The stylish Kia Sportage has an athletic look and feel, especially with turbo power, but it's a bit small compared to some of the crossovers in its class.
The likely alternatives you'll shop include the Hyundai Tucson, a mechanical cousin of the Kia, but with "fluidic sculpture" styling all its own--and without the turbo-four option.
The Nissan Rogue is quite close in execution to the Kia (and Hyundai), but some might be turned off by its continuously variable transmission, which can create more drivetrain noise and isn't particularly efficient in this application, either.
The Chevy Equinox is noticeably bigger than the Sportage, but the four-cylinder model gets the same top EPA highway rating, and its second-row seat slides for flexible interior space.
New this year, the 2013 Ford Escape has very sporty handling and styling, and features that will awe some and confuse others--while the newest Honda CR-V makes the most of its interior space and reputation for durability, while styling's just improved enough to ignore, and fuel economy's now a bit above average.
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|2013 Kia SportageBrowse Used Listings||2013 Chevrolet EquinoxBrowse Used Listings||2013 Ford EscapeBrowse Used Listings||2013 Honda CR-VBrowse Used Listings||2013 Hyundai TucsonBrowse Used Listings||2013 Nissan RogueBrowse Used Listings|
|20 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas/Ethanol I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|2WD Sport Utility Vehicle||2WD Sport Utility Vehicle||Sport Utility Vehicle - 2WD||2WD Sport Utility||Sport Utility Vehicle - 2WD||FWD Sport Utility|
|2WD 4-Door Base||FWD 4-Door LS||FWD 4-Door S||2WD 5-Door LX||FWD 4-Door Manual GL||FWD 4-Door S|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door||Sport Utility Vehicle||Sport Utility Vehicle||Sport Utility Vehicle||Sport Utility Vehicle||Sport Utility|
|Manual||Automatic||Automatic w/Manual Shift||Automatic||Manual||Continuously variable ratio|