2017 Kia Sportage vs Toyota RAV4
Kia has been growing in popularity and becoming a fierce competitor in the market, first with the Kia Optima and then with the Sportage, which has been recently redesigned. Of course, one of the most popular crossover SUVs on the market is the Toyota RAV4. But how does the upstart Sportage compare to the giant RAV4? Take a look at our comparison guide and find out.
2017 Kia Sportage vs Toyota RAV4
Credit has to be given to Kia for the bold restyling last year of what was already one of the best-looking models in its segment. The 2017 Kia Sportage now looks even sportier, which isn't a bad idea at all given the name, and has a more modern style than it had already. The bold front fascia might be a little polarizing for some, but the general consensus is overwhelmingly positive.
The 2017 Toyota RAV4 is one of the oldest names in the compact crossover segment, but it still bears a strong resemblance to earlier incarnations. It has distinctive styling that instantly identifies it as a member of the Toyota family, but after lots of tweaking over the years it's starting to look like a collection of bits from other models put together in a RAV4 greatest hits package. The RAV4 isn't an ugly vehicle, but it's not as interesting or appealing to look at as the Kia.
The cabin of the current Sportage has been noticeably upgraded from its previous design, with plenty of room in the front and the back. Plenty of quality materials and soft-touch surfaces throughout give the feel of luxury, and the driver's area feels more cockpit than carpool. The center of the dash does appear a little button-heavy, but drivers not yet won over by the idea of a touchscreen-only operation will likely love having options.
Toyota paid a lot of attention to the RAV4's interior during the last update, and like the Kia, it too now has more soft-touch surfaces and quality materials on display. The Toyota offers plenty of standard features on the inside, and is a bit roomier than the Sportage, but rear-seat passengers get less leg room.
The Kia Sportage offers respectable fuel-economy ratings, so they're not the very best available in the segment. The best numbers a Sportage can deliver are 23 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg combined--these are not bad numbers by any means and definitely not a reason to cross off the Kia from your list. They are, however, not the best economy numbers in the segment.
The best EPA-estimated ratings a gas RAV4 can deliver are identical to the Kia, but Toyota does offer a hybrid RAV4 that's rated at 34/30/32 mpg even with its standard all-wheel drive. We like the options Toyota offers to drivers who are deeply interested in improving fuel economy numbers and emissions.
The 2017 Kia Sportage offers two four-cylinder gas engine options, which are a 181 horsepower 2.4-liter and a 2.0-liter turbo delivering an impressive 240 horsepower. This makes the Kia one of the sportier models in the segment, but this power doesn't compromise the ride and comfort to achieve its impressive drive and handling.
The RAV4 drives and handles pretty well overall, but the single gas engine is a little uninspiring as it's a 2.5-liter inline-four that produces a very modest 176 horsepower. The hybrid is more powerful, but its combined peak power of 194 horsepower still falls well short of what the Kia has to offer.
Learn More about the Kia Sportage
The Toyota RAV4 sells in very big numbers and has done for some considerable time now, but other manufacturers have had plenty of time to catch up. In the case of the 2017 Kia Sportage, buyers now have an alternative that's better-looking, sportier, and at the very least a match in every other way for the Toyota. As an added bonus? The Sportage is also nearly a thousand dollars cheaper at the entry level too, which makes the Kia Sportage the better deal.