2019 Lincoln MKC vs. 2019 Kia Sportage

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Lincoln MKC are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Kia Sportage has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The MKC Reserve’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Sportage doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The MKC has standard SYNC®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Sportage doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the MKC and the Sportage have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front 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 Lincoln MKC is safer than the Kia Sportage:







5 Stars

4 Stars

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


The MKC’s 5-year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Sportage runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 13 percent more Lincoln dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the MKC’s warranty.


The MKC has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Sportage doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the MKC first among compact premium suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Sportage was rated second in its category.


The MKC’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 64 more horsepower (245 vs. 181) and 100 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 175) than the Sportage’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The MKC’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 5 more horsepower (245 vs. 240) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 260) than the Sportage SX Turbo’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The MKC’s optional 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. produces 45 more horsepower (285 vs. 240) and 45 lbs.-ft. more torque (305 vs. 260) than the Sportage SX Turbo’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Lincoln MKC is faster than the Kia Sportage:


MKC 2.0

MKC 2.3

Sportage 4 cyl.

Sportage SX Turbo

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

6.5 sec

8 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

15 sec

16.3 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87.4 MPH

91.1 MPH

86.4 MPH

86.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the MKC AWD with its standard turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Sportage SX Turbo AWD turbo 4 cyl. (19 city/25 hwy vs. 20 city/23 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the MKC 2.0 Turbo’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Sportage doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The MKC has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Sportage doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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



Sportage LX/EX

Sportage SX Turbo

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

12 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

The MKC stops shorter than the Sportage:





70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

111 feet

118 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the MKC has larger standard tires than the Sportage (235/50R18 vs. 225/60R17). The MKC AWD’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sportage (255/40R20 vs. 245/45R19).

The MKC’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sportage LX’s standard 60 series tires. The MKC AWD’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Sportage SX Turbo’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the MKC has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Sportage LX. The MKC AWD’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Sportage SX Turbo.

Suspension and Handling

The MKC offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Sportage’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The MKC has vehicle speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Sportage doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The MKC’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Sportage doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The MKC AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the Sportage LX pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The MKC AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Sportage LX (26.7 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .6 average G’s).


The front grille of the MKC uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Sportage doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The MKC uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Sportage doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The MKC has .3 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front hip room, 1.6 inches more rear hip room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sportage.

The front step up height for the MKC is 1.7 inches lower than the Sportage (16.8” vs. 18.5”). The MKC’s rear step up height is 1.9 inches lower than the Sportage’s (17.5” vs. 19.4”).

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the MKC easier. The MKC’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Sportage’s liftover is 29.8 inches.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the MKC. The Sportage doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.


Maximum trailer towing in the Kia Sportage is limited to 2000 pounds. The MKC offers up to a 3000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The MKC uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Sportage uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than Kia. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 34% lower rating, Kia is ranked 18th.


When two different drivers share the MKC, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle. The Sportage doesn’t offer a memory system.

The MKC’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Sportage doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The MKC’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Sportage’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left open on the MKC the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Sportage can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the MKC’s exterior PIN entry system. The Sportage doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The MKC’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Sportage’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The MKC’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

The MKC’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Kia only offers heated mirrors on the Sportage EX/SX Turbo.

The MKC Select/Reserve/Black Label has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Sportage offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The MKC has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Sportage. The MKC also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Sportage.

The MKC has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Sportage.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the MKC Reserve/Black Label offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Sportage doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The MKC (except Premiere) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Sportage doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The MKC Reserve/Black Label’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Sportage doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MKC is less expensive to operate than the Sportage because it costs $72 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the MKC than the Sportage, including $51 less for fuel injection, $60 less for front struts and $55 less for a power steering pump.

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

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