2020 Kia Sportage S (car review)

SMALL SUVs are hard to make look good, but Kia have achieved that with the 2020 Kia Sportage S. The exterior design makes it look like it’s ready for adventure and not afraid to get amongst it.

The attention grabbing shape is complemented by 17-inch alloy wheels that have a unique design to make the car just that little bit more eye catching. The colour range is fairly basic though, with Fiery Red and Mercury Blue the stand outs.

Other choices include Clear White, Steel Grey, Sparkling Silver, Cherry Black and Snow White Pearl. It’s looks are paired with a 2.0-litre petrol engine generating 114kW of power and 192Nm of torque.

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We did notice the Sportage revs rather high, with slow gear changes and a fairly loud driving experience. It feels a little under powered too, but you’re not really out to break any race records when you by a small SUV anyway.

Inside, there’s more fun to be had too. The 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system features a range of customisation options, and easily connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also available.

There’s also dual zone air conditioning, a USB port to charge your phone, parking sensors and an extremely clear rear-view camera with dynamic parking lines. As a base model though, there isn’t any real feeling of luxury. It feels basic and a little disjointed.

The black cloth seats don’t help the cause, but they are reasonably comfortable, and the driver’s seat features 6-way electrical adjustment. That aside, the Sportage S features one of the better lane keep assist systems.

You do have to turn it on though, which we thought was actually a nice touch. Too often it’s on by default and can feel a little controlling. The steering wheel feels sturdy, and provides practical functionality with a host of controls at hand.

Priced at $30,190 drive away, the 2020 Kia Sportage S comes with a flip out manual key (old school, we know), which you’ll need to start the car (no push buttons here). We do feel key-less start should be a standard thing now though, no matter the price point.

The big down fall of not having key-less entry means you can lock your keys in the car. Not that we’d be speaking from personal experience (or are we?). The Sportage also has cruise control, which is great, but it’s not adaptive in the S model.

This means it won’t slow down if someone in front of you is slowing down. It won’t slow itself on a downhill run either, which means you’ll find yourself applying the brake to avoid a potential penalty, meaning you’ll also have to switch cruise control back on.

It does have a decent boot though, with 466-litres of space with the seats up in the five-seater, while lowering the second row gives you 1,455-litres. It makes up for the minimal storage space in the cabin, as the glove box and centre console are pretty small.

On the whole though, the Kia Sportage S is a fairly good family car. It’s comfortable enough that you’ll enjoy driving it, and you’ll be happy to see it in your driveway every time you walk outside.

Impressively, it has a 1,900kg braked towing capacity, with a 100kg tow-ball weight. The 2020 Kia Sportage S comes with a 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty, capped price servicing, and roadside assist for the first 12 months.

Our test vehicle was provided by Kia Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Kia Sportage S, contact your local Kia dealer.


Driving experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness
Value for money


Pro – sleek exterior; good price point; family friendly.
Cons – lacks power; basic interior; no key-less entry.
Courtney Lorking
Courtney Lorking
Courtney has a passion for cars, having began her working life as a mechanic and then moved on to other roles within the automotive industry. She's the author of the book Love Yourself First, Mumma and a proud single mum.


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<strong>Pro –</strong> sleek exterior; good price point; family friendly.<br> <strong>Cons –</strong> lacks power; basic interior; no key-less entry.2020 Kia Sportage S (car review)