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2021 Kia Sportage: Preview, Pricing, Release Date

Willis Kuelthau
Automotive Editor - June 25, 2020

Model Preview

The 2021 Kia Sportage will carry over with minimal changes after a mid-cycle refresh last year. Slotting in between the three-row Telluride and the smaller Seltos, the Sportage is due for a redesign in the next year or two.

Last year’s refresh brought a mild styling update, sharpening the Sportage’s casual look. Unlike many modern SUVs, the Sportage shies away from showy grilles and squared-off sides, opting for sleeker lines. Short overhangs help the SUV look (and feel) more athletic.

The interior got more substantial upgrades in 2020, including a larger infotainment touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We don’t expect any major changes for 2021, but a comfortable and quiet interior means that that’s not a bad thing.

Kia Sportage

The Sportage will continue with two available engines. The first is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder unit sending 181 horsepower through a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is an option, but it sets fuel economy back by several notches. The top trim gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine making 240 hp. We’d prefer an option in the middle, but neither engine is offensive.

Safety is a strength for the Sportage. Federal and independent testers gave last year’s model good marks overall, with the IIHS awarding the Sportage a Top Safety Pick award. Automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control are standard across the board. Blind-spot monitors and adaptive cruise control are optional extras, though they come standard on upper trims.

Pricing & Release Date

The official release date for the 2021 Sportage has not been announced. Based on prior years, we expect the SUV to reach dealerships sometime in the summer of 2020.

Last year’s Sportage started at $25,110 in base LX trim (after destination fees). We expect the LX to return along with the Sportage’s three upper trims: S, EX, and SX Turbo. We don’t expect major changes from last year’s pricing: $27,260 for the S, $28,410 for the EX, and $34,710 for the king of the hill.

The compact crossover class is among the most crowded on the market. Polished entrants like the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, and Subaru Forester will provide stiff competition for the new Sportage.

Learn more about the current Sportage on sale now »

Pictured: 2020 Kia Sportage

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