Kia redesigned Sportage crossover at a bad time. The expectations were high, but the compact crossover is not going to fulfill them. Well, it is not carmaker’s mistake, but the COVID-19 outburst spoiled the plans. Nevertheless, the vehicle is new and it will remain one of the freshest in the market since we already see delays of models scheduled for 2021. For example, Chevrolet introduced Equinox at the Chicago Auto Show, just before coronavirus shut down the entire automotive industry. So, with the fresh look of the 2020 YM, we don’t expect big changes on the 2021 Kia Sportage.
The crossover will keep all the options for the upcoming season. That means a pair of engines is available, as well as four trim levels. The base model is nicely equipped, while the high-end versions offer some advanced and premium features. Kia didn’t slap the hefty price on these trims. So, building the 2021 Kia Sportage will be fun with a lot of options available at reasonable costs.
Naturally-Aspirated and Turbo-Four Engines
The standard offer includes a 2.4-liter engine capable of making 180 hp. This is enough for the compact crossover class, making the 2021 Kia Sportage competitive to most rivals. The engine also produces 175 lb-ft of torque and tows 2,000 pounds. A six-speed automatic transmission sends power to front wheels. All-wheel drive is optional, but it consumes significantly more fuel.
The base setup returns 23/30 mpg, while the AWD drops the rating to 21/26 miles per gallon. Improvements are needed on this system to make the crossover more efficient. Unfortunately, a hybrid unit is not ready yet. Kia will have to speed up the development since more and more models are offering this kind of a drivetrain. It is a matter of time when will electric units overtake the market, and hybrid engines are the first steps.
A 2.0-liter turbo-four is a cool alternative for buyers looking for more power. The powerplant adds 60 ponies and 85 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration and max speed are enhanced, while the smaller unit is not consuming too much more fuel (20/28 mpg). Again, an all-wheel drive is way thirstier, returning only 21 mpg combined. The same transmission is a power router for the turbo drivetrain.
Why Buy 2021 Kia Sportage? [Pros and Cons]
The first thing why you will want the 2021 Kia Sportage is the fresh styling. The Korean carmaker is surprising us with their every move. Both engines are capable for their size and the company also delivers a smooth and comfortable ride. On the other hand, the Sportage is too thirsty. We already mentioned its mileage. Just for example, Toyota, Honda, and Ford are already above 40 mpg thanks to their hybrid drivetrains. Still, Kia makes the lack of such configuration in all other areas. Safety is on the high level, cargo space is above the class average, and the manufacturer offers an extended warranty. Sportage is not the best crossover for an off-road drive. On the other hand, maneuvering in urban conditions and parking in tight spots can’t be easier for the vehicle of its size.
The base 2021 Kia Sportage comes in the LX trim. Automatic headlights, LED DRLs, and 17-inch wheels are the highlights of the exterior. Inside, at the center of the dashboard sits an 8-inch screen with a smart UVO infotainment system. Standard audio comes with six speakers. Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and one USB port are also included. Optionally, you can upgrade the offer with better safety features.
Larger wheels and some optional accessories will become standard if you pick the Sportage S. Roof rails are added, as well as 18-inch wheels set. Inside, you will find a steering wheel with a sportier flat-bottom design, while paddle-shifters are also there. Materials of higher quality are covering seats. Again, a few additional upgrades are available, including sunroof and premium features.
The EX will take the entry-level model with a Popular package and continue building from there. Still, the Technology package with some of the most advanced accessories remains optional. The leather steering wheel and faux leather seats are making the EX more comfortable than lower-level trims. Optionally, genuine leather will be at disposal.
The top of the lineup version is the 2021 Kia Sportage SX Turbo. As its name suggests, a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is the centerpiece of the package. The SX will use most options from the previously mentioned models. Upgrades include 19-inch wheels, sport suspension, special brakes, and dual-tip exhaust system.
2021 Kia Sportage Prices
By picking the entry-level model, the 2021 Kia Sportage will cost only $24,000. The sporty S trim adds a little more than $2,000, while another $1,000 will make the EX trim available. The SX Turbo is the most expensive and the enhanced performance makes it cost nearly $10k above the base LX configuration. With a few upgrades, the SX will go above $35,000.