2021 Kia Sportage vs. 2020 Lexus UX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the Sportage and the UX Series 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 all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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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 UX Series’ 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Sportage 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Lexus covers the UX Series. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the UX Series ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Kia dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sportage’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 12th.

Engine

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The Sportage has more powerful engines than the UX Series:

Horsepower

Torque

Sportage 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder

181 HP

175 lbs.-ft.

Sportage SX Turbo 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

237 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Sportage SX Turbo 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

240 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

UX 200 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder

169 HP

151 lbs.-ft.

UX 250h 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid

181 HP

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Sportage 4 cyl. is faster than the Lexus UX Series:

Sportage

UX 200

UX 250h

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

8.5 sec

8.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

16.5 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.4 MPH

85.6 MPH

87.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Sportage uses regular unleaded gasoline. The UX Series requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Sportage has 5.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the UX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (16.4 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Sportage has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the UX Series’ standard fuel tank (16.4 vs. 12.4 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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

Sportage SX Turbo

UX Series

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.1 inches

The Sportage stops much shorter than the UX Series:

Sportage

UX Series

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the UX Series (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 UX Series’ 50 series tires.

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

The Sportage offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the UX Series; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the UX Series.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the UX 200 pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the UX 200 (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.2 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The Sportage has 8.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the UX Series (98.6 vs. 90.4).

The Sportage has 2.1 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front hip room, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, 2.8 inches more rear headroom, 5.1 inches more rear legroom and 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the UX Series.

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

Cargo Capacity

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The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the UX Series (30.7 vs. 21.7 cubic feet).

Towing

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The Sportage has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The UX Series has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The power windows standard on both the Sportage and the UX Series 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 UX Series 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 UX Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Sportage owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Sportage will cost $275 to $1815 less than the UX Series over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Sportage will be $884 to $5101 less than for the Lexus UX Series.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/29

The Kia Sportage has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

Sportage

UX Series

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The Kia Sportage outsold the Lexus UX Series by over five to one during 2019.

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