Small SUVs sometimes bring compromises when it comes to spaciousness, but that isn’t the case with the 2018 Kia Sportage. The Sportage provides front- and rear-seat passengers with roomy accommodations. It also delivers stylish sheet metal and smooth, pleasant handling. Keep in mind, though, that some rivals provide superior cargo capacity.
The 2018 Kia Sportage is a compact crossover SUV that seats five. It’s sold in LX, EX and SX Turbo trims. Buyers can choose between two four-cylinder engines, and both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available.
For the 2018 model year, the LX gets upgraded cloth upholstery. EX models add a blind-spot warning system and rear cross-traffic alert as standard equipment.
The 2018 Kia Sportage’s exterior is heavily contoured, with lots of sculpting and several character lines. An open-mouthed grille and an intricately carved bumper dress the front fascia. In profile, the Sportage features a beltline that swoops upward toward the roof. The roofline has a graceful curve, angling downward as it approaches the crossover’s tail end. It all comes together to give this Kia sport utility vehicle a confident and athletic look.
Our Sportage SX Turbo test model featured a striking Hyper Red paint job. The color was a good match for the crossover’s feisty, attractive styling.
Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard on LX models, along with automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, power-adjustable side mirrors, a rear spoiler and body-colored door handles. Available amenities include chrome-accented door handles, roof rails, a hands-free liftgate, a black grille, a panoramic sunroof, heated power-folding side mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, LED fog lights, adaptive xenon headlights and 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels.
The 2018 Sportage’s cabin looks just as fresh and appealing as its exterior. The driver faces a pleasantly meaty steering wheel, and a wide, attractive center stack separates those in the front seats. The design aesthetic is modern and modish.
We found our test vehicle to be roomy and agreeable. The front seats were comfortable, and a standard tilt-and-telescoping steering column helped us attain an optimal position behind the wheel. There is lots of space in the second row, and our rear-seat passengers enjoyed ample legroom. The materials are quite good, but we noticed that the plastic seemed to be easily susceptible to scuffing.
In back, the Sportage provides 30.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the second row in place and 60.1 cubic feet with the second row folded. While this will certainly be adequate for many shoppers, some rivals give you much more room for your belongings. For example, the 2018 Honda CR-V offers up to 39.2 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second row and 75.8 cubic feet with the second row lowered.
Base models come with air conditioning, stain-resistant cloth upholstery, a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, 60/40-split rear seats that fold and recline, and a rear-seat center armrest with cupholders. Available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, LED interior lighting, chrome interior door handles, metal pedals, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, a heated flat-bottomed steering wheel, dashboard stitching, an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat and a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.
Sportage buyers can choose between two engines. LX and EX models come with a 2.4-liter engine good for 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. With the SX Turbo, motivation comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that provides 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, and this trim adds a sport-tuned suspension. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. All Sportage crossovers are governed by a six-speed automatic transmission.
With its nimble handling, our Sportage SX Turbo test vehicle was an agile and enjoyable partner on city streets. The crossover was small enough to navigate narrow roadways without provoking anxiety. Our test vehicle’s turbocharged engine provided pleasantly zippy acceleration, and the suspension was refined enough to keep the vehicle’s ride quality smooth, even on stretches of broken pavement.
The Sportage can tow up to 2,000 pounds. Topping out at 23/30 mpg city/highway, the Sportage’s fuel economy is average for this segment.
Sportage buyers gain access to a competitive range of tech features. Base models are equipped with satellite radio, a 5-inch touch screen, a CD/MP3 player, a six-speaker sound system, USB and auxiliary input connectivity, a rearview camera and Bluetooth connectivity.
Optional equipment includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a 7- or 8-inch touch screen, navigation, an eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, an additional USB port and keyless entry and ignition.
When it comes to optional driver-assistive features, the lineup includes a blind-spot detection system, lane change assist, front and rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, a lane-departure warning system and forward-collision mitigation.
Our test vehicle’s 8-inch touch screen was responsive to inputs, and the menus were easy to navigate. Lane-departure warning was one of the features on our Sportage SX Turbo. On some vehicles we’ve tested, this technology can be overly sensitive, and it can be a source of irritation. However, with our test vehicle, we were impressed with the way this feature performed.
The Sportage LX has a starting price of $23,600, and this excludes a $990 destination charge. EX models start at $26,400, and the SX Turbo starts at $32,900. All trims are available with all-wheel drive, and this feature incurs a $1,500 price increase.
We believe the Sportage EX would be a satisfying match for most shoppers. This trim brings in leather upholstery, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, keyless entry and ignition, a blind-spot warning system, lane-change assist and rear cross-traffic alert. We’d add all-wheel drive for improved handling in rain and snow. With destination included, this brings the EX’s total price to $28,890.
Kia’s Sportage has a lower starting price than rivals such as the Honda-CR-V, Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5. When you consider its generous range of standard features, this crossover offers great value.
The Sportage is graced with a striking exterior, and its agile handling makes it a pleasure to drive. It comes with an ample assortment of standard amenities, and it offers the modern driver-assistive features you need to travel safely. Relative to many of its rivals, it’s also quite reasonably priced.
Overall, the 2018 Kia Sportage distinguishes itself as both a fun choice and a sensible one.
By Warren Clarke (Last Updated 6/27/2018)
Warren Clarke is a writer and editor whose work has been published in outlets such as the New York Daily News and Edmunds.com. He enjoys providing car owners with information that can help enhance and simplify their lives.
CARFAX offers millions of used cars for sale nationwide. Every listing includes the vehicle history. The data below is updated daily, based on used car inventory for sale on CARFAX.
2018 Kia Sportage Deals on CARFAX
Percentage of 2018 Kia Sportage for sale on CARFAX that are Great, Good, and Fair Value deals. Values are determined by whether the selling price is above, below, or the same as the history-based CARFAX Value.
VEHICLE HISTORY SUMMARY
The Vehicle History Summary represents the percentage of cars available for sale on CARFAX that are reported to have no accidents or damage, had 1-owner, been used as a personal or personal lease car, and/or have service history information.
No Accidents or Damage Reports
2018 Kia Sportage Pricing
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is the "sticker price" for this vehicle, including optional equipment, when it was new.
The price range for the 2018 Kia Sportage is $13,880 - $23,496.
The average selling price is $17,610.
The data below is updated daily, based on used car inventory for sale on CARFAX.
Price range and average selling price are based on the median selling price while CARFAX Value is a VIN-specific value based on the vehicle's history.
$23,600 - $34,300
This is the price range for the 2018 Kia Sportage based on used car inventory for sale on CARFAX.
$13,880 - $23,496
Average Selling Price
This is the range of CARFAX Values for the 2018 Kia Sportage on used car inventory for sale on CARFAX.
CARFAX Vehicle History products and services are based only on information supplied to CARFAX. CARFAX does not have the complete history of every vehicle. Use the CARFAX search as one important tool, along with a vehicle inspection and test drive, to make a better decision about your next used car.