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Kia Sportage vs. Subaru Forester

When comparing the Kia Sportage to the Subaru Forester, the Kia Sportage has the advantage in the areas of new vehicle base pricing, typical lower range of pricing for one- to five-year-old used cars, and base engine power. The Subaru Forester has the advantage in the areas of fuel efficiency and overall quality score. Based on this comparison of the Kia Sportage versus the Subaru Forester, the Kia Sportage is a better car than the Subaru Forester.

Kia Sportage versus Subaru Forester Pricing

A one- to five-year-old used Kia Sportage ranges from $18,884 to $29,861 while a used Subaru Forester from the same model year range is priced between $23,362 to $34,063. For a new model, the Kia Sportage's price is between $29,437 and $39,961, with the Subaru Forester priced between $29,698 and $38,813.

Kia Sportage versus Subaru Forester Quality Rating

The iSeeCars Overall Quality rating for the Kia Sportage is 8.1 out of 10 while the Subaru Forester's quality rating is 8.7 out of 10. This results in the Kia Sportage being ranked 9 out of 14 Best Small SUVs for the Money and the Subaru Forester being ranked 4 out of 14. Out of 24 Best Small SUVs, the Kia Sportage is ranked 24 and the Subaru Forester is ranked 4. The Kia Sportage is also ranked 16 out of 28 Best Crossover SUVs for the Money while the Subaru Forester is ranked 4 out of 28. The Kia Sportage is also ranked 18 out of 61 Best Crossover SUVs while the Subaru Forester is ranked 4 out of 61.

Engine Power and Fuel Efficiency Comparison

For engine performance, the Kia Sportage’s base engine makes 187 horsepower, and the Subaru Forester base engine makes 182 horsepower. The Sportage is rated to deliver an average of 28 miles per gallon, with a highway range of 458 miles. The Forester is rated to deliver an average of 29 miles per gallon, with a highway range of 548 miles. Both models use regular unleaded.

Hauling, Towing, and Off-Road Capabilities Comparison

The Subaru Forester has the advantage of offering higher ground clearance and payload capacity than the Kia Sportage.

Safety Ratings Comparison

When comparing crash test ratings from NHTSA, both the Kia Sportage and the Subaru Forester have the same average safety rating of 5 out of 5 Stars. When comparing IIHS evaluations, the Subaru Forester has the better rating with a Top Safety Pick+ award compared to the Kia Sportage’s Top Safety Pick award.

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2023 Kia Sportage

2023 Subaru Forester

Pricing

New Asking Price:

$29,437 - $39,961

Used Asking Price:

$18,884 - $29,861

5-Year Depreciation (lower is better):

42.8%

Pricing

New Asking Price:

$29,698 - $38,813

Used Asking Price:

$23,362 - $34,063

5-Year Depreciation (lower is better):

38.4%

iSeeCars Scores & Rankings

Overall Score:

8.1 / 10

Reliability:

7.6 / 10

Retained Value:

7.6 / 10

Safety:

9.0 / 10

iSeeCars Scores & Rankings

Overall Score:

8.7 / 10

Reliability:

8.1 / 10

Retained Value:

8.1 / 10

Safety:

10.0 / 10

iSeeCars Rankings

9 / 14
10 / 24
11 / 24
15 / 24
16 / 28
18 / 61
21 / 61
30 / 61
34 / 61

iSeeCars Rankings

4 / 61
4 / 61
4 / 28
4 / 24
4 / 24
4 / 14
8 / 24
11 / 61
16 / 61

Summary Review

The Kia Sportage is a compact sport utility vehicle and a mainstay of Kia’s model line, going through several generations prior to the current Sportage, which debuted in 2017. The Sportage is known for its sharp looks, feature-packed interior, and low cost of entry, with new models costing an average of $28,105 and 3-year-old models averaging $20,380.

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Summary Review

The Subaru Forester is a five-seat, compact SUV that foregoes the station wagon styling of other Subaru models for a more utilitarian, square-bodied design. The Forester has earned a reputation as a reliable and capable all-weather SUV with a spacious cabin and versatile cargo space. New models of the Forester cost an average of $32,632 and 3-year-old models average $23,752.

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Pros and Cons

  • Smooth ride quality with a quiet interior
  • Spacious seating front and rear
  • Smart instrumentation and control layout

  • Smaller cargo capacity than many rivals
  • Acceleration can be sluggish
  • Fuel economy adequate at best

Pros and Cons

  • All-wheel drive is standard
  • Better-than-average ground clearance and off-road capability
  • Large cargo area

  • Engine power could be stronger
  • Low tow rating may not match many buyers’ lifestyles
  • Continuously variable transmission (CVT) not to everyone’s liking

Available Body Styles

SUV

Available Body Styles

SUV

Available Drivetrain Options

Gasoline

Available Drivetrain Options

Gasoline

Trim Levels

LX, EX, SX, SX-Prestige, X-Line, X-Pro, X-Pro Prestige

Trim Levels

Base, Premium, Sport, Wilderness, Limited, Touring

Warranty Information

Warranty, Bumper-to-Bumper:

