Ace of Base: 2020 Kia Sportage LX

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of base 2020 kia sportage lx

The Korean brand is no stranger to these frugal pages, stacking its Ace of Base trophy shelf by offering expressively styled machines packed with features that peg the value-for-dollar meter.

Kia’s Sportage has been around as a model name for nearly twenty years. Recently restyled with an atomic egg appearance, the compact crossover continues its missive of providing a tall-riding crossover for families who don’t yet want (or need) to move into a three-row rig.

In $23,990 LX trim, there is a 2.4-liter four banger under the hood, cranking out 181 horsepower. A turbocharger doesn’t appear until the SX Turbo trim, which checks in at a ten grand premium. On the base car, all-wheel drive is a $1,500 option. Save your pennies for a good set of winter tires, should you live in the snow belt, and you’ll be fine without it. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission.

The entry level LX certainly doesn’t look like the cheapo model, unlike with some brands that bin LED lights and color-keyed door handles on base cars. Kia includes both those exterior styling features, along with a rear quasi-spoiler and projector beam headlights. Those wheels are 17-inch alloys, not steelies with hubcaps.

Infotainment is handled by an 8-inch touchscreen interface rather than a festival of buttons that resemble a group of angry Klingons, an approach once taken by other makes (ahem, Ford) when trying to save pennies in their least expensive trims. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are presented and accounted for. An array of driving nannies like lane keeping and forward collision assist are also standard on the LX.

As expected on a value-laden Kia, one-touch auto-down power down windows are standard, along with a steering wheel that adjusts for reach and rake. A/C? Of course. Those cloth seats are manually adjusted, though. Hyper Red paint, shown here, is a no charge option, one of seven total colors available.

Make no wonder Kia is a regular denizen in the Ace of Base series.

[Images: Kia]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less.

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2 of 14 comments
  • AdamOfAus AdamOfAus on May 17, 2019

    My mum has an 18 with 30 000km on the clock. The auto slips out of gear regularly during normal use. Common issue that Kia knows about and doesn't have a fix for.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on May 18, 2019

    This Sportage is a GREAT looking car. Too pricey in higher/more powerful trims, but the base model looks like a swell deal. It's a heavy little bugger though; "small" doesn't mean "cheap to fuel."

  • Kwik_Shift A manual bug eye WRX wagon (2001-03) would interest me more.
  • El scotto Ferrari develops a way to put a virtual car in real time traffic? Will it be multiple virtual players in a possible infinite number of real drivers in real time situations?This will be one of the greatest things ever or a niche video game.
  • El scotto It's said that many military regulations are written in blood. Every ship's wheel or aircraft joystick has a human hand on it at all times when a ship or aircraft are under power. Tanks, APC's and other ground vehicles probably operate under the same rules. Even with those regulations accidents still happen. There is no such thing as an unmanned autopilot, ever. Someone has to be on the stick at all times.I do not think MB understands what a sue-happy nation the USA is. The 1st leased MB in a wreck while this Type 3 "Semi-Autonomous" driving, or whatever it is called, will result in an automatic lawsuit. Expect a class action lawsuit after the 1st personal lawsuit is filed. Yes, new MB owners can afford and ever are lawyers.Mercedes Benz; "The best wrecks or nothing!" Oh and has anyone noticed that Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Acura, the gray suit with white shirt and striped tie, automobile companies have stayed away from any autonomous driving nonsense?
  • Merc190 Very streamlined but not distinctive enough for a Mercedes. And besides, the streetcar of the early 20th century seems a far more efficient and effective method of people moving in essentially an autonomous manner. A motor car is meant to be driven with proper attention to what's important in every situation. To design it otherwise is idiotic and contradictory.
  • Abqhudson Passenger seating in recent accords has been unacceptable with my 5’2” wife forced to look at the dash while sitting in the hole provided.