The crossover segment is THE fastest growing category in today’s automotive marketplace. Vehicle manufacturers are scrambling to create a valid contender, and while some are succeeding brilliantly in their efforts – others are falling flat. The qualities that consumers look for when purchasing a new crossover seem to be constantly changing. While one year the focus may be on efficiency, the next year consumers demand the most recently released technology. With this constant evolutionary trend, auto brands are finding it imperative to stay relevant, or else risk becoming obsolete.
In the past five years alone, Kia is a brand that has redefined itself completely. Once known for its cheap price tags and less than stellar quality – the Korean automaker has made great strides, and some much-needed adjustments to their entire lineup. The 2016 Kia Sportage was one of the models to benefit from the brand’s transformation, and it’s impact on the crossover segment has been intense.
Offering Affordability and Function
The Kia Sportage has been present on American roadways since 1993, a surprising fact to a lot of people. Flying largely under the radar, the Sportage is one of the longest running models in Kia’s lineup.
The new Kia Sportage offers much more than a basic mode of transportation. With a starting MSRP of $22,150, the 2016 Sportage is the perfect mix of affordability, practicality, and cool. While Kia has figured out a way to keep the cost of their new vehicles low, they have not in any way sacrificed the quality of their lineup. The Sportage comes generously equipped for its sticker price, including standard Bluetooth connectivity on all three of its trim levels. While other manufacturers are focused on getting as much money as possible for themselves – Kia is focused on getting as much money as possible back to its customers.
The newest Sportage model did not receive a redesign for 2016, but all three trim levels added more standard equipment and amenities. This alone solidifies Kia’s mission to give back to their drivers, and provide a quality, well-made vehicle in the process.
Providing a New Baseline for its Segment
The compact crossover segment is growing rapidly. New models are added, and old ones are taken away each and every year. The Sportage has been around since before there even was a compact crossover segment, and has over two decades of sales under its belt. When a model is around for that long, it is obvious that the manufacturer is doing something right. The Sportage is a vehicle that transcends generations, and appeals to a wide variety of consumers. From the single individual who commutes to and from the office each day, to the small family who uses the crossover on weekend car trips, to the adventurous young couple who craves spontaneity. The Kia Sportage speaks to everyone who gets behind the wheel of one in a different way.
When considering the purchase of a compact crossover, the Sportage should not be overlooked. A vehicle that has been around since before it’s true identity was ever defined, the Sportage is standing out in ways it never has for 2016. Others in the segment can’t keep up, and their fruitless efforts are beginning to surface.
7 Ways the Sportage Outshines the Escape
Ford’s crossover has done fairly well for itself since it was first introduced 15 years ago. With age comes wisdom, however, and the Sportage has seven years of added “wisdom” over the Escape. Don’t get us wrong, the Escape does a lot of things right – it just so happens that the Kia Sportage does a lot of things better. In some of the categories these two vehicles are neck and neck, but it’s that added time on the market that has allowed Kia to get the Sportage as close to perfect as possible.
Let’s dive right into the nitty gritty, and take a look at how the 2016 Sportage and the 2016 Ford Escape compare. After spending hours with the data, we have zeroed in on seven key areas in which the Sportage outshines the Escape. Discover each of these key areas below:
- Price: At the most basic level, the Sportage already has the advantage. The 2016 Ford Escape starts out at a base MSRP of $23,590. The comparably equipped Sportage gets a price tag of $22,150, a difference of over $1,000. This number may not seem all that significant, but when adding up the gas you can buy with all of those Benjamins, it doesn’t seem so minuscule after all.
- Safety: Today, vehicles are held to the highest standards when it comes to safety. Consumers value safety above almost all other vehicle aspects, which is why this point is so high on our list. The 2016 Sportage received the highest possible rating of five stars from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, while the Escape earned only four. On top of its higher score, the Sportage also offers standard front active headrests on all of its models, while the Escape does not even list this important safety feature as an option.
- Warranty: What is the point of buying a new car, if your purchase isn’t even sufficiently protected? Kia offers it’s basic 60 month / 60,000 mile warranty on the new Sportage, along with a powertrain warranty of 120 months, or 100,000 miles. The Blue Oval brand must not have good faith in its Escape, as the only basic protection it offers expires after 36 months or 36,000 miles. The powertrain warranty is as equally as disappointing on the Ford, ending after 60 months, or 60,000 miles.
- Wheels: What is a car without its wheels? We aren’t really sure where we were headed with this one, but it is safe to say it wouldn’t actually be a car without wheels. Both of these crossovers come with wheels (Phew!), but the Sportage offers standard alloy wheels, while the Escape will charge you extra for the upgrade.
- Technology: An important aspect to consider for many new car buyers, in-vehicle technology is all the rage. The 2016 LX Sportage comes standard with Satellite Radio and an auxiliary jack, while the Escape does not offer either on its base model. In the premium Sportage model, a navigation system comes standard, while the Escape only offers this as a costly upgrade.
- Performance: Compact crossovers aren’t designed for their intense performance specs. Regardless, having a responsive engine under the hood can be beneficial in many situations. The Escape’s standard 1.6-liter I4 engine offers up 173 horsepower, while the Sportage comes equipped with a standard 2.4-liter I4 engine with 182 horsepower. Ford’s crossover does not offer up a more powerful standard engine on the high-end trim level, while the Sportage’s premium SX model comes equipped with a 2.0-liter I4 engine that manages a powerful 260 horsepower, and 269 lb.-ft. of torque.
- Interior Space: Simply because a vehicle is classified as compact, doesn’t mean that space isn’t important. The Kia Sportage outdoes the Escape in this category, offering up more interior passenger volume. With 100 cubic feet of passenger space, the Sportage outshines the Escape’s 98 cubic-feet of passenger volume. The Sportage comes out ahead in both shoulder room and leg room, offering up more comfort for all of its passengers than the Escape.
The new Sportage is certainly not a crossover to ignore. Ford may have been able to skate by in the past, but the Escape can no longer ignore the fact that the Sportage is a true competitor in the compact crossover segment.