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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Sportage are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Ford Bronco doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
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 Bronco doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Sportage uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Bronco uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.
Both the Sportage and the Bronco have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sportage the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 35 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Bronco has not been tested, yet.
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 Bronco’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 Ford covers the Bronco. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Bronco ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage second among compact suvs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Bronco 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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th, 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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 7 places higher in reliability than Ford.
The Kia Sportage comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Bronco.
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 Bronco Big Bend’s standard 75 series tires. The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Bronco’s 70 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sportage LX has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Bronco. The Sportage SX Turbo’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Bronco Outer Banks.
For superior ride and handling, the Kia Sportage has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Ford Bronco has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.
The Sportage is 1 foot, 1.1 inches shorter than the Bronco 4-Door, making the Sportage easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Sportage is 14.3 inches shorter in height than the Bronco, making the Sportage much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).
Unibody construction lowers the Sportage’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The Bronco uses body-on-frame design instead.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Sportage’s rear seats recline. The Bronco’s rear seats don’t recline.
The Sportage’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Bronco’s swing out door blocks loading from the passenger’s side.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Sportage EX/SX Turbo’s power cargo door can be opened just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Sportage’s power cargo door can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The Bronco doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening cargo door.
The Sportage’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Bronco’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.
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 Bronco doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
The Sportage’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Bronco’s power mirror controls are on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.
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 Bronco doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
The Sportage has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Bronco doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.
For greater rear passenger comfort, the Sportage has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Bronco doesn’t offer rear vents.
The Sportage is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Bronco doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
The Kia Sportage has won recognition from these important consumer publications:
Consumer Reports® Recommends
Car Book “Best Bet”
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Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.