Like all Kia models, the 2012 Sportage has achieved its success by giving the customer more than competitive vehicles. But how does it stack up to another successful crossover, the Honda CR-V? A fact-by-fact comparison reveals some things that Kia drivers already know, but that might surprise Honda customers.
From major advantages to small details, the 2012 Kia Sportage offers many extras over the Honda CR-V, especially if you’re seeking an emphasis on sporty driving and technology. The Kia Sportage rides on a slightly longer wheelbase than the CR-V (103.9 inches versus 103.1 inches), and the Sportage is 4.5 inches shorter overall, so it’s a bit easier to park and has more front head- and legroom. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when parked, the strikingly styled Kia Sportage stands apart from the CR-V and other crossovers with an air of sophistication seen on more expensive luxury vehicles. More obvious Sportage advantages begin to appear when you pull out of the parking space.
Both the Sportage and CR-V feature 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines, but the Sportage offers 168 lb/ft of torque to the CR-V’s 161 lb/ft. The Sportage offers a more compelling driving experience, for several reasons. First, it’s nearly 200 pounds lighter than the CR-V when comparing each model’s EX all-wheel drive trim line. Next, the Sportage comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission in LX, EX and SX trim lines while those who prefer a six-speed manual get that as standard in the entry Sportage front-wheel drive model.
That’s an important point, since the entry Sportage, at $18,500, comes in nearly $3,400 less than the entry CR-V LX at an MSRP of $21,895. Offering a stick-shift model at that price makes the sporty, versatile Sportage available to a wider group of customers. And frankly, the Sportage with six-speed is a hoot to drive.
The CR-V offers front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, as does the Sportage, yet the Dynamax All-Wheel Drive system in the Sportage continuously monitors driving conditions and anticipates traction needs. In contrast, AWD systems such as Honda Real Time™ 4WD simply react to conditions after they occur.
What the CR-V does not offer, though, is a performance upgrade. The 2012 Kia Sportage peaks at the SX model powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. With 260 hp and 269 lb/ft of torque. According to testing by Car and Driver magazine, the Sportage SX will accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in just 6.1 seconds. “None of the Kia’s all-wheel drive little-ute peers is as fleet including the segment’s former top sprinter, the Toyota RAV4,” the magazine said.
Thanks to advanced engine technology such as Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI), optimal vehicle weight and a six-speed automatic transmission, the powerful Sportage SX returns exemplary fuel economy – 29 mpg with front-wheel drive. That’s still one mpg better than the Honda CR-V, which has 80 hp less. The turbocharged Sportage SX includes special suspension tuning, 18-inch wheels and offers available all-wheel drive.
The most fair comparison approach pits trim line against similar trim line, in this case, “EX” for both the CR-V and Sportage. Interestingly, you find base MSRPs nearly matched - $25,400 for the 2012 Sportage EX versus $25,445 for the CR-V EX. So, the extra features, available performance and technology in the Sportage EX stand out all the more.
The Sportage EX all-wheel drive model comes equipped with standard Hill Assist Control, which is not available on the CR-V EX with Honda’s Real Time™ 4WD. Neither does the CR-V EX offer underbody protection, which is standard on the Sportage EX.
When it comes to visibility features, the Kia Sportage EX beats the Honda CR-V EX easily. Foglamps come standard on the Sportage EX, but costs extra for the CR-V EX; heated exterior mirrors are available for the Sportage EX, but not the CRV-EX and, even more significantly, the Sportage EX comes standard with a rearview camera, which is not available on the CR-V EX.
More standard features on the Sportage EX that are not on the CR-V EX include dual-zone temperature control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite radio.
Like all 2012 Kia models, the Sportage comes backed by the brand’s five-year/60,000-mile Limited Basic Warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty. Compare that coverage to the three-year/36,000-mile Basic Warranty and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranties on the CR-V.
Come in and see why the 2012 Kia Sportage is a sportier, better-equipped choice than the Honda CR-V.