A lot of Americans find a compact crossover to be the best solution to their transportation needs. With the average new car costing over $45,000, they’re available for much less. They provide seating for five (sometimes more) and enough cargo space to haul a weekend’s worth of projects. And they get reasonable fuel economy.

The Toyota RAV4 is the stalwart of the class for good reasons. The all-new Kia Sportage is a gorgeous new challenger that threatens to knock it off the top of the podium. Both vehicles also offer plug-in hybrid versions, but this comparison looks at gas-powered models.

Let’s take a closer look at how they compare.

2023 Kia Sportage

You’ve heard the name Kia Sportage, but you probably haven’t seen it like this. An all-new design for the 2023 model year, the Sportage combines a long list of standard features with sharp exterior looks and a lovely, high-tech cabin. Pricing starts at $25,990.

Kia Sportage Highlights

Possibly the nicest cabin in its class: From the driver’s seat, the new Sportage looks better than any rival. Upper-level trims, with a 12.3-inch touchscreen display and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, Syntex synthetic leather seating, and alloy pedals, creep toward luxury car territory. Like most of Kia’s 2023 cabins, the Sportage pairs the driver’s instrument screen and central touchscreen in a single housing, so they look like one wide, curved screen. It’s an elegant look at an affordable price.

A light off-road version with a light price: Both the Sportage and the RAV4 offer off-road-tuned editions for buyers who plan to occasionally use their SUV for the trails. But, while the RAV4 TRD Off-Road version is capable, it’s also over $37,000 delivered. Kia offers three different trail riders at three different prices. The least expensive, the X-Line AWD, gives you active all-wheel-drive (AWD) with a center locking differential for just $30,790.

Excellent warranty: For car shoppers, there’s no peace of mind like a long warranty. Kia’s basic warranty is two years longer than Toyota’s. Its powertrain warranty lasts twice as long. Knowing major repairs on your 2023 vehicle are covered until 2033? That’s comforting.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Kia Sportage models for sale near you.

2023 Toyota RAV4

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 seen in profile

The Toyota RAV4 is America’s best-selling small SUV. It climbed to the top of the podium with a sterling reliability reputation, strong resale values, and a standard engine putting out over 200 horsepower in a class where 180 or so is the norm. For 2023, prices start at $27,575, though it’s possible to spend over $37,000.

Toyota RAV4 Highlights

More power AND better fuel economy: There’s usually a trade-off between power and efficiency. Not with the 2023 RAV4. Toyota’s small SUV offers more horsepower than the Sportage while also (barely) besting it in fuel economy.

Best-in-class resale value: When it comes time to part with your new car, you’ll get more for your RAV4 than for any other car in its class. That resale value is a big part of its appeal.

Available heated rear seats: If you’re going to be hauling three or more regularly in your compact SUV, the RAV4 offers heated outboard rear seats the Sportage doesn’t.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Toyota RAV4 models for sale near you.


When Kia redesigned the Sportage for 2023, they clearly came gunning for the RAV4. These are two very similar SUVs with similar power, similar fuel economy, similar dimensions inside and out, and similar prices.


Few Americans have ever gone wrong with a Toyota RAV4. But the 2023 Kia Sportage has most of the same virtues with a lower price, longer warranties, and more updated style. Buying a 2023 RAV4 gets you strong resale values and Toyota’s legendary reliability. Buying a Sportage gets you one of the best-looking small SUVs and the peace of mind of a long warranty. This is one of the tightest comparisons in the business.

Only you can decide which of those lists appeals to you most.


2023 Kia Sportage 2023 Toyota RAV4
Starting Price $25,990 $27,575
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.5-liter 4-cylinder 2.5-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower 187 hp @ 6,100 rpm 203 hp @ 6,600 rpm
Torque 178 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 184 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
Fuel Economy 25 city/32 highway/28 combined mpg (FWD) 27 city/35 highway/30 combined mpg
Also Available AWD, Hybrid, Plug-in hybrid Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, 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
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 108.5 inches 105.9 inches
Overall Length 183.5 inches 180.9 inches
Width 73.4 inches 73.0 inches
Height 66.9 inches 67.0 inches
Turning Diameter 38.6 feet 36.1 feet
Headroom, Front 39.6 inches 39.5 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.4 inches 39.5 inches
Legroom, Front 41.4 inches 41.0 inches
Legroom, Rear 41.3 inches 37.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 57.5 inches 57.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.6 inches 56.4 inches
Cargo Volume 39.6/69.3 cubic feet 37.6/69.8



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