2019 Kia Sportage vs. 2018 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Sportage’s standard Downhill Brake Control allow you to creep down safely. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer Downhill Brake Control.

Both the Sportage and the Rav4 Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Kia Sportage is safer than the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid:

 

Sportage

Rav4 Hybrid

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

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The Sportage comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Rav4 Hybrid’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Sportage 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Rav4 Hybrid. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Rav4 Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage second among small suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Rav4 Hybrid isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Engine

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The Sportage SX Turbo’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 46 more horsepower (240 vs. 194) and 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 206) than the Rav4 Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Sportage 4 cyl. is faster than the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid:

 

Sportage

Rav4 Hybrid

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

8.2 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Sportage has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Rav4 Hybrid (16.4 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Drivetrain

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The Sportage has Dynamax, a true all-wheel-drive system, which uses a four-wheel traction control system to redirect engine power to the axle and wheel that still has traction to keep the Sportage moving if even only one wheel still has traction. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a true all-wheel drive system; it could get stuck while one or more wheels still have traction.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Sportage’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Rav4 Hybrid:

 

Sportage LX/EX

Sportage SX Turbo

Rav4 Hybrid

Front Rotors

12 inches

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

11.1 inches

The Sportage stops shorter than the Rav4 Hybrid:

 

Sportage

Rav4 Hybrid

 

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Rav4 Hybrid (245/45R19 vs. 235/55R18).

The Sportage LX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rav4 Hybrid XLE’s standard 65 series tires. The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Rav4 Hybrid SE/Limited’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sportage SX Turbo has standard 19-inch wheels. The Rav4 Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The Sportage has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Rav4 Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Rav4 Hybrid.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Rav4 Hybrid Limited pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Rav4 Hybrid Limited (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Kia Sportage may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 600 pounds less than the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid.

The Sportage is 7.1 inches shorter than the Rav4 Hybrid, making the Sportage easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Sportage has .4 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear legroom and 2.3 inches more rear hip room than the Rav4 Hybrid.

Towing

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The Sportage’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Rav4 Hybrid’s (2000 vs. 1750 pounds).

While the Rav4 Hybrid SE is not recommended to tow, any Sportage can tow a minimum of 2000 pounds.

Servicing Ease

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The Sportage has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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The Sportage offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The power windows standard on both the Sportage and the Rav4 Hybrid have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Sportage is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Rav4 Hybrid prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Sportage to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the Sportage’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Rav4 Hybrid’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Sportage SX Turbo has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Sportage’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Rav4 Hybrid’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Sportage (except LX) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Sportage’s optional (except LX) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the Sportage and the Rav4 Hybrid offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Sportage has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Model Availability

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The Sportage is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Sportage owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Sportage will cost $535 less than the Rav4 Hybrid over a five-year period.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

The Kia Sportage has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

Sportage

Rav4 Hybrid

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage third among small suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Rav4 Hybrid isn’t in the top three.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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