2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 Kia Sportage | Vehicle Comparison

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 Kia Sportage

Subaru and the Pacific Northwest go hand in hand. You can’t drive anywhere without seeing a Subaru on the road. Another brand quickly becoming a PNW staple is Kia and the Kia Sportage is stepping up to challenge the Subaru Forester’s long-held reign as the go-to SUV for the cascades. So, which one is better? Read below for our pick.


2020 Subaru Forester


The 2020 Subaru Forester is well equipped to suit the Pacific Northwesterner in you. Offering enough room for long weekend camping trips, great fuel efficiency for the daily drive, the latest tech for connectivity and entertainment, and a wide range of safety innovations, the Forester is one of the highest-ranked SUVs for a reason. Plus, based on IHS data, 97% of Subaru Forester vehicles are still on the road!

2020 Subaru Forester

Starting off with size, the Forester boasts up to 76.1 cubic feet of cargo space and is designed to leave your options open with its extra-wide rear gate opening and quick-adjusting 60/40-split flat-folding rear seatback. Still not enough room? Subaru has you covered with raised roof rails so you can easily secure any extra cargo to the top. All that cargo room is all for naught if you can’t get anywhere. The Forester has 8.7 inches ground clearance and the standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, you’ll be able to take on any terrain or road you set your sights on. Factor in that with the Forester’s fuel efficiency of 33 highway MPG, 182 horsepower direct-injection SUBARU BOXER engine, and auto start-stop technology, and there isn’t a doubt, this is the SUV built for adventure.


subaru forester interior

Performance doesn’t stop on the outside. Take advantage of the tech even before you get behind the wheel, with Subaru’s newly available Engine Start with Climate Control you can start your Forester and set the temperature right from your smartphone. Once you are in the driver’s seat the side mirrors and climate settings automatically adjust to your pre-set preferences, no need to worry about making adjustments there. That lets you focus on the tunes. Connect your phone with SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and get your favorite playlist playing over the Harman Kardon premium audio system. All that and more accessible through a high definition 8-inch touchscreen on your dash.

subaru forester appsubaru forester media center

Subaru stepped up its game with the Subaru Forester and the higher the trim level the more spoiled you start to feel.


2020 Kia Sportage


The 2020 Kia Sportage arrives in 2020 with an updated exterior and an update to its suite of standard technology and driver-assistance features. What might have cost you more money before, is now standard in the new 2020 Sportage.

kia sportage

If you are looking for something that will stand out when you drive then the Sportage is definitely something to think about. Dynamic styling, updated front grille, and exhaust tips, plus a variety of wheel options, you’ll be looking fashionable without trying. Style is important but you can’t forget about power, the Sportage comes with an available 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI engine, putting out 240 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft of torque. Pair that with an available AWD system and you are going to be good to go just about anywhere.


On the interior, the Sportage has been designed with the driver in mind. The dash, console, displays, and buttons are angled towards the driver to optimize your experience and safety. And take your drive to the next level with state-of-the-art available technologies like wireless charging, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and more.

kia sportage interior dashkia sportage trunk space

Much like the Subaru Forester, the Sportage gives you the ability to connect to your car while you’re away with the Kia Access app. Warm-up or cool down your Sportage before you hit the road, unlock or lock the doors remotely, easily find your car, all from your compatible smartphone.


The Kia Sportage is definitely on the right track but see below for a side-by-side comparison of the two to really get a feel for which SUV is right for you.


Side-By-Side Comparison


2020  Subaru Forester Premium AWD


2020 Kia Sportage S AWD


$27,395 MSRP $27,840


182-hp, 2.5-liter H-4 (regular gas) Engine 181-hp, 2.4-liter I-4 (regular gas)
7-speed CVT w/OD Transmission 6-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
182 @ 5,800 rpm Engine Horspower (@ RPM) 181 @ 6,000 rpm
176 @ 4,400 rpm Engine Torque (lb-ft @ rpm) 175 @ 4,000 rpm
26 City / 33 Highway / 29 Combined EPA MPG Rating 22 City / 26 Highway / 23 Combined
AWD Drivetrain AWD
16.6 gal Fuel Tank Capacity 16.4 gal


Standard Remote Keyless Entry Standard
Standard Power Door Locks Standard
Standard Power Windows Standard
Automatic Air Conditioning Manual
5 Seats 5
Standard Cruise Control Standard
3 12-Volt DC Power Outlet 3
Available Programmable Garage-Door Opener Available


AM/FM/HD/Satellite, seek-scan Radio AM/FM stereo, seek-scan
Standard Touchscreen Standard
Not Available Navigation Not Available
Standard Apple CarPlay / Android Auto Integration Available
Standard Bluetooth Standard
6 Speaker System Audio Speakers 6 Speaker System
Available Back-Up Camera Available
Standard USB Ports Standard
Driver and front passenger Heated/Ventilated Seats Driver and front passenger

Safety & Driver Assist

Driver and front passenger Front Airbags

Driver and front passenger

Seat-mounted, driver and passenger Side Airbags Seat-mounted, driver and passenger
Curtain 1st and 2nd row Side-Curtain Airbags

Curtain 1st and 2nd row

Standard Occupant Sensor Standard
Standard Lane-Departure Warning Standard
Standard In-Vehicle Assistance Service Available
Standard Traction Control Standard


What’s The Verdict?


So which SUV is better? If you are an outdoor lover then the 2020 Subaru Forester is the SUV for you. On the base level, you instantly have AWD, many more standard features, and the vehicle itself is pretty much built for adventure. The Kia Sportage has more available power but that is only at the higher trim levels and a lot of what is standard on the Forester has to be bought on the Kia. At the end of the day, our pick is the 2020 Subaru Forester (big surprise, we know) because you get more for your money and you get the adventure rig right out of the gate.



subaru forester

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