two optional packages.

The first is the $1,200 Popular Package, that includes 10-way power adjustable driver’s seats with lumbar support, heated seats, roof rails and a 7.3-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Second is the Technology Package ($1,300), which adds a number of driver-assistance elements like blindspot detection with rear-cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, high-beam assist and front collision warning system. It’s worth noting, though, that the Popular Package is a prerequisite for the Technology Package.

Apart from the being the most affordable Sportage, the LX variant is also the most fuel efficient one, returning 23 miles per gallon in city, 30 highway and 26 mpg combined in FWD configuration and 21/25/22 mpg in AWD configuration.

Kia Sportage


The EX trim starts at $27,195 and gets standard 18-inch wheels, power folding side-view mirrors and a more plush interior with leather seats, a 10-way power adjustable driver seat with 2-way lumbar support, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and the 7.3-inch infotainment system that is optional on the LX trim. Blindspot detection and rear-cross traffic alert systems are also standard.

There are three available packs on the Sportage LX — Premium Package ($1,700), Sport Package ($990) and Technology Package ($2,900 for front-drive and $3,000 with all-wheel drive).

The Premium Package adds a panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, and ambient lighting. The Technology Package gives you an upgraded eight-inch infotainment system with navigation, Harmon Kardon audio system, cooled front seats, heated rear seats, eight-way power adjustable passenger seats, a kick-to-open tailgate, and driver assistance features like parking sensors and forward collision warning. Finally, the Sport pack provides cosmetic modifications like new exterior paint options, grey wheels, a new steering wheel design, and metal pedals. Another option buyers could go for is the $300 interior lighting kit.

Mileage is 22/29/25 mpg for FWD models and 21/25/23 mpg for AWD.

Kia Sportage

SX Turbo

The range-topping SX variant is priced at $33,695 and its features include almost all the components that are standard or optional on the lower trims plus 19-inch wheels, xenon headlights, LED fog-lights, a dual-exhaust set-up, eight-inch infotainment system, Harmon Kardon audio system, heated and cooled seats, and all the driver assistance systems from the LX and EX variants. Additionally, the Sportage SX also gets paddle-shifters and a retuned suspension.

CarsDirect Tip

If you are looking for performance, the Sportage SX is the ideal buy. However, both the LX and EX trims provide very good value for money too, especially if you opt for at least one of the available packages.

Get your price on a Kia Sportage »

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Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

Compact to medium-sized crossovers are the hot segment in the American car market, so most manufacturers are content to play it safe and follow the most obvious mainstream trends - which is why it's gratifying to see Kia show some initiative and individuality with the latest version of the long-lived Sportage. The well-rounded (and cheerfully round) Sportage fulfills buyer priorities – lots of safety and convenience tech, available all-wheel-drive, good cargo room – while providing an extra dose of driving enjoyment.

Best Value

Kia offers the Sportage in three trim lines – LX, EX, and SX Turbo – with few available options. All-wheel-drive is a $1,500 add-on to each, and expanded tech and safety packs can be selected for the LX and EX; the SX Turbo comes fully loaded and is priced accordingly.

On a more frugal level, if you can live without the leather seats and nineteen-inch wheels on the EX, the LX can be optioned past the base EX's equipment level, bringing such desirables as automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto at a similar price.

Our recommended value configuration for a Sportage balances safety, features, and a reasonable bottom line:

  • Model: 2018 Kia Sportage LX AWD
  • Engine: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
  • Output: 181 hp / 175 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel-drive
  • MPG: 21 City/25 Hwy
  • Options: All-wheel-drive system ($1,500), LX Popular Package (UVO infotainment and telematics system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone climate control, 10-way power driver's seat, heated front seats; $1,200), LX Technology Package (autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning system, blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high-beam headlights; $1,300)
  • Base Price: $24,590 (including $990 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $28,590


Kia Sportage

Take your driving expectations about a modern midsize crossover and raise them one notch. The Sportage is very much a product of its class but its performance shows a welcome degree of ambition and development. The base 181-horsepower 2.4-liter motor is smooth and capable in everyday driving; the SX Turbo's boosted 2.0-liter provides a healthy shove in the back and matches up well against class powerhouses like the Subaru Forester XT. That power is put to good use by a suspension that is set up to provide pleasantly solid and responsive handling.

