2018 Kia Sportage Vs. 2018 Toyota RAV4

kia sportage in gray split screen with toyota rav4 in blue

When it comes to popular vehicle classes, none are as popular or versatile as the compact crossover. Compact crossovers are at the perfect intersection of budget-friendliness, cargo capacity, performance, safety and comfort. These vehicles give drivers the ride height and interior space of an SUV, without abandoning the smooth ride and responsive handling of a car. They’re making a quick job of replacing sedans as the flagship offering on every manufacturer’s lineup.

In this compact crossover class, the Kia Sportage has quickly risen to the top as not only a monument of reliability and driver satisfaction but as a vehicle that gives drivers more for less. Today, we’re seeing how the 2018 Kia Sportage compares to its fellow class veteran, the Toyota RAV4. Having both been a part of the North American market since the mid-90s, the two have spent years competing. Let’s see how they measure up!

2018 Kia Sportage


2018 Toyota RAV4

181 hp (LX) / 237 hp (SX) Horsepower (base / top) 176 hp (all trims)
26 combined MPG (LX) Base fuel efficiency 26 combined MPG (LE)
17” aluminum alloy Standard wheels 17” steel with plastic hubcap
Yes Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility No
38.2 inches Second-row legroom 37.2 inches
1,650 lbs. when properly equipped Towing capacity 1,500 lbs. when properly equipped
$23,600 (LX) / $34,400 (SX) MSRP (base/top) $24,510 (LE) / $36,250 (Platinum)
5 years/60,000 miles Limited bumper-to-bumper warranty 3 years/36,000 miles

Kia Sportage Advantages Vs. Toyota RAV4

As you move through the chart above, it’s easy to see that the 2018 Kia Sportage enjoys many significant advantages over the “second-best” RAV4. Sportage drivers get more than the RAV4. What do you get more of?

How about horsepower – an important part of being able to get to speed on highway ramps and pass confidently? How about legroom for your second-row passengers? How about towing capacity?

The only area where the RAV4’s engine doesn’t give you less than the Sportage’s is the fuel efficiency, where both engines draw even despite the Sportage getting more power out of every gallon. If you prefer quick acceleration and fast highway-speed performance, the Sportage’s available turbocharged engine brings thrill to your capable and comfortable crossover – delivering over 200 horsepower.

No upgraded engine option exists for the RAV4.

Inside, the 2018 Kia Sportage gives you a better and more driver-centered cabin. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which allow you to use your smartphone’s operating system through your crossover’s distraction-free interface, is not available on the RAV4 at any trim level. Additionally, comfort is improved on the Sportage, where second-row passengers can expect an important inch more of legroom.

While style is subjective, drivers who opt for the 2018 Kia Sportage get standard alloy wheels while RAV4 drivers are left with unsightly steel rims, barely concealed by the included plastic hubcaps.

The RAV4’s list of disadvantages compared with the Sportage would make more sense if it was cheaper. As it stands, however, the Sportage not only provides more than the RAV4 but does so at a lower price. The extra 2 years or 24,000 miles on the warranty are another place where Sportage drivers enjoy increased value and substantial peace of mind.

Although the 2018 RAV4 is a good crossover, it’s just nowhere near as powerful, fun, comfortable or versatile as the 2018 Kia Sportage. The crossover’s combination of agility and power are uncommon and really must be felt to be believed. For more information on the 2018 Sportage, or to feel it for yourself with a test drive, contact us today!