Nissan Rogue Sport Vs. Kia Sportage

By Justin Cupler | April 8th, 2019

Regardless of how traditional SUV buyers feel about soft-roading compact crossovers, they are here to stay. And two of the most popular small crossovers are the Nissan Rogue and Kia Sportage. They both offer plenty of room, good fuel economy, and light off-road abilities, but they are aimed at different types of buyers in the Sarasota area. Which is right for you? Find out below.

Exterior

The Nissan Rogue Sport debuted as a standalone model separate of the Rogue lineup in 2017. Since then, this downsized crossover has remained relatively unchanged. Despite its lack of change, it still looks fresh, and is far from due for a refresh.

The 2020 Kia Sportage received a light refresh that included new headlights and fog lights with available LED technology, a new front fascia, an updated skid plate, new wheels, new exhaust tips, new taillight trim, and a new Steel Grey color option. This doesn’t make the Kia Sportage look like a different vehicle, as it retains the same quirky looks as before, but it does modernize it a touch.

The 2020 Kia Sportage is significantly larger than the Nissan Rogue Sport in every key measurable, but it sits nearly an inch lower to the ground. That lower ride height helps with its agility, but it also negatively impacts its off-road capabilities.

 

Measurement 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport 2020 Kia Sportage Difference
Length 172.4 inches 176.4 inches -4 inches
Width 72.3 inches 73 inches -0.7 inches
Height 62.5 to 63.4 inches 64.4 to 64.8 inches -1.9 to -1.4 inches
Wheelbase 104.2 inches 105.1 inches -0.9 inches
Ground Clearance 7.4 inches 6.4 inches +1 inch
Curb weight 3,261 to 3,446 pounds 3,305 to 3,997 pounds -44 to -548 pounds

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport

  • Smaller and easier to manage
  • Traditional good looks
  • Lighter and nimbler

Advantage: 2020 Kia Sportage

  • More eye-grabbing appearance
  • Fresh restyling

Interior

Like the exterior, the 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport’s cabin is very traditional, though it does have a sporty flat-bottom steering wheel to dress things up a bit. On top of its traditional styling, the rogue also has plenty of high-end standard and optional equipment. On the standard side, the Rogue Sport offers a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM, and more. If that’s not enough, you can also opt for leather seating, an upgraded audio system, an 8-inch touchscreen, and even ProPILOT semi-autonomous driving.

The 2020 Kia Sportage’s interior also received a light freshening up, bringing in a standard 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a redesigned steering wheel, new HVAC vent bezels, and newly available wireless charging pad and Sofino leatherette upholstery. In terms of styling, the Sportage’s cabin is nowhere near as wild as its body. In fact, it is surprisingly reserved with lots of black and matte silver keeping things toned down.

On its standard equipment list, the Sportage gets a few extra goodies relative to the Rogue Sport, including its 8-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio, and more. It also has a full allotment of standard safety nannies like automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and more. On its options list, the Harman/Kardon audio system and panoramic sunroof stand out.

 

In sizing, the Nissan Rogue Sport has more legroom and headroom up front, but the 2020 Kia Sportage’s larger body takes over in the rear as it has a significant advantage in legroom and a slight headroom advantage.

 

Measurement 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport 2020 Kia Sportage Difference
Front headroom 39.6 inches 39.3 inches +0.3 inches
Front legroom 42.8 inches 41.5 inches +1.3 inches
Front shoulder room 56.6 inches 57.1 inches -0.5 inches
Front hip room 53.4 inches 54.3 inches -0.9 inches
Rear headroom 38.3 inches 39.1 inches -0.8 inches
Rear legroom 33.4 inches 38.2 inches -4.8 inches
Rear shoulder room 55.7 inches 55.1 inches +0.6 inches
Rear hip room 46.9 inches 51.2 inches -4.3 inches
Cargo capacity (behind second row) 19.9 to 22.9 cubic feet 30.7 cubic feet -7.8 to -10.8 cubic feet
Cargo capacity (second row folded) 53.3 to 61.1 cubic feet 51.2 cubic feet +2.1 to +9.9 cubic feet

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport

  • More stylish interior
  • Roomier front seats
  • Tons more max cargo space

Advantage: 2020 Kia Sportage

  • Tons more room in the rear seats
  • Big cargo advantage with the seats upright

Performance

Compact crossovers are far from performance vehicles, and the 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport fits that description perfectly. Its 2.0-four-cylinder engine delivers 141 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque, which gets this small crossover to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds.

