We don’t want to start by playing spoiler when it comes to our ranking of the Best Compact SUVs, but let’s say the 2024 Kia Sportage and 2024 Honda CR-V both score at the top of the charts. 

What makes them stand out in such a competitive field? Each provides loads of passenger space and cargo volume, a wide range of standard and available safety features, and well-engineered driving manners. 

The Sportage was redone for the 2023 model year and immediately stood out with its bold exterior design, notably its aggressive grille and boomerang-shaped headlights. The Honda CR-V was similarly redesigned in 2023 and arrived with an equally attractive shape that, like its Kia rival, houses a classy cabin with intuitive tech. 

Let’s explore the highlights of the Kia Sportage and Honda CR-V to see how they compare.

2024 Kia Sportage

Starting at $28,565 – including factory-to-dealer destination fees – the Sportage has a lower base price than many competing models, including the CR-V. The standard powertrain consists of a 187-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

All-wheel drive (AWD) is optional on most trims, though it comes standard on the all-terrain-themed X-Line and X-Pro models. Since it was rebooted only last year, changes for the 2024 model year are limited to LED headlights and second-row seat-mounted airbags being newly standard features. The Sportage is also available as a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid.

Kia Sportage Highlights 

Class-leading cargo space: Funnily enough, this is usually the bragging domain of the roomy Honda CR-V. Granted, the difference between these SUVs amounts to less than one cubic foot of cargo space behind the rear seats. But give credit where credit is due: The Sportage has class-leading cargo volume with the rear seats up, and a power liftgate is available to make loading up this Kia even easier.  

Rugged X-Line and X-Pro models: Kia opted to give its latest iteration of the Sportage more go-anywhere swagger when it came to the X-Line and X-Pro trims. Each comes with AWD, a higher riding suspension, all-terrain tires, and sportier-looking front and rear bumpers. 

Outstanding warranty coverage: Let’s not forget that the Sportage comes with a bumper-to-bumper warranty of 5 years/60,000 miles, along with a powertrain warranty extending to 10 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first. This class-leading warranty beats the coverage of the CR-V.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Sportage models for sale near you. 

2024 Honda CR-V 

2024 Honda CR-V Hybrid parked near USMC building.

The CR-V starts at $30,850 (including the destination charge) and comes equipped with a 190-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive is standard, though AWD is optional on all three of the CR-V’s available trims. Because it’s similarly fresh from its own redesign, no notable changes exist between the 2023 and 2024 CR-V. The CR-V is also available a a hybrid.

Honda CR-V Highlights 

Safety features: Honda equips every CR-V with the Honda Sensing bundle of active driver aids. This includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, a rear-seat reminder, and automatic high-beam headlights. 

Drivetrain refinement: The Honda CR-V feels exceptionally polished and poised in its operation. Compared to previous iterations, this latest CR-V has more responsive handling, a supple suspension, and more than enough acceleration for day-to-day driving needs. 

Value-packed EX-L model: It’s not often that a high trim represents great value. Yet a strong case can be made for choosing the CR-V EX-L model. Starting at approximately $36,000, it comes packed with sought-after items like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, leather upholstery, wireless device charging, satellite radio, and reverse automatic emergency braking. 

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the CR-V models for sale near you. 


The Sportage and CR-V couldn’t get much closer in terms of their impressive driving dynamics, strong fuel economy, and upscale interiors. Even zeroing in on factors like total horsepower output and cargo volume keeps these two in a virtual dead heat. But one does score ever-so-slightly above the other in our Best Compact SUV ranking. 


The Kia Sportage and Honda CR-V are excellent picks, plain and simple. Whether you value cargo space, fuel economy, good outward visibility, or a supple highway ride, these two deliver just about everything a car buyer wants in a 2-row compact SUV with space for five adults. 

Of the two, the CR-V proudly sits at the number one position in our ranking of 19 compact SUVs. Any guesses about which make and model takes second place? That would be the Kia Sportage, of course. The Sportage has the advantages of a longer warranty and lower starting price, but few vehicles on the market do everything as remarkably well as the CR-V.

  2024 Kia Sportage  2024 Honda CR-V
Starting Price  $28,565 $30,850
Popular Powertrains      
Engine  2.5-liter 4-cylinder Turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower  187 hp @ 6,100 rpm 190 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque  178 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 179 lb-ft @ 1,700 rpm
Transmission  8-speed automatic  CVT 
Fuel economy MPG 25 city/32 highway/28 combined 28 city/34 highway/30 combined 
Also Available  AWD; hybrid; plug-in hybrid AWD; hybrid
Basic Warranty  5 years/60,000 miles  3 years/36,000 miles 
Powertrain Warranty  10 years/100,000 miles  5 years/60,000 miles 
NHTSA Overall Safety  5 stars  5 stars
Max Seating Capacity  5
Wheelbase  108.5 inches  106.3 inches 
Overall Length  183.5 inches  184.8 inches 
Width  73.4 inches  73.5inches 
Height  65.4 inches  66.5 inches 
Turning Diameter  38.6 feet  37.3 feet 
Headroom, Front  39.6 inches 38.2 inches 
Headroom, 2nd Row  39.4 inches  38.2 inches 
Legroom, Front  41.4 inches  41.3 inches 
Legroom, 2nd Row  41.3 inches  41.0 inches
Shoulder Room, Front  57.5 inches  57.9 inches 
Shoulder Room, 2nd Row  55.6 inches 55.9 inches
Cargo Volume seats up/down 39.6/74.1 cubic feet   39.3/76.5 cubic feet 

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