2020 Kia Sportage vs. 2019 Nissan Rogue

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Rogue doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Sportage and the Rogue 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, 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 Nissan Rogue:

Sportage

Rogue

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

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 post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Kia Sportage is safer than the Nissan Rogue:

Sportage

Rogue

Into Pole

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

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Sportage has a standard 140-amp alternator (150-amp - Sportage SX Turbo AWD). The Rogue’s 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage first among small SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Rogue was rated third 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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 7th.

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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 9 places higher in reliability than Nissan.

Engine

The Sportage has more powerful engines than the Rogue:

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.

Rogue 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

170 HP

175 lbs.-ft.

Rogue Hybrid 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

176 HP

n/a

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

Sportage

Rogue

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

9.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.4 MPH

81.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Sportage has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Rogue (16.4 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Sportage LX/S/EX

Sportage SX Turbo

Rogue

Rogue Hybrid

Front Rotors

12 inches

12.6 inches

11.65 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

11.5 inches

11.7 inches

The Sportage stops shorter than the Rogue:

Sportage

Rogue

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

134 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Rogue (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 Rogue S/SV/Hybrid’s standard 65 series tires. The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Rogue SL’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is .6 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Rogue.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Rogue SL AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.1 seconds quicker than the Rogue SL AWD (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sportage’s turning circle is 2.8 feet tighter than the Rogue’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.6 feet).

Chassis

The Sportage is 8.1 inches shorter than the Rogue, making the Sportage easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Sportage has .3 inches more front hip room, .5 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom and .3 inches more rear legroom than the Rogue.

Towing

The Sportage’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Rogue’s (2000 vs. 1102 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The Sportage has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Rogue doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Sportage has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Rogue doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

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

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 Rogue doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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

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 Rogue has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SV/SL.

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 Rogue doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 Rogue 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 Rogue because it costs $128 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Sportage than the Rogue, including $9 less for front brake pads, $212 less for a starter, $188 less for fuel injection, $186 less for a fuel pump and $407 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Kia Sportage and the Nissan Rogue, 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 Rogue isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

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