2020 Kia Sportage vs. 2019 Jeep Renegade

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 Renegade scores 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 Renegade doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Sportage and the Renegade 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, 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 Jeep Renegade:

Sportage

Renegade

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

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

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Kia Sportage is safer than the Jeep Renegade:

Sportage

Renegade

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

3 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 Renegade 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 Renegade’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 Jeep covers the Renegade. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Renegade 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 Renegade’s 500-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 19 points higher than the Renegade.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage first among small SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Renegade 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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, 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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 17 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Engine

The Sportage has more powerful engines than the Renegade:

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.

Renegade 1.3 turbo 4-cyl.

177 HP

200 lbs.-ft.

Renegade 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

180 HP

175 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Sportage 2.4 4-cylinder is faster than the Jeep Renegade 4-cylinder:

Sportage

Renegade

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

9.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.4 MPH

80 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Sportage uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Renegade with the 1.3 turbo 4-cylinder engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Sportage has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Renegade (16.4 vs. 12.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Sportage SX Turbo

Renegade

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

10.95 inches

The Sportage stops shorter than the Renegade:

Sportage

Renegade

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

133 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sportage has larger standard tires than the Renegade (225/60R17 vs. 215/65R16). The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Renegade (245/45R19 vs. 225/55R18).

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 Renegade’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sportage LX has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Renegade.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sportage’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the Renegade (105.1 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 3.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Renegade.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Renegade Latitude 4x4 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the Renegade Trailhawk 4x4 (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sportage’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the Renegade Trailhawk 4x4’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.3 feet). The Sportage’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Renegade’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.3 feet).

Chassis

The design of the Kia Sportage amounts to more than styling. The Sportage has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the Renegade (.35 to .37) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Sportage get better fuel mileage.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Sportage LX/S/EX has standard flush composite headlights. The Renegade has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space

The Sportage has .3 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room and 3.1 inches more rear legroom than the Renegade.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Sportage’s rear seats recline. The Renegade’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Renegade with its rear seat up (30.7 vs. 18.5 cubic feet). The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Renegade with its rear seat folded (60.1 vs. 50.8 cubic feet).

The Sportage’s cargo area is larger than the Renegade’s in almost every dimension:

Sportage

Renegade

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

33.4”/68.2”

28.9”/59”

Max Width

52.3”

n/a

Min Width

41”

37.6”

Height

29.5”

33.7”

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

Towing

The Sportage’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Renegade’s (2000 vs. 0 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 Renegade 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 Renegade doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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

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 Renegade’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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 automatic headlight on/off feature is not available on the Renegade Sport.

The Sportage has standard power remote mirrors. The Renegade only comes with remote mirrors at extra cost. Without them the driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

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 Renegade doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Sportage owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Sportage will cost $150 less than the Renegade over a five-year period.

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 Renegade only retains 41.75% to 46.23%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sportage is less expensive to operate than the Renegade because it costs $18 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Sportage than the Renegade, including $29 less for a water pump, $146 less for front brake pads, $528 less for a starter, $68 less for a fuel pump, $243 less for front struts and $20 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

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

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

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