2021 Kia Sportage vs. 2020 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Sportage’s standard Downhill Brake Control allow you to creep down safely. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer Downhill Brake Control.

Both the Sportage and the Rav4 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 Rav4 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 Toyota covers the Rav4 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 Rav4 Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage second among compact suvs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Rav4 Hybrid isn’t in the top three.

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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 19th, below the industry average.

Engine

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The Sportage SX Turbo’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 18 more horsepower (237 vs. 219) than the Rav4 Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The Sportage SX Turbo’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 21 more horsepower (240 vs. 219) than the Rav4 Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Sportage has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Rav4 Hybrid (16.4 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Sportage SX Turbo’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Rav4 Hybrid:

Sportage SX Turbo

Rav4 Hybrid

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.1 inches

The Sportage stops much shorter than the Rav4 Hybrid:

Sportage

Rav4 Hybrid

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

143 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

145 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 Rav4 Hybrid (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 Rav4 Hybrid LE/XLE’s standard 65 series tires. The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Rav4 Hybrid XSE/Limited’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sportage SX Turbo has standard 19-inch wheels. The Rav4 Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The Sportage has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Rav4 Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

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 Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Rav4 Hybrid XSE pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the Rav4 Hybrid XSE (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sportage’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Rav4 Hybrid’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.1 feet).

Chassis

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The Kia Sportage may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 400 pounds less than the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid.

The Sportage is 4.5 inches shorter than the Rav4 Hybrid, making the Sportage easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Sportage has .5 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more rear legroom and 3.5 inches more rear hip room than the Rav4 Hybrid.

Towing

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The Sportage’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Rav4 Hybrid’s (2000 vs. 1750 pounds).

Ergonomics

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The Sportage’s variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Rav4 Hybrid LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

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 Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the Sportage’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Rav4 Hybrid’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 Rav4 Hybrid has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/XSE/Limited.

Model Availability

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The Sportage is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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 $105 to $1300 less than the Rav4 Hybrid over a five-year period.

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 2020/10/23

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

Sportage

Rav4 Hybrid

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

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