On the flip side, that handling is controlled through a steering wheel that has about as much feel as a laptop touchpad; the Sportage is more pointed than steered. Those respectable power numbers are also matched with less respectable fuel-economy scores; a front-drive LX has estimated fuel consumption of 23 mpg city and 30 highway, while an SX Turbo with all-wheel-drive scores only 21 city/25 highway.


Kia's design studio deserves more credit than it gets from the broad public for drawing up attractive, interesting sheet metal and well-considered cabins. The interior thankfully keeps a lid on stylistic excess without feeling Spartan, focusing instead on a control layout that is both easy to use and easy on the eyes. Materials feel substantial, and the front seats remain supportive and comfortable over long distances. This pleasant environment is complemented by Kia's UVO infotainment system (optional on the LX, standard on the EX and SX Turbo) which remains one of the best in the industry.

If the interior is thoughtful and rational, the sheet metal displays a more playful attitude. Friendly curves and a few well-placed character lines are a welcome change from the multiple creases and glowering demeanor of many competitors (looking at you, Toyota). Those chunky sides and solid rear pillars do limit outward visibility, though.

Space is adequate up front, with comfortable, supportive seats that would be pleasant on a road trip. The second row is tight, but with just under 31 cubic feet of cargo space, we're willing to overlook it.

The Best and Worst Things

Kia Sportage

It's not a sports sedan, but the Sportage's blend of ride and handling shows that a good bit of knowledge and care went into the suspension tuning. Instead of an acceptable-if-uninspiring default to dull response and bland softness, the Sportage is set up for accurate and confident handling and a secure, well-controlled ride.

Given its moderate size and weight and reasonable power, the unimpressive fuel economy numbers for the Sportage are both disappointing and somewhat mystifying. Sales figures and customer-survey feedback may indicate that fuel consumption concerns are not high on the priority list for most buyers, but the Sportage could be a bit more competitive in this respect.

Right For? Wrong For?

Do you need a well-rounded all-purpose vehicle that can manage standing snow and maintained dirt roads? Do you want something distinct from the hordes of grumpy-looking midsized crossovers from the predictable big names? Do you enjoy running family errands in a vehicle that looks a bit like a cuddly metallic Pokémon? Give the Sportage a serious look. It may not stand out in any one objective category, but it is an effective and enjoyable family mover

Do you require meaningful off-road capability? Like most comparable crossovers, the Sportage is tuned more for bad weather than overland work. Do you carry five people regularly? The rear seat is comfortable for two but will test the patience and civility of three over long trips.

The Bottom Line

The Sportage wraps a friendly exterior around an agreeable interior and installs a set of driving characteristics that move it ahead of class averages. It may not be one of the most popular choices in its ferociously competitive market segment, but it is safely one of the better ones.

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.4L I-4 / 181 HP / 175 ft.lbs.
6-spd sequential shift control auto w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
23 / 30 / 26 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.4L I-4 / 181 HP / 175 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
23 / 30 / 26 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Fuel Tank
16.4 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
60.1 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
99 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
176.4 "
Exterior Width
73.0 "
Exterior Height
64.4 " / 64.8 "
Front Headroom
39.3 "
Rear Headroom
39.1 "
Front Legroom
41.5 "
Rear Legroom
38.2 "
Front Shoulder Room
57.1 "
Rear Shoulder Room
55.1 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,305 Lbs.
Wheel Base
105 "
Turning Radius
17.4 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
17.0 " Silver Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Pearlcoat Monotone / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote
Front Body-colored With Black Insert
Grille Moldings
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Yes Essentials Premium Cloth
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
6-way / (8-way Power)
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
6-way / (8-way Power)
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm Am/fm/satellite, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Day-night / Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Autonomous Emergency Braking (aeb) Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Blind Spot Detection (bsd) Blind Spot
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Keeping Assist Lane Departure
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Front Pedestrian Detection Prevention
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Major Components Months
120 Months / 100,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / 100,000 Miles
Accessories Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles

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