2012 Kia Sportage vs. Its Competition

2012 Kia Sportage 2WD 4-door EX Angular Front Exterior View
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

Kia's Sportage presents itself much more confidently in a class of very strong-selling vehicles.

First, it has to get past its own corporate cousin, the Hyundai Tucson, which has an entirely different look that's more flair-focused, and which lacks the Sportage's turbo option and its UVO voice controls.

The Ford Escape is still a best seller 11 years in its current form, and has more interior space and a Hybrid model to distinguish it.

The Nissan Rogue sports interesting styling and good road manners, but its continuously variable transmission--still the best of its kind--leads to more drivetrain noise and slower responses to throttle inputs.

The Honda CR-V is new this year, and it's evolutionary change at best, with no major advances in powertrain or features.

For the most refined driving experience in this group, we recommend the Subaru Forester; it has a tall and spacious cabin, sedate good looks, and a reputation for durability, though fuel economy is much lower than the numbers generated by the non-turbo Sportage.

2012 Kia Sportage 2WD 4-door EX Angular Front Exterior View2012 Kia Sportage
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2012 Ford Escape Hybrid2012 Ford Escape
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2012 Honda CR-V2012 Honda CR-V
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2012 Hyundai Tucson FWD 4-door Auto GLS Side Exterior View2012 Hyundai Tucson
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2011 Nissan Rogue FWD 4-door SV Angular Front Exterior View2012 Nissan Rogue
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2012 Subaru Forester2012 Subaru Forester
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Quick Specs
The Kia Sportage cuts a rakish new figure and spins out 260 turbocharged horsepower for a total image reboot--watch the options, though.
If you're keen on green in crossover form, the 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid earns good gas-mileage ratings, but its styling and handling are showing their age.
The 2012 Honda CR-V is a great family vehicle, with a thoughtfully designed and comfortable interior, and improved refinement, but it lacks the confident, sprightly feel present in past CR-Vs.
One of the most improved crossovers, the 2012 Hyundai Tucson has size and value in its corner.
The 2012 Nissan Rogue's comfortable ride and versatile layout make it a good fit for a value-conscious small families--but it's far from exciting to drive.
The 2012 Subaru Forester is tough, all-weather-capable, and one of the best-handling compact crossovers--plus, a blast to drive in XT turbo form--but an old-tech automatic transmission and econo-caliber interior remain letdowns.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
20 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas Flat 4
EPA Class     
2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicles2WD Sport Utility2WD Sport UtilityFWD Sport UtilitySport Utility Vehicle - AWD
Style Name     
2WD 4-Door BaseFWD 4-Door XLS2WD 5-Door LXFWD 4-Door Manual GLFWD 4-Door S4-Door Manual 2.5X
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
4 Door4 DoorSport Utility Vehicle4 Door Sport UtilitySport UtilitySport Utility Vehicle
ManualManualAutomaticManualContinuously variable ratioManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Kia Sportage vs. 2012 Ford Escape2012 Kia Sportage vs. 2012 Honda CR-V2012 Kia Sportage vs. 2012 Hyundai Tucson2012 Kia Sportage vs. 2012 Nissan Rogue2012 Kia Sportage vs. 2012 Subaru Forester