Honda CR-V vs. Kia Sportage

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - May 10, 2018

The Honda CR-V is the granddad of the compact SUV segment and has lasted the test of time with five generations of the model, spanning a period of more than 20 years. The CR-V has always been one of the front runners in the segment thanks to its incredible value and practicality. Automakers have been gunning to make strong competitors to take on the CR-V, which is where the Kia Sportage comes into play. Has Kia done enough with the Sportage to take on the CR-V? Read the rest of the article to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the CR-V & Sportage»

What the CR-V Gets Right

Both the CR-V and Sportage are fairly matched on paper. When it comes to entry-level powertrains, the one in the CR-V shines. The CR-V's 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine cranks out 184 hp – three more than the Sportage. Better yet, the CR-V is also much more fuel-efficient. The Honda has an EPA rating of 28 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined. Kia's offering lags behind with ratings of 23/30/26 (city, hwy, combined).

While the two SUVs are similarly sized, the CR-V manages to offer consumers with a more spacious cargo area. With the second row in place, the Honda can hold up to 39.2 cubic feet of cargo. Put the rear seats down and that figure expands to 75.8 cubic feet. Those figures are 8.5 cubic feet more than what the Sportage can hold with all of the seats in place and 15.7 cubic feet more behind the first row of seats.

In addition to offering more cargo capacity, the CR-V has a more spacious interior. The CR-V offers more rear shoulder room and legroom than the Sportage. For passengers in the front, the CR-V has more front head room, hip room, and shoulder room. Overall, there's more passenger volume in the CR-V – 105.9 cubic feet compared to the Sportage's 98.6 cubic feet.

What the Sportage Gets Right

The Sportage goes right for the CR-V's throat with a more affordable price tag. The Sportage costs $24,590, while the CR-V is the pricier option with a starting price of $25,245 – both prices include their respective destination fees.

When it comes to performance from the range-topping engine, the Sportage pulls ahead. The SUV can be fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that produces 240 hp. That figure's a healthy amount more than what the CR-V's top-of-the-line 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder can muster with a rating of 190 hp.

When properly equipped, the Sportage is capable of towing up to 1,650 lbs. While not enough to tow a large piece of cargo, the SUV offers consumers with 150 lbs. more of towing capacity than the CR-V.

Can You Beat a Triple Threat?

On paper, the Sportage and the CR-V are awfully close to one another in terms of specs and features. The CR-V, though, manages to have the ideal combination of fuel efficiency, cargo capacity, and features.

Verdict: Honda CR-V

The CR-V barely takes the lead over the Sportage. Honda's SUV has a more spacious interior and better fuel efficiency, which are two major requirements for the average SUV owner. Not to mention, the CR-V comes with the brand's excellent interior layout and stellar reliability.

Take a closer look at the Honda CR-V »

Take a closer look at the Kia Sportage »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website