By Rick Popely on August 27, 2014
Most significant changes: Navigation, power folding mirrors and push-button start standard on turbocharged SX models
Price change: Base prices are up $150 on LX and EX models, up $1,200 on SX
On sale: Since mid-August
Which you should buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014
The five-passenger Sportage compact SUV received styling changes and a more powerful base engine for 2014, so the changes for 2015 are minimal. The next round of major changes will probably come for the 2017 model year, when it is due for a redesign.
Sportage comes in three models but two basic flavors: The LX and EX use a 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, while the SX comes with a 260-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. All come with a standard six-speed automatic transmission and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
Base prices are up $150 on the LX and EX models and $1,200 on the SX with the addition of standard navigation and push-button start. Starting prices with front-wheel drive are now $22,645 for the LX, $26,045 for the EX and $28,995 for the SX (all prices include an $895 destination fee). Add $1,500 for all-wheel drive.
A front-drive LX can be driven out the door for less than $25,000 even with the two available factory options, the Popular Package and UVO eServices Package, which includes the UVO infotainment system and a rear camera. UVO is standard on the other trim levels and one of the easier systems of its type to use. The bottom line gets close to $30,000 on an EX with the Premium Package and zooms past that mark on an SX with the Luxury Package.
As a compact crossover, Sportage has plenty of competition from the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Jeep Cherokee and others. The only changes of note are more standard features on the SX model and higher prices across the board. The main reason to buy a 2015 is to get the higher resale value that comes with the new model year, but if dealers are offering larger discounts on remaining 2014s, one of those could be a smarter choice.
Of the nearly 6,000 new Sportage's in Cars.com's inventory, 3,900 are 2014 models.
Contributor Rick Popely has covered the auto industry for decades and hosts a weekly online radio show on TalkZone.com . Email Rick