A blue 2020 Kia Sportage is driving around a sharp corner after leaving a Kia dealer near me.

The Battle of the 2020 Kia Sportage vs 2020 Honda CR-V

When looking at the Kia dealer near you, you might have noticed a line of compact crossovers on the lot. Compact crossovers are all the rage these days. Not too big and not too small, these pint-sized SUVs are perfect for just about anyone. Do you like to travel with your dog? Is your family into playing sports? Do you need space for your art or musical instruments? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a compact SUV is the right choice for you! Today, we will be looking at two of the most popular models in this class – the 2020 Kia Sportage vs 2020 Honda CR-V.

While the Kia Sportage hails from South Korea and the Honda CR-V calls Japan home, both vehicles are well adapted for the American roads. With just enough space and plenty of convenient features, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something you don’t like about these two vehicles. So, without further ado, let’s dive in deeper to learn more about these two compact crossovers.

Size Matters

First, both the 2020 Kia Sportage and Honda CR-V offer comfortable seating for up to five people. However, you will notice clear differences in the cargo areas for each model. The Sportage provides 30.7 cubic feet of room behind the back seat, and the CR-V offers 39.2 cubic feet. The Honda also has a bit more space overall with a maximum cargo area measured at 75.8 cubic feet compared to the Sportage’s 60.1 cubic foot maximum. Plus, the Honda also features a fold-flat front passenger seat that allows you to expand the cargo area up to 81 cubic feet.


While the Honda CR-V may be a bit bigger than the Kia Sportage, it pales in comparison when you pop the hood. With only one standard powertrain compared to the Sportage’s two powertrain options, the CR-V seems a bit lackluster. Let’s look at the performance specs to see which unit reigns supreme.

The 2021 Kia Sportage can be fitted with one of two powertrains. The first is a 2.4-liter I-4 motor that uses FWD and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Generating 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque, this powertrain has a fuel economy estimated at 26 MPG combined (23 city/30 highway). Next, the optional 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine is paired with the same drivetrain and transmission. Producing 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, this motor can haul up to 2,000 pounds. That’s pretty impressive for a compact crossover. The average towing limit for most models in this class is capped at 1,500 pounds. Also, the fuel economy is about 23 MPG combined (20 city/28 highway). Keep in mind that this powertrain is standard on the SX Turbo trim level and optional on all of the other trims.

Switching gears, let’s see what’s under the hood of the 2020 Honda CR-V. You may be a bit disappointed to learn that there are no powertrain options to choose from. Every CR-V model uses a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with FWD and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Pumping out 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque, this powertrain gets about 30 MPG combined (28 city/34 highway). It can also tow up to 1,500 pounds, which is normal for the compact crossover class.

Let’s weigh the pros and cons here. While the Honda CR-V has slightly better gas mileage due to the CVT, it is woefully underpowered. If you like to take road trips, the stronger engine lineup is most certainly with the Kia Sportage. You won’t feel like your vehicle is struggling to get up a hill every few miles!

A red 2020 Kia Sportage is driving past grass and shrubs.

Base Trims

Both models are available in four trim levels. The Kia Sportage LX starts off with 17-inch alloy wheels and plenty of safety features. It includes automatic high beams for optimized visibility and emergency braking to prevent accidents. It also comes with blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning to help keep you safe on the road and in parking lots. The infotainment system uses a large 8-inch touchscreen and functions with advanced connectivity features such as Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. A rearview camera is also standard.

Meanwhile, the Honda CR-V LX also rides on 17-inch wheels and features the Honda Sensing suite of safety features. This package comes with road-departure mitigation, forward collision mitigation, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. It is missing automatic high beams, blindspot monitoring emergency braking, and rear cross-traffic alert. The base infotainment interface is displayed on a tiny 5-inch LCD monitor that also displays the rearview camera’s video feed. Bluetooth connectivity is included, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not.

Second-Level Trims

Riding on 18-inch alloy wheels and featuring roof rails is the Kia Sportage S. This sporty model gets push-button start technology for a more futuristic vibe. It also has faux leather seating for a more luxurious interior. This trim also has available S Nightfall edition packages.

Next, the Honda CR-V EX gets LED fog lamps and push-button start technology. The infotainment interface comes with an upgraded 7-inch touchscreen, and it finally offers compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Although it does have heated front seats and dual-zone climate control, this model’s safety features are trying to catch up to the Kia Sportage. Blindspot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert have both been installed.

Third-Level Trims

The upper mid-level Sportage EX has undergone a few comfort refreshments. Featuring heated front seats and dual-zone climate control, this ride will make sure that you are cozy all year long. It also gets a premium Harman Kardon stereo with 8 speakers.

As for the CR-V EX-L, this trim level gets an 8-speaker sound system as well. Other upgrades inside the cabin include an auto-dimming rearview mirror and leather-trimmed seats. A hands-free liftgate has been installed too.

Top-Tier Trims

At the top of the list for luxury is the Kia Sportage SX Turbo trim level. This athletic model gets heated and ventilated seats with subtle leather upholstery. Riding on 19-inch wheels, it also features a hands-free liftgate, LED headlights, fog lamps, and power-folding side mirrors on the outside. The cabin boasts a handy navigation system and a wireless charging pad.

Lastly, the CR-V Touring model also rolls on 19-inch wheels, and features LED headlights. Roof rails have finally been added to the exterior as well. As for the interior features, it gets a navigation system and wireless charging pad too. It does not come with ventilated seating.

A silver 2020 Honda CR-V Touring is driving over a modern bridge.

Paint Colors

For those who like their cars to be bold, let’s look at the available exterior paint colors you can choose from for each model. Both models are offered in eight shades, but which colors speak to you personally? Hopefully, our breakdown of the colors will help you make a final decision.

The Kia Sportage paint colors options include colorful choices such as Black Cherry, Pacific Blue, and Hyper Red. On the other hand, the Honda CR-V is available in some catching colors like Crystal Black Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, and Modern Steel Metallic. However, the Honda CR-V is missing some very cool color options that the Sportage has, such as Burnished Copper.

Find a Kia Dealership Near Me

If you are interested in taking either of these models out for a spin, you can find your local dealership and schedule an appointment or drop by to test drive a Kia Sportage for yourself. Find the color of your dreams, and drive off the lot in style with a new SUV designed to meet all your needs.