By on May 15, 2019

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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14 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2020 Kia Sportage LX...”

  • avatar

    Such a richly-optioned base trim makes me want to check out the configurator to see what they could possibly pile on top of it, other than power seats, a sunroof, and leather (and the overpriced engine upgrade.)

  • avatar

    Again we have an article seeming to recommend a vehicle, with ZERO ZILCH NADA in the way of an actual review, performance specs, driving review – nothing. Anyone can go online, click the cheapest version, and read the list of standard equipment. Lazy “writing” here.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree. This was just an ad.

    • 0 avatar

      The Ace of Base series isn’t supposed to be a full review of the vehicle; it never has been. It’s just an overview of what is and isn’t included in the base model.

      I have my own beefs with this series (we never hear about base models that suck; I’d love “Waste of Space” counterparts), but it not being a full review isn’t something I have a problem with.

      • 0 avatar

        I quote from the article———–
        “Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better.”

        Without actually DRIVING it, that is impossible to say. It’s a features list. Big deal.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Waste of space – that sounds like a great idea!

        It was alway my understanding as well that this series serve just to let you know what base models had to offer equipment wise, etc.

        That said, Sportage LX’s are well equipped for the money, have a strong warranty, and can be had for around $20k all day long according to CarGurus. Definitely an Ace of Base.

    • 0 avatar

      Ace of Base is pretty clearly not a review of a car. I don’t find this series lazy at all. It’s informative and much easier than reading boring lists.

  • avatar

    /sets garage on fire.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Heated seats?
    The key aspects in my estimation regarding this vehicle 1) an automatic not a CVT transmission, 2) no turbocharger.
    Rear visibility is of course a casualty of the design.

  • avatar

    The base Sportage is not a compelling buy because the Rav4 exist. The base Sportage gets some seriously disappointing fuel economy for this segment. This is both from experience and also just looking at fuelly.

    For something like $2k more, a Rav4 will have more safety and a more powerful motor. The extra 5mpg on average is worth it.

    • 0 avatar

      The Toyota won’t have the warranty, then again it probly won’t need it, either. We have a 2009 Rav4 as a kid car and it does what it does very capably.

  • avatar

    As a big guy (6’3″ 250 lbs.) I love the Sportage. It has adequate room and it fits me really well. The vehicle is very stable and tracks nicely. I think it is a great utility vehicle and meets the needs of many people shopping in this segment. Plus, Kia is always dealing so my guess is you can by one for $19-20K. Even though MPG is lower than some, it takes a lot of miles (30,000-50,000 miles) to make up for the $4000-6000 more you’ll pay for a similarly equipped CRV or RAV. I owned a previous generation RAV and I hated it. Not enough room for me and it was a lousy road vehicle. I’ve test driven the newest RAV and I like the exterior but the interior still has the same flaws. It was very uncomfortable for me and the driving impressions were lack luster.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.”

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