2020 Kia Sportage vs. 2019 Toyota C-HR

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Sportage offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The C-HR doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the Sportage and the C-HR 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

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 C-HR was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

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 C-HR’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 Toyota covers the C-HR. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the C-HR 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 C-HR’s 520-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 C-HR isn’t in the top three.

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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Sportage’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 37 more horsepower (181 vs. 144) and 36 lbs.-ft. more torque (175 vs. 139) than the C-HR’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl. The Sportage SX Turbo AWD’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 93 more horsepower (237 vs. 144) and 121 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 139) than the C-HR’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl. The Sportage SX Turbo FWD’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 96 more horsepower (240 vs. 144) and 121 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 139) than the C-HR’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

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

Sportage

C-HR

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

10.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.4 MPH

77.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Sportage has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the C-HR (16.4 vs. 13.2 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 C-HR:

Sportage LX/S/EX

Sportage SX Turbo

C-HR

Front Rotors

12 inches

12.6 inches

11.75 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

11.1 inches

The Sportage stops much shorter than the C-HR:

Sportage

C-HR

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

137 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sportage has larger standard tires than the C-HR (225/60R17 vs. 215/60R17). The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-HR (245/45R19 vs. 225/50R18).

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 C-HR XLE/Limited’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sportage SX Turbo has standard 19-inch wheels. The C-HR’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sportage’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the C-HR (105.1 inches vs. 103.9 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 C-HR.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the C-HR Limited pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the C-HR XLE (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Sportage has 14.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-HR (98.6 vs. 83.8).

The Sportage has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front hip room, 8.1 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 6.5 inches more rear legroom, 3.2 inches more rear hip room and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the C-HR.

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

Cargo Capacity

The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the C-HR with its rear seat up (30.7 vs. 19 cubic feet). The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the C-HR with its rear seat folded (60.1 vs. 36.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Sportage easier. The Sportage’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.8 inches, while the C-HR’s liftover is 31 inches.

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

Towing

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

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Sportage to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Toyota doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the C-HR.

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

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

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 C-HR’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Sportage has standard extendable sun visors. The C-HR doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 C-HR 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 C-HR 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 C-HR doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

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

Recommendations

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

The Kia Sportage outsold the Toyota C-HR by 67% during 2018.

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

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