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New vs Used: Kia Sportage

The 2023 Kia Sportage is a value-packed small SUV. With a fresh new design, should you buy a new one or find a used Sportage? Read on for our recommendation.

New vs Used: Kia Sportage

kiamedia.com

kiamedia.com  |  Shop Kia Sportage on Carsforsale.com

The Kia Sportage has long been Kia’s entry into the small crossover segment. From its humble roots as a cheaper alternative to the established brands, the 2023 Kia Sportage, with its fresh new design, is squarely in the middle of the fight for customers, offering expressive styling, impressive technology, and lots of luxurious features. It’s no longer the choice to begrudgingly make to save a few dollars, but a crossover you can be proud to purchase.

You still have a budget to consider, so does it make sense to buy the brand new 2023 Kia Sportage or should you go with a gently used model like the 2020 Sportage? Let’s take a look at each and see how they compare.

Specs

2023 Kia Sportage 2.5L I4 - kiamedia.com
2023 Kia Sportage 2.5L I4 - kiamedia.com

When it comes to the engines offered in the 2020 and 2023 Sportage, you’ll find some differences. The all new 2023 Kia Sportage features one engine option, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 187 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. The 2023 model comes exclusively with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Kia also offers a 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid which comes with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder paired with an electric motor, for a combined output of 227 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The 2023 Sportage Hybrid comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The 2020 Sportage was offered with a base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 181 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. You could upgrade to the more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that offered 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.

2020 Kia Sportage 2.0L Turbo I4 - kiamedia.com
2020 Kia Sportage 2.0L Turbo I4 - kiamedia.com

Both engines on the 2020 Sportage are connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2020 model was not offered with a hybrid powertrain. If you’re curious about how different powertrains work, check out our explanation here.

When it comes to fuel economy, the new Sportage has a clear advantage. The 2023 Sportage Hybrid is the clear winner, achieving 42 mpg city, 44 mpg highway, and 43 mpg combined for front-wheel drive models, while the all-wheel drive models achieve 38 mpg in all three categories. The 2023 model with the 2.5-liter engine is rated at 25 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined for front-wheel drive models. The all-wheel drive models drop to 23 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined.

2020 Kia Sportage models with the 2.4-liter are similar, with the front-wheel drive models getting a rating of 23/30/26 mpg for city, highway, and combined, while the all-wheel drive models dip to 22/26/23 mpg. The least efficient version is the 2020 model with the 2.0 turbo engine which gets 20/28/23 mpg on front-wheel drive versions and 19/24/21 mpg on all-wheel drive ones.

Driving and Performance

2023 Kia Sportage - kiamedia.com
2023 Kia Sportage - kiamedia.com

The driving performance between the 2020 Sportage with the 2.4 engine and the 2023 Sportage with the 2.5-liter engine is comparable. Both have adequate power to get you up to highway speeds comfortably. The power difference is minimal, but the extra gears on the new 2023 Sportage gives it a little peppier response.

If you like power, the 2.0 turbo engine is sure to win you over with its brisk acceleration. If you want to maximize your fuel economy, the hybrid powertrain offered on the 2023 model provides a considerable jump in efficiency yet doesn’t punish you with lethargic responses. Rather, the electric propulsion gets you off the line quickly and the turbocharged engine takes over for engaging performance. You can read more about the new 2023 Kia Sportage here.

2020 Kia Sportage - kiamedia.com
2020 Kia Sportage - kiamedia.com

All of the Sportage models have a comfortable, well-composed ride quality and feature responsive steering. The available all-wheel drive systems are ideal if you live in snowy areas and want the extra traction. If you want to go exploring off-road more, you’ll want to check out the more rugged X-Pro models that get a locking differential and all-terrain tires.

The 2023 Kia Sportage is more advanced with its driver assistance features. The lane keeping and lane following assist are standard features on the 2023 model and Kia offers more tech like blind-spot monitoring, safe exit assist, and adaptive cruise control. If you want to learn what our favorite family car features are, check out our article here.

