When Kia introduced the updated 2014 Sportage back in September, one of the biggest things that stood out to us was that the base model was dropped. Not only did this mean the Sportage would no longer be offered with a manual gearbox, but we also expected a price increase to follow. We were right.
The entry-level trim for the 2014 Sportage is now the LX, which starts at $21,600 (not including $850 for destination). This is only a $400 increase over the 2013 Sportage LX, but it represents a $2,600 jump (13.6 percent) in the Sportage's starting price point. At this new price, the Sportage is now priced higher than the Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and lower than many other compact crossovers like the Ford Escape, Chevy Equinox, Nissan Rogue, Jeep Cherokee and Toyota RAV4. Pricing for the 2014 Sportage EX has increased by $800, starting at $25,000, while the sportier, turbocharged Sportage SX holds steady at $26,900.
In addition to other minor changes like slightly refreshed exterior styling, a sportier suspension setup for the LX trim level and more available cabin tech, the other key update made to the 2014 Sportage is the addition of direct injection to the base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. This brings a slight bump in power output (from 176 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque in 2013 to 182 hp and 178 lb-ft for 2014), but, for some reason unknown to us, it dings fuel economy. With ratings of 21 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, the front-wheel-drive Sportage loses 2 mpg for the highway rating compared to 2013, while the all-wheel-drive model's 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway is a drop of 1 mpg for both figures.