The Sportage is a little different, though. Its base engine is no fire breather with 181 horsepower, but its optional 2.0-liter turbo engine delivers a potent 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque that gets it to 60 mph in a surprisingly quick 6.9 seconds. The 2020 Sportage also wins the towing battle with a 2,000-pound capacity, whereas the Rogue Sport is not rated for towing.

There is a fuel economy trade off for the more powerful Sportage, as the Rogue Sport beats it by up to 8 mpg.

 

2019 Nissan Rogue Sport 2020 Kia Sportage Difference
Engine 2.0-liter 4-cylinder 2.4-liter 4-cyl
Horsepower 141 hp at 6,000 rpm 181 hp at 6,000 rpm -40 hp
Torque 147 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm 175 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm -28 lb-ft
Transmission CVT 6-speed automatic
Driveline FWD (std.)/AWD (opt.) FWD (std.)/AWD (opt.)
0-60 ti me 10 seconds 8.6 seconds +1.4 seconds
Towing Not recommended 2,000 pounds -2,000 pounds
MPG City 24 to 25 mpg* 22 to 23 mpg +2 mpg
MPG Highway 30 to 32 mpg* 26 to 30 mpg +0 to +4 mpg
MPG Combined 27 to 28  mpg* 23 to 26 mpg +1 to +5 mpg
Optional engine
2.0-liter turbo 4-cyl
Horsepower
240 hp at 6,000 rpm -99 hp
Torque
260 lb-ft at 1,450 to 3,500 rpm -113 lb-ft
Transmission
6-speed automatic
Driveline
FWD (std.)/AWD (opt.)
0-60 time
6.9 seconds +3.1 seconds
Towing
2,000 pounds -2,000 pounds
MPG City
19 to 20 mpg +4 to +6 mpg
MPG Highway
24 to 28 mpg +2 to +8 mpg
MPG Combined
21 to 23 mpg +4 to +7 mpg

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport

  • Big fuel economy advantage

Advantage: 2020 Kia Sportage

  • Potent turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Big 0-to-60 advantage

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport has just three trim levels — S, SV, and SL — and their starting prices range from $22,240 to $27,960.

 

The 2020 Kia Sportage lineup has four trim levels: LX, S, EX, and SX Turbo. Since the 2020 Sportage is not in stores yet, its the starting MSRP for these trims is not yet available. For reference, the 2019 Sportage’s prices range from $23,750 to $33,100.

2019 Nissan Rogue Sport Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $22,240**

  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • CVT
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Hill-start assist
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • Active Ride Control
  • Electric power steering with “Sport” mode
  • 16-inch steel wheels
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Power mirrors
  • Courtesy approach lighting
  • Rear spoiler
  • Black wheel-arch molding and rocker panels
  • Advanced driver-information center
  • NissanConnect infotainment system
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Hands-free text messaging
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Air conditioning
  • Power windows with driver’s one-touch up/down
  • Power door locks
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Cruise control
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • 12-volt power outlet
  • Overhead sunglasses storage
  • Rear seat center armrest
  • Six cargo-tie-down hooks
  • Divide-N-Hide cargo system
  • Cargo cover
  • Six-way manual driver’s seat
  • Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Cloth seats
  • Four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio system
  • Auxiliary input
  • USB connection port
  • Bluetooth streaming audio
  • SiriusXM
  • Speed-sensitive volume
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Rearview camera
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

 

SV: $24,040**

  • All S features, plus
  • 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Auto-on/off headlights
  • Mirror-integrated LED turn signals
  • Roof rails
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Nissan Intelligent Key with keyless ignition
  • Dual illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Premium cloth seating
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Reverse automatic emergency braking

