A compact SUV is all the car many people need. Today’s compact crossovers are filled with technology found in luxury cars just a few years ago. They offer as much passenger and cargo space as many midsize cars, along with, often, all-wheel drive (AWD).
The all-new Kia Sportage, fully redesigned for 2023, is one of the best. The Nissan Rogue is a few years older but still excellent, with a unique design that makes even its base models quite fuel efficient. Let’s see how a shopper might compare these two popular SUVs.
2023 Kia Sportage
The Kia Sportage is entirely new for 2023, with a sharp design and an interior that has won praise from most critics. Kia also builds a turbocharged Sportage Hybrid and an all-new Sportage Plug-in Hybrid with up to 34 miles of all-electric range. Pricing starts at $25,990.
Kia Sportage Highlights
Three powertrain options: Kia offers the most complete lineup at the compact SUV level, with gas-powered, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid options. Nissan builds the Rogue in just one configuration.
Gorgeous interior: Kia designers have produced some of the best interiors in the automotive business in recent years. The Sportage’s cabin looks like something out of a luxury car, borrowing tricks like two screens housed as one and available trendy aluminum pedals.
Outstanding warranty: Kia’s 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty offer you peace of mind — for a decade. Nissan’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty are the industry average.
Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Sportage models for sale near you.
2023 Nissan Rogue
The 2023 Rogue is Nissan’s best-selling product. It looks sharp with the available contrast-color roof and has a unique drivetrain. Rather than the 4-cylinder engines most automakers use at this price, the Rogue has a turbocharged 3-cylinder. That makes even base models surprisingly fuel-efficient. Prices start at $27,150.
Nissan Rogue Highlights
30 mpg in the city, 37 on the highway: Nissan knew what it was doing when it chose a 3-cylinder turbocharged engine instead of a standard 4-cylinder most compact SUVs use. It gives the Rogue excellent fuel economy for a nonhybrid car. Of course, Kia can beat it by selling you a hybrid Sportage. But those are pricier.
201-horsepower base engine: Every Rogue gets 201 hp from that mighty little workhorse. Gas-powered Sportage models get 187 hp. The Sportage weighs a little more, too, so the Rogue’s more powerful engine pulls less heft. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid Sportage models can outrun it, but only for a higher price.
Zero-gravity seats: Comfortable seats are subjective, but objective science is behind them. Critics (including our staff) often find Nissan’s zero-gravity seats the most comfortable in the industry over the long haul. Nissan says they’re based on NASA research about how to hold the body in the perfect neutral position. They’re only found in the front row of the Rogue, but they’re not found anywhere outside the Nissan and Infiniti lineups.
Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Rogue models for sale near you.
These two have similar dimensions, including equal cargo space figures with the seats down.
The Nissan Rogue is a hot seller because it offers more power than most of its rivals, has great fuel economy for a nonhybrid, and boasts the most comfortable seats in this class. The Kia Sportage, a much more recent design, is better-looking inside and out, easier to personalize thanks to a wealth of trims and options, and comes in three powertrains to the Rogue’s one. Kia’s longer warranty and lower starting price also make pretty compelling arguments.
You might have to test drive them to decide between them.
|2023 Kia Sportage||2023 Nissan Rogue|
|Engine||2.5-liter 4-cylinder||1.5-liter turbo I3|
|Horsepower||187 hp @ 6,100 rpm||201 hp @ 5,600 rpm|
|Torque||178 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm||225 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm|
|Transmission||8-speed automatic||CVT automatic|
|Fuel Economy||25 city/32 highway/28 combined mpg||30 city/37 highway/33 combined|
|Also Available||Hybrid, Plug-in hybrid, AWD||AWD|
|Basic Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||10 years/100,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety||TBD||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||108.5 inches||106.5 inches|
|Overall Length||183.5 inches||183.0 inches|
|Width||73.4 inches||72.4 inches|
|Height||65.4 inches||66.5 inches|
|Turning Diameter||38.6 feet||37.6 feet|
|Headroom, Front||39.6 inches||41.1 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||39.4 inches||43.3 inches|
|Legroom, Front||41.4 inches||41.5 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||41.3 inches||38.5 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||57.5 inches||57.1 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||55.6 inches||37.8 inches|
|Cargo Volume||39.6/74.1 cubic feet||36.5/74.1 cubic feet|