5 years / 60000 miles

Warranty, Powertrain

10 years / 100000 miles

Warranty, Roadside Assistance:

5 years / 60000 miles

Warranty Information

Warranty, Bumper-to-Bumper:

3 years / 36000 miles

Warranty, Powertrain

5 years / 60000 miles

Warranty, Roadside Assistance:

3 years / 36000 miles

Safety Ratings

NHTSA Safety Rating (last 5 year average):

5 out of 5 Stars

IIHS Safety Rating:

TOP SAFETY PICK

Safety Ratings

NHTSA Safety Rating (last 5 year average):

5 out of 5 Stars

IIHS Safety Rating:

TOP SAFETY PICK +

Base Drivetrain Specifications

Horsepower:

187 hp @ 6100 rpm

Torque:

178 foot-lbs @ 4000 rpm

Power-to-Weight Ratio (higher is better):

0.055 hp per pound

Towing Capacity:

Not yet available

Base Drivetrain Specifications

Horsepower:

182 hp @ 5800 rpm

Torque:

176 foot-lbs @ 4400 rpm

Power-to-Weight Ratio (higher is better):

0.053 hp per pound

Towing Capacity:

Not yet available

Engine Specifications

Engine Size:

2.5 liters

Engine Configuration:

Inline

Number of Cylinders:

4

Transmission:

Automatic

Standard/Optional Drivetrain Type:

FWD / AWD

EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined MPG):

25 / 32 / 28

Range (city/hwy):

358 / 458 miles

Recommended Fuel Type:

Regular Unleaded

Engine Specifications

Engine Size:

2.5 liters

Engine Configuration:

Flat/Horizontally Opposed

Number of Cylinders:

4

Transmission:

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT Automatic)

Standard/Optional Drivetrain Type:

AWD

EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined MPG):

26 / 33 / 29

Range (city/hwy):

432 / 548 miles

Recommended Fuel Type:

Regular Unleaded

Standard/Optional Features

Apple CarPlay:

Standard

Android Auto:

Standard

Wireless Smartphone Charging:

Available

Keyless Entry:

Standard

Keyless Ignition:

Available

Adaptive Cruise Control:

Available

Heated Seats:

Available

Cooled/Ventilated Seats:

Available

Leather Upholstery:

Available

Navigation System:

Available

Sunroof/Moonroof:

Available

Heated Steering Wheel:

Available

Standard/Optional Features

Apple CarPlay:

Standard

Android Auto:

Standard

Wireless Smartphone Charging:

N/A

Keyless Entry:

Standard

Keyless Ignition:

Available

Adaptive Cruise Control:

Standard

Heated Seats:

Available

Cooled/Ventilated Seats:

N/A

Leather Upholstery:

Available

Navigation System:

Available

Sunroof/Moonroof:

Available

Heated Steering Wheel:

Available

Safety Equipment

Forward Collision Warning:

Standard

Pedestrian Detection:

Standard

Lane Departure Warning:

Standard

Lane Keeping Assist:

Standard

Blind Spot Monitoring:

Available

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert:

Available

360-Degree Camera:

Available

Rear Seat Reminder:

N/A

Driver Attention Monitoring:

Standard

Safety Equipment

Forward Collision Warning:

Standard

Pedestrian Detection:

Standard

Lane Departure Warning:

Standard

Lane Keeping Assist:

Standard

Blind Spot Monitoring:

Available

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert:

Available

360-Degree Camera:

N/A

Rear Seat Reminder:

Standard

Driver Attention Monitoring:

Available

Interior Dimensions

Front Head Room:

39.6 inches

Front Leg Room:

41.4 inches

Front Shoulder Room:

57.5 inches

Rear Head Room:

39.4 inches

Rear Leg Room:

41.3 inches

Rear Shoulder Room:

55.6 inches

Cargo Space:

39.6 cubic feet

Cargo Space, 2nd-row seat folded down:

74.1 cubic feet

Overall Interior Volume:

Not yet available

Interior Dimensions

Front Head Room:

41.2 inches

Front Leg Room:

43.3 inches

Front Shoulder Room:

58.1 inches

Rear Head Room:

39.6 inches

Rear Leg Room:

39.4 inches

Rear Shoulder Room:

57.2 inches

Cargo Space:

28.9 cubic feet

Cargo Space, 2nd-row seat folded down:

74.2 cubic feet

Overall Interior Volume:

140.5 cubic feet

Exterior Dimensions

Curb Weight:

3373 lbs

Width:

73.4 inches

Height:

65.4 inches

Length:

183.5 inches

Wheelbase:

108.5 inches

Ground Clearance:

7.1 inches

Exterior Dimensions

Curb Weight:

3454 lbs

Width:

80.9 inches

Height:

67.5 inches

Length:

182.7 inches

Wheelbase:

105.1 inches

Ground Clearance:

8.7 inches

Standard Wheel/Tire Information

Wheel Size:

17.0 x 7.0 inches

Wheel Type:

alloy

Tire Size:

235/65R17

Standard Wheel/Tire Information

Wheel Size:

17.0 x 7.0 inches

Wheel Type:

steel

Tire Size:

225/60R17