 

SL: $27,960**

  • All SV features, plus
  • 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Fog lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Navigation
  • NissanConnect Services
  • Voice recognition
  • SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link
  • Remote ignition
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Leather seating
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped gear shifter
  • Nine-speaker Bose audio system with dual woofers
  • 360-degree camera
  • ProPilot Assist single-lane semi-autonomous driving
  • Adaptive cruise control

2020 Kia Sportage Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LX: $TBD

  • 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • Normal, Sport, and Eco drive modes
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED high-mount stop light
  • Rear bumper trim with chrome finish
  • Tinted glass
  • Privacy-tinted rear glass
  • Acoustic windshield
  • Body-color mirror with black accents
  • Power mirrors
  • Body-color door handles
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Rear window wiper
  • Matte-black grille
  • Chrome window surround trim
  • Rear spoiler
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • 3.5-inch driver-information display
  • Overhead console with sunglasses holder
  • Three 12-volt power outlets
  • Dual-level cargo floor
  • Woven cloth seat trim
  • Six-way adjustable driver’s seat
  • Four-way adjustable passenger’s seat
  • Cloth seating
  • Urethane steering wheel
  • Soft PVC gear shift knob
  • Air conditioning with rear vents
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Six-speaker, 160-watt AM/FM/MP3 audio system
  • USB ports
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Power door locks
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Power windows with driver’s side one-touch-down operation
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Hill-start assist
  • Downhill brake control
  • Driver-attention warning
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Rearview camera
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Lane-keep assist

 

S: $TBD

  • All LX features, plus
  • Paddle shifters
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Fog lights
  • Gloss-black exterior trim and dark-chrome fog light surround
  • Dark-chrome rear bumper accent
  • Power-folding heated mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Roof rails
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Stainless-steel pedals’
  • Black headliner
  • Sofino premium leatherette seating
  • Flat-bottom steering wheel
  • Authentic dashboard stitching
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

 

EX: $TBD

  • All S features, plus
  • Gloss-black exterior trim and chrome fog light surround
  • Rear bumper trim with chrome surround
  • Solar glass
  • Half-chrome outside door handles
  • Windshield wiper de-icer
  • Gloss-black grille with chrome trim
  • Rubber pedals
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shifter knob
  • Standard steering wheel
  • Gloss-black center fascia
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Rear USB port
  • Smart key with push-button start
  • Smart power liftgate

 

SX Turbo: $TBD

  • All EX features, plus
  • 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Larger disc brakes
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Paddle shifters
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights
  • LED fog lights
  • Gloss black trim and dark chrome fog light surround
  • LED taillights
  • Rear bumper trim with dark chrome finish
  • Chrome-finish dual exhaust
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • 4.2-inch color driver-information display
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirrors
  • LED interior lighting
  • Chrome inside door handles
  • Stainless-steel sport pedals
  • Stainless-steel transverse trim
  • Stainless-steel door-scuff panels
  • Leather seating
  • Eight-way passenger’s seat
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Authentic dash stitching
  • Navigation
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Eight-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system with subwoofer
  • Electric parking brake with brake hold
  • Front and rear parking sensors

Who Should Buy the 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport?

Need to maximize fuel economy without sacrificing a ton of cargo and passenger room? The 219 Nissan Rogue Sport is the best option with its up to 32 mpg highway* and larger cargo area with the seats folded.

Who Should Buy the 2020 Kia Sportage?

Looking for an outside-the-box-looking crossover with some performance cred? The 2020 Kia Sportage offers that and more. Plus, if you plan to tow a small trailer, its 2,000-pound towing capacity can handle it.

 

Ready to tackle you commute to St. Petersburg or Sarasota in the thrifty and roomy 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport? Head down to Nissan of Bradenton today to test drive the 2019 Rogue Sport through the streets of Bradenton to see what it can do for your family. Can’t make it to our Tampa Bay area showroom today? Swing by our online inventory page to see our selection of in-stock 2019 Rogue Sport models, choose the one that suits you best, and schedule a test drive at your convenience.