Subaru Forester vs Kia Sportage Comparison in Huntington Beach, CA

There's no denying that the Kia Sportage is a unique small SUV. But when you compare it with the Subaru Forester, it simply falls flat. The Forester is roomier, more powerful, safer, and more capable. On this page, we'll go into greater detail on just how the 2020 Subaru Forester compares to the 2020 Kia Sportage. We think you'll see just why the Forester is a perfect match for life in Southern California. Once you've seen what Subaru has to offer, head to our showroom in Huntington Beach to experience the Forester for yourself.

Subaru Forester headlights close-up

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 Kia Sportage: Design

Of these two SUVs, the 2020 Kia Sportage definitely has the more distinctive design, but maybe not in a positive way. While taste is subjective, the quality of features isn't--and the Subaru Forester excels here. The oddly squashed headlights of the 2020 Kia Sportage come standard with halogen bulbs; LED headlights are an available upgrade only. By comparison, even the entry-level 2020 Subaru Forester includes LED headlights. On the inside, the 2020 Subaru Forester offers much more room to enjoy the drive. You'll get 111.9 cubic feet of passenger space inside the 2020 Subaru Forester, whereas the 2020 Kia Sportage has just 98.6 cubic feet! You'll also get more room for cargo inside the 2020 Subaru Forester: 31.1 cubic feet with all seats in place, or up to 76.1 cubic feet with the rear seats lowered. Though the 30.7 cubic feet of cargo space that comes standard in the Kia Sportage is similar to the amount of behind-seat space in the Forester, it falls behind quite noticeably with its 60.1 cubic feet of maximum cargo volume.

Subaru Forester interior

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 Kia Sportage: Amenities

The greater space inside the 2020 Subaru Forester provides superior comfort, but it's not the only way that the Forester has the edge over the 2020 Kia Sportage. Every 2020 Subaru Forester comes with automatic climate control, but the 2020 Kia Sportage starts off with manual air conditioning. Features like leather upholstery and heated front seats are available at lower prices in the 2020 Subaru Forester; what's more, the Forester offers heated rear seats, which the Kia Sportage lacks entirely.

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Subaru Forester driving down a street

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 Kia Sportage: Performance

When it comes to standard power, these SUVs may at first appear similar. Their horsepower and torque are nearly identical, but the Subaru Forester still has a few notable advantages. For one thing, the engine in the Forester is a SUBARU BOXER® engine. This flat design of this engine and its low placement in the engine compartment means that it gives the Subaru Forester a lower center of gravity and better balance than a vehicle with an inline engine like the Kia Sportage. Its flat design also helps reduce noise, vibration, and harshness for a smooth ride. Despite the similar power, the Subaru Forester gets better gas mileage: up to 33 miles per gallon, compared to the 30 MPG that the front-wheel drive Kia Sportage offers. If you choose optional all-wheel drive, the gas mileage in the Sportage is further reduced to a maximum of 26 mpg.

Subaru Forester driving down highway

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 Kia Sportage: Safety

Nothing is more important than your safety, and Subaru recognizes this. The 2020 Subaru Forester comes standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which provides exceptional traction. While AWD is an available upgrade in the Kia Sportage, it will cost you more.

We're not the only ones to praise the safety of the Subaru Forester: the two major American safety rating organizations have also noted its excellence. The 2020 Subaru Forester earned the 2020 Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the highest honor that the organization gives. Though the 2020 Kia Sportage earned the lower 2020 Top Safety Pick award, it wasn't good enough to get the Top Safety Pick+. Similarly, the 2020 Subaru Forester earned five-star ratings in the Overall, Frontal Crash, and Side Crash categories in testing from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2020 Kia Sportage earned only four stars in the Frontal Crash category.

Family loading a Subaru Forester

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 Kia Sportage: Driver Assistance Technology

Driver assistance technology is becoming more and more common on new vehicles, and both these SUVs come with some of these features. A pre-collision braking system and lane-keeping assistance are standard on both the 2020 Subaru Forester and the 2020 Kia Sportage. However, the 2020 Subaru Forester also comes standard with adaptive cruise control. This feature is an available upgrade in the 2020 Kia Sportage, and isn't even available on the base model.

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2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 Kia Sportage: Value

The 2020 Kia Sportage does have a lower starting MSRP than the 2020 Subaru Forester, but Subaru provides greater value. Take all-wheel drive, for example. Adding AWD to the 2020 Kia Sportage costs an extra $1,500, making it over $900 more expensive than the entry-level Subaru Forester. When it comes to the extra space and safety of the Subaru Forester, no Kia Sportage model can match what Subaru has to offer. We invite you to experience the 2020 Subaru Forester for yourself at McKenna Subaru in Huntington Beach.

2020 Subaru Forester2020 Kia Sportage
$24,495Starting MSRP*$23,990
StandardAll-Wheel DriveAvailable Upgrade
176 lb.-ft.Torque175 lb.-ft.
33 Highway / 26 CityFuel Efficiency (MPG)30 Highway / 23 City
111.9 cu. ft.Passenger Volume98.6 cu. ft.
76.1 cu. ft.Maximum Cargo Space60.1 cu. ft.
AutomaticStandard Climate ControlManual
StandardAdaptive Cruise ControlAvailable Upgrade
5 StarsNHTSA Frontal Crash Rating4 Stars

*Manufacturer's suggested retail price does not include destination and delivery charges, tax, title and registration fees. Destination and delivery includes handling and inland freight fees and may vary in some states. Prices, specifications, options, features and models subject to change without notice.