2020 Kia Sportage vs. 2019 Honda HR-V

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 HR-V 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 HR-V doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Sportage and the HR-V 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 and rear parking sensors.

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 Honda HR-V:

Sportage

HR-V

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

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

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

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Sportage has a standard 600-amp battery. The HR-V’s 410-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage first among small SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The HR-V 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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 10 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The Sportage’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 40 more horsepower (181 vs. 141) and 48 lbs.-ft. more torque (175 vs. 127) than the HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4-cyl. The Sportage SX Turbo AWD’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 96 more horsepower (237 vs. 141) and 133 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 127) than the HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4-cyl. The Sportage SX Turbo FWD’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 99 more horsepower (240 vs. 141) and 133 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 127) than the HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Sportage 2.4 4-cylinder is faster than the Honda HR-V:

Sportage

HR-V

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

9.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.4 MPH

82.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Sportage has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the HR-V (16.4 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Kia Sportage as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Honda HR-V is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Sportage LX/S/EX

Sportage SX Turbo

HR-V

Front Rotors

12 inches

12.6 inches

11.5 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

11.1 inches

The Sportage stops shorter than the HR-V:

Sportage

HR-V

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sportage has larger standard tires than the HR-V (225/60R17 vs. 215/55R17). The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the HR-V (245/45R19 vs. 215/55R17).

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 HR-V’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sportage SX Turbo has standard 19-inch wheels. The HR-V’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Kia Sportage has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Honda HR-V has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

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

The Sportage has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Sportage flat and controlled during cornering. The HR-V 4x2 suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sportage’s wheelbase is 2.3 inches longer than on the HR-V (105.1 inches vs. 102.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is 3 inches wider in the front and 3.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the HR-V.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the HR-V EX-L AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the HR-V EX-L AWD (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sportage’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the HR-V’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Sportage has a greater minimum ground clearance than the HR-V (6.8 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the Sportage to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The Sportage has .3 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 3.8 inches more rear hip room and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the HR-V.

Cargo Capacity

The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the HR-V with its rear seat up (30.7 vs. 24.3 cubic feet). The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the HR-V with its rear seat folded (60.1 vs. 58.8 cubic feet).

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 HR-V doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

The Sportage has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The HR-V has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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 HR-V doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The power windows standard on both the Sportage and the HR-V 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 HR-V prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Sportage’s variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The HR-V LX/Sport’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

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 HR-V doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Sportage has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The HR-V has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the EX/EX-L/Touring.

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 HR-V 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 HR-V doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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

The Sportage has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The HR-V doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Sportage’s optional 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. The HR-V doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Sportage and the HR-V 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 HR-V doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Sportage owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Sportage with a number “8” insurance rate while the HR-V is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sportage is less expensive to operate than the HR-V because typical repairs cost much less on the Sportage than the HR-V, including $426 less for a starter and $147 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Kia Sportage and the Honda HR-V, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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 HR-V isn’t in the top three.

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

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