2021 Kia Sportage vs. 2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Compared to metal, the Sportage’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid has a metal gas tank.

Both the Sportage and the Crosstrek Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, 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 Crosstrek Hybrid’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 Subaru covers the Crosstrek Hybrid. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Crosstrek Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

There are over 20 percent more Kia dealers than there are Subaru dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Sportage’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage second among compact suvs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Crosstrek Hybrid isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 51 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 27th, 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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

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The Sportage’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 33 more horsepower (181 vs. 148) than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The Sportage SX Turbo’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 89 more horsepower (237 vs. 148) than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The Sportage SX Turbo’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 92 more horsepower (240 vs. 148) than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

Sportage LX/S/EX

Sportage SX Turbo

Crosstrek Hybrid

Front Rotors

12 inches

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

11.2 inches

The Sportage stops shorter than the Crosstrek Hybrid:

Sportage

Crosstrek Hybrid

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

129 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

136 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 Crosstrek Hybrid (245/45R19 vs. 225/55R18).

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 Crosstrek Hybrid’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sportage SX Turbo has standard 19-inch wheels. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s 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 Crosstrek Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The Sportage has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Crosstrek Hybrid.

For better maneuverability, the Sportage’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.4 feet).

Chassis

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The Kia Sportage may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 400 pounds less than the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.

Passenger Space

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The Sportage has .4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear headroom and 1.5 inches more rear legroom than the Crosstrek Hybrid.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Sportage’s rear seats recline. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s 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 Crosstrek Hybrid with its rear seat up (30.7 vs. 15.9 cubic feet). The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Crosstrek Hybrid with its rear seat folded (60.1 vs. 43.1 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Sportage EX/SX Turbo’s power liftgate can be opened just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Sportage’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

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The Sportage’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s (2000 vs. 1000 pounds).

Ergonomics

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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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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

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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Sportage (except LX) offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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The Sportage is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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 2020/10/26

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

Sportage

Crosstrek Hybrid

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

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