Comfort and Interior

When you climb inside, you’ll notice a big jump in terms of technology. The new Sportage offers lots of neat technology, like an available dual 12.3-inch panoramic displays. One is right behind the steering wheel to display your fully digital gauges, the other stretches neatly across the dash for access to infotainment. If you have the blind-spot view monitor, the gauge displays a live image of your blind spot when you use your turn signal, giving you a much better view of what’s behind you.

The 2020 Kia Sportage, while still offering a good infotainment system with a large touchscreen display will feel a step behind compared to the new model.The other major difference between a new and used Sportage is interior volume. The 2020 Sportage was on the smaller end of its segment and lacked the cargo space of its competitors. The new 2023 Sportage fixes this with a longer wheelbase and more interior room.

Rear seat passengers benefit the most where legroom has grown from 38.2 inches in the 2020 model to a class-leading 41.3 inches in the 2023 model. Cargo space has also grown from 60.1 cubic feet to 74.1 cubic feet.

You’ll find other luxurious features are offered on both the new and used Sportage. Both are available with heated and ventilated seats for comfort in any weather. Both are offered with dual-zone automatic climate control systems so you and your passenger don’t have to argue over the temperature inside. And both are available with a powerful Harman Kardon premium sound system if you like to crank your tunes. You can read more about the 2020 Kia Sportage in our review here.

Trims and Features

2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro - kiamedia.com
2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro - kiamedia.com

The 2023 Kia Sportage offers a great deal of choice, with 7 non-hybrid models and 3 hybrid models. The non-hybrid models start with the LX trim at $25,990 and top out at the X-Pro Prestige model at $36,790. The LX trim gets the 2.5-liter engine, 8-speed transmission, selectable drive modes, LED headlights and taillights, an 8-inch touchscreen display, and keyless entry. The top trim gets the same engine and transmission along with extra ground clearance and BFGoodrich all-terrain tires for better off-road performance, multi-terrain drive modes, sunroof, power tailgate, premium audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, and the dual 12.3-inch displays.

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid models start with the $27,290 LX model and top out with the SX Prestige model at $36,190. The Hybrid models benefit from the hybrid powertrain and, aside from the off-road oriented features offered on non-hybrid models, come with the same available features inside.

2020 Kia Sportage SX - kiamedia.com
2020 Kia Sportage SX - kiamedia.com

The 2020 Kia Sportage was offered in 4 trims, the LX, S, EX, and SX Turbo. A quick glance through the 2020 models for sale at carsforsale.com reveals prices range from about $20,000 up to nearly $39,000. The 2020 models offered features including heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a Harman Kardon premium sound system, LED headlights, and navigation. If you want to find our list of the top 10 crossovers under $20k, you can click here.

Conclusion

2023 Kia Sportage - kiamedia.com

2023 Kia Sportage – kiamedia.com |  Shop Kia Sportage on Carsforsale.com

It’s not always so easy to pick a winner, but the hot used car market makes the new 2023 Kia Sportage the clear choice as the used models are commanding prices in line with the new models. When it comes to the new Sportage, the standard engine offers superior efficiency to the 2020 model, the technology is more impressive, and the extra space means your passengers will be more comfortable. The Sportage Hybrid delivers even more impressive fuel economy numbers. Unless you’re on a very tight budget and can find a higher mileage example, our recommendation is to go with the new 2023 Kia Sportage.

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Jim Carlson

For Jim Carlson, a passion for cars goes back to riding in his uncle's 1971 Corvette! That established a lifelong interest in cars that hasn't subsided. Whether he's detailing a car, going for a drive, or walking through a car show, Jim takes the time to appreciate what makes a car 'go.' He’s especially fond of sports cars. Jim's reviews and articles are filled with a broad knowledge about cars, but he also puts to use his fiscal expertise, thanks to a Bachelor's Degree in financial management from the University of Minnesota, Morris.

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