2020 Kia Sportage vs. 2019 Buick Envision

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Forward Collision Assist optional in the Sportage as “Superior.” The Envision scores at most only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The Sportage’s 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 Envision doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Sportage and the Envision 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, 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 Buick Envision:

Sportage

Envision

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sportage the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Envision has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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 Envision’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Sportage 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Buick covers the Envision. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Envision ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage first among small SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Envision isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 11th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 14 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Sportage FWD with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the Envision FWD with its standard engine (23 city/30 hwy vs. 22 city/29 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Sportage uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Envision Premium requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

The Sportage stops shorter than the Envision:

Sportage

Envision

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Envision (245/45R19 vs. 235/50R19).

The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Envision Premium’s 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Envision.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Envision Premium pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Envision Premium (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.5 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sportage’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Envision’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.4 feet). The Sportage’s turning circle is 4.7 feet tighter than the Envision Premium’s (34.8 feet vs. 39.5 feet).

Chassis

The Kia Sportage may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 450 pounds less than the Buick Envision.

The Sportage is 7.3 inches shorter than the Envision, making the Sportage easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Sportage has .6 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom and .7 inches more rear legroom than the Envision.

Cargo Capacity

The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Envision with its rear seat up (30.7 vs. 26.9 cubic feet). The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Envision with its rear seat folded (60.1 vs. 57.3 cubic feet).

Towing

The Sportage’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Envision’s (2000 vs. 1500 pounds).

Ergonomics

The Sportage has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Envision doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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 Envision doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Sportage (except LX) offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Envision doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sportage is less expensive to operate than the Envision because it costs $246 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Sportage than the Envision, including $94 less for a water pump, $119 less for front brake pads, $223 less for a starter, $173 less for a fuel pump, $525 less for front struts and $273 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Kia Sportage, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Buick Envision isn't recommended.

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 Envision isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Kia Sportage outsold the Buick Envision by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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