Each year manufacturers work vigorously to refresh their lineups with enhancements that keep the model relevant and exciting for buyers. Kia has been around for over 75 years, and since then, they have provided excellent automobiles that millions of loyal fans drive on an annual basis. Not only is Kia one of the older manufacturers out there, but they also produce updates to lineups that have been around for decades, as seen with the 2021 Kia Sportage update.
This lineup was first introduced to the market in 1993, and since then, has continued to see improvements with various additions over time. With the all-new 2021 Kia Sportage, the legendary lineup continues to impress, and it can easily compete with other big names on the market. As the lineup is over 25 years old itself, the new 2021 Sportage is the next step in the lineup’s evolution, and we don’t see Kia stopping anytime soon.
Those who are familiar with last year’s arrangement of trims will feel right at home. Like last year, the 2021 Sportage starts with the base LX trim. This trim starts at an MSRP of $23,990, but unlike most base models, the LX is packed full of features for both entertainment and safety. The following trim is the S, adding more safety features, along with 18-inch tires that replace the LX’s 17-inch tires. Additionally, purchasing the S trim allows you to opt for the all-new Nightfall Edition. This new edition for the Sportage is stylish as it boasts an exclusive black badging along with black trim around the bumper, skid plates, windows, and more.
Moving up on the list is the EX, adding a Smart Power Liftgate, Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control, and heated front seats. Not only that, your driver seat will become a 10-way power-adjustable seat meaning you’ll have maximum comfort while on the road. The top-of-the-line trim is the SX Turbo, and it rightfully earns its place as the highest-tier. The SX Turbo comes equipped with a stronger engine, 19-inch wheels, a leather seat trim, and an upgraded infotainment center and audio system.
The two engines available in last year’s Sportage make an appearance once again to power the new 2021 Sportage. Serving as the base engine is a 2.4L 4-Cylinder that produces 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque, paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. With this engine equipped, the Sportage can perform everyday tasks with ease while also achieving exceptional fuel efficiency. Rivaling most of its class, this 2.4L 4-Cyl gets EPA-estimated ratings of 23 MPG city and 30 MPG highway when paired with FWD. The numbers do drop slightly when paired with AWD as it achieves 21 MPG city and 25 MPG highway.
If you opt for the aforementioned SX Turbo, your Sportage will come equipped with a turbocharged 2.0L 4-Cylinder engine. Much like the base engine, the 2.0L will be paired to a six-speed automatic transmission for a smooth ride. Powering your Sportage with this engine is a night and day difference as this engine can produce up to 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. For comparison, that’s a 32% increase to horsepower and a 48% increase to torque output compared to the base engine. Fuel efficiency ratings between the two engines aren’t identical, but they’re relatively close at 20 MPG city and 28 MPG highway with FWD and 19 MPG city and 24 MPG highway with AWD. Regardless of the engine that your Sportage is equipped with, you’ll have an efficient ride that is well suited for long road trips.
A Robust and Spacious Interior
The 2021 Kia Sportage comfortably seats five passengers, with the rear row offering 39.1-inches of headroom, 55.1-inches of shoulder room, 51.2-inches of hip room, and 38.2-inches of legroom. In addition to this, the Sportage has the same 60.1 cu.ft. of possible cargo space as last year’s model when the rear-row of seats is folded down. With the rear row of seats in the upright position, you’ll have 30.7 cu.ft. of cargo space to work with.
The interior can be customized in several ways, from the leather seat trim and both heated and ventilated seats. Riding in the 2021 Sportage for long distances is made easier thanks in part to its cozy interior. With the panoramic sunroof, your cabin will be filled with natural light, and you’ll get plenty of fresh air as well.
With all of this in place, Kia has gone above and beyond to implement an impressive array of features, even at the base level. Every 2021 Sportage comes equipped with an infotainment center that hosts an 8-inch touchscreen. This screen size is rather large for a base model when looking elsewhere on the market, and it’s a worthy addition to the LX. The standard arrangement includes two 12-Volt power outlets and a USB port for charging and syncing your wireless device.
You can also connect your smartphone to the infotainment center’s Bluetooth for wireless media playback directly through your vehicle’s stereo system. Last year, the 2020 Sportage introduced Apple CarPlay and Android Auto at the base level, and this still rings true for the 2021 Sportage. At this price range, the likes of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not always guaranteed, so Kia should be commended for its inclusion.
If this already stellar feature set doesn’t sound good enough, then Kia has got you covered with some of the inclusions on the higher-end SX Turbo. On this trim, you receive an upgraded infotainment center that comes with voice-controlled navigation. Additionally, you can opt for a wireless phone charging pad, additional USB ports, and a premium audio system provided by Harman Kardon. This audio system will transform your favorite songs with its surround sound experience that consists of eight speakers fit throughout the Sportage’s cabin. For the base price point of the Sportage, it proves to be an extremely versatile car that’s loaded with many of the latest features.
Why Should You Purchase a Kia Sportage?
Built upon the foundation the original Sportage laid decades ago; the 2021 Sportage is the next step in the right direction. While the 2021 Sportage shares a decent amount of specifications with its predecessor, this doesn’t deter from the overall value that this new Sportage delivers. At its current spot in the market, the Sportage has a significant advantage over the competition. Not only is this because of its performance, efficiency, or tech-centric features, but because it does all of this while retaining an excellent price.
We imagine the Sportage will see a monumental leap once it’s gone through more of a generational change, but the current offering is stellar, to say the least. If you’re interested in the Kia Sportage and want to see one for yourself, start by researching your local Kia dealer. At your local Kia dealer, you’ll be able to spend up close and personal time with the Sportage and take it for a test drive. We recommend purchasing a 2021 Sportage for its multitude of capabilities coupled with some of the best value in the industry. Vehicles such as the 2021 Sportage are an example of how you no longer have to pay a premium price to get the latest features, and fans couldn’t be more excited.