2021 Toyota RAV4 Vs. Kia Sportage

2021 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2021 Kia Sportage at Stampede Toyota in Calgary, Alberta

From picking up the kids during the week to planning your next adventure, few vehicles offer the same type of versatility as SUVs. Add in the added safety and visibility that comes from their size, and it’s no wonder the SUV rules the modern market. We may be biased but Toyota has one of the best SUV lineups in the world, all led by the flagship Toyota RAV4. Of course, there are plenty of competitors out there, so let’s see how the RAV4 stacks up against one of them—the Kia Sportage. Read on with Calgary Stampede to see how these two compare in terms of design, performance, and safety!

Design & Features

Toyota RAV4 Design

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 offers a rugged and bold exterior design, thanks to smooth, sculpted lines and a truck-like front fascia with integrated grille. The available fog lights and ground clearance add to the imposing and outdoorsy look of the 2021 RAV4, while special editions like the RAV4 TRD Off-Road edition add even more in terms of standout exterior styling.

Inside, the 2021 RAV4 offers up a spacious backseat to go along with the available heated front and rear seats, while an upgrade to the SofTex interior provides exceptional comfort and luxury. Models like the XLE Premium and Limited also offer a one-touch power moonroof, to go along with the upgraded 8-inch colour touchscreen found in the dash. A high ride height provides a great look at the road all around you, while the generous wheelbase ensures a smooth ride.

Kia Sportage Design

The 2021 Kia Sportage offers somewhat bland, predictable styling when it comes to the compact SUV segment. A short and somewhat blunt front end matches the back, while integrated headlights and grille leave the Sportage feeling anything but sporty. All in all, the Kia Sportage doesn’t offer the same sort of rugged exterior styling that sets the RAV4 apart from the competition.

Inside, the Sportage offers a little less in the way of interior space—and a lot less in the way of luxury. While heated front seats come standard, it’s only the top two trims that receive any sort of real soft touch materials or luxurious upgrades. So while the 2021 RAV4 and Sportage both offer similar upgrades, you’ll need to shell out for more quality upgrades in the latter of the two.

Specifications:2021 Toyota RAV4 LE AWD2021 Kia Sportage LX
Length (mm/in) 4,596 / 180.9 4,485 / 176.5
Width (mm/in) 1,854 / 73.0 1,855 / 73.0
Height (mm/in) 1,702 / 67.0 1,635 / 64.4
Wheelbase (mm/in) 2,690 / 105.9 2,670 / 105.1


The 2021 Toyota RAV4 really pulls away from the 2021 Kia Sportage when it comes to performance, with both models offering similar sized engines with major differences in both power and efficiency. The 2021 Sportage has a 2.4-litre 4-cylinder engine good for 181 horsepower, while the RAV4’s 2.5-litre 4-cylinder offers up 203 horses. Both are matched to automatic transmissions, however the RAV4’s 8-speed automatic adds two gears to better utilize the engine power compared to the 6-speed automatic found in the Sportage—not to mention Toyota’s Direct Shift technology, which provides a more immersive driving experience by allowing you to take over the shifting process. Both makes offer these flagship SUVs with a base FWD model along with AWD versions, and while the AWD Kia models come with their Dynamax™ all-wheel drive system, you’d be hard-pressed to beat the ability to switch drive modes on-the-fly found in the AWD-equipped versions of the 2021 RAV4.

Specifications: 2021 Toyota RAV4 2021 Kia Sportage
Engine 2.5L, 4-cylinder DOHC 2.4L, GDI 4-cylinder
Horsepower 203 181
TransmissionDirect Shift 8-speed automatic6-speed automatic


While most manufacturers have been able to produce similar advanced safety features, the difference tends to be in what’s included vs what’s optional. The 2021 Kia Sportage offers Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Blind Spot Detection, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert as standard equipment, however you’ll have to pony up for any further safety features. Whereas the 2021 RAV4—equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 standard on every trim—provides features like Pre-Collision Safety System with Daytime Cyclist Detection and Enhanced Low Light Pedestrian Detection, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams, Full Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Intelligent Clearance Sonar. So while it’s pretty much impossible to put a price on your safety, with the 2021 Toyota RAV4 you don’t need to.

Toyota RAV4 vs. Kia Sportage Verdict

The 2021 Kia Sportage does an admirable job trying to keep up with the 2021 Toyota RAV4 but at the end of the day the RAV4 has this one in the bag. From more standard, advanced driver assistance features, to a more powerful and efficient engine, the RAV4 is an easy choice. Making that choice even easier, the 2021 Sportage offers bland exterior styling, whereas the 2021 RAV4 offers a much more rugged and sporty look.

To learn more about the 2021 Toyota RAV4, or to browse any of the new and pre-owned vehicles in our inventory, simply fill out the form. For any other vehicle needs, from financing to service, parts, accessories, and more, let Calgary’s Stampede Toyota be your first destination!


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