2020 Kia Sportage vs. 2019 Dodge Journey

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Sportage has standard Forward Collision Assist, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Journey doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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

The Sportage’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Journey doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Sportage offers optional Parking Assist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Journey doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Sportage’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Journey doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Sportage’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Journey doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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 Journey doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Sportage and the Journey 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

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 Dodge Journey:

Sportage

Journey

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Kia Sportage is safer than the Journey:

Sportage

Journey

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Restraints

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

2 cm

12 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

23 cm

24 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Femur Force R/L

2.4/.1 kN

6.3/2.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

22%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.52/.68

.8/.83

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 Journey was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

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 Journey’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 Dodge covers the Journey. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Journey ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Sportage’s corrosion warranty is 40,000 miles longer than the Journey’s (5/100,000 vs. 5/60,000).

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Sportage has a standard 600-amp battery. The Journey’s 525-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Sportage’s reliability 30 points higher than the Journey.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage first among small SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Journey 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 Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 8th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 52 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 16 places higher in reliability than Dodge.

Engine

The Sportage has more powerful engines than the Journey:

Horsepower

Torque

Sportage 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

181 HP

175 lbs.-ft.

Sportage SX Turbo AWD 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

237 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Sportage SX Turbo FWD 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

240 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Journey 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

173 HP

166 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Sportage gets better fuel mileage than the Journey:

MPG

Sportage

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

SX 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/26 hwy

SX 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

Journey

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/25 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

16 city/24 hwy

Drivetrain

The Sportage AWD 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 Journey doesn’t offer a true all-wheel drive system; it could get stuck while one or more wheels still have traction.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Journey (245/45R19 vs. 225/65R17).

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 Journey SE’s standard 65 series tires. The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Journey Crossroad/GT’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Journey.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Journey AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the Journey AWD (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sportage’s turning circle is 3.7 feet tighter than the Journey SE’s (34.8 feet vs. 38.5 feet). The Sportage’s turning circle is 4.2 feet tighter than the Journey GT/Crossroad’s (34.8 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The Kia Sportage may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 500 pounds less than the Dodge Journey.

The Sportage is 1 foot, 4 inches shorter than the Journey, making the Sportage easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Kia Sportage amounts to more than styling. The Sportage has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Journey (.368) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Sportage get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Sportage has .7 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front hip room and 2.1 inches more rear legroom than the Journey.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Sportage EX/SX Turbo’s power liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The Sportage’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The Journey doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

The Sportage’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Journey’s (2000 vs. 1000 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 Journey 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 Journey doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Sportage has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Journey only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Sportage’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Journey’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Sportage detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Journey doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Sportage (except LX) offers an optional Smart 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 Journey doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Sportage, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Journey.

Economic Advantages

The Sportage will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Sportage will retain 47.52% to 50.83% of its original price after five years, while the Journey only retains 36.8% to 42.12%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sportage is less expensive to operate than the Journey because typical repairs cost much less on the Sportage than the Journey, including $69 less for a water pump, $824 less for a muffler, $62 less for front brake pads, $184 less for a starter, $427 less for a fuel pump, $89 less for front struts and $404 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Sportage will be $3001 to $4138 less than for the Dodge Journey.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Kia Sportage, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Dodge Journey 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 Journey isn’t in the top three.

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

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