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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

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A red 2021 Kia Sportage is parked on the asphalt with grass and sky in the background.

Is the 2021 Kia Sportage Nightfall Edition Worth it?

The 2021 Kia Sportage is the highly acclaimed, compact crossover SUV that runs in tandem with the Kia Seltos. What the Seltos has over the Sportage in cargo capacity, the latter dominates with engine performance. The Kia Sportage is back for 2021 with a sleeker look, available all-wheel drive, and two new special edition packages to really make you the envy of the neighborhood. The Nightfall Edition and Nightfall Edition Premium Packages are available for buyers to add as an upgrade to the S trim.

A growing trend among manufacturers is the special black edition trim for SUVs and trucks that you add as a package rather than being sold as its own trim. Typically an aesthetic package is tacked onto a higher level trim, but Kia is giving us the Nightfall Editions on the second trim level. These dark editions aim at buyers with a little extra spending money who want a more magisterial or menacing appearance to their vehicle. Occasionally coming with advanced tech features, unique badging, and upgraded options, the dark editions of these vehicles often provide a luxurious feeling trim if not a full-blown luxury trim unto itself.

Always Bet on Black Edition

Staying competitive on the SUV scene in 2021, the Nightfall Edition and Nightfall Edition Premium (which we will just refer to as Nightfall Premium) are the S trim’s stealth aesthetic packages. These packages provide stylish and sleek exterior and interior options designed to be eye-catching and unmistakably unique. The Sportage S starts at $26,490, and these new aesthetic packages won’t break the bank. The Nightfall Edition Package in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive is going to add about $1,500 to your Sportage S price. If you want to upgrade to the Nightfall Premium, you are looking at an extra $1,800 for the front-wheel drive option or $2,000 for all-wheel drive.

The S trim is the second level of the Sportage Trims and comes with an impressive SUV powertrain. Under the hood is a 2.4-liter Inline 4-cylinder engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission featuring Kia Sportmatic automatic manual gear shifting (giving you that feeling of driving a manual with the ease of an automatic). The engine is capable of giving you 181 horsepower as well as 175 lb-ft of torque. The fuel efficiency of this engine is pretty on level with other SUVs in its class, getting 23 MPG city and 30 MPG highway in front-wheel drive and 21 MPG city and 25 MPG highway in all-wheel drive. The performance considerations keep the Kia Sportage in high esteem when it comes to compact crossovers.

As is standard with the dark-aesthetic packages, most of what the Nightfall Edition offers consists of exterior options for drivers with a little extra cash and a passion for sleek style. The Premium edition comes with additional features on the interior. For now, let’s focus on what the Nightfall Edition brings to the outside.

A blue 2021 Kia Sportage Nightfall Edition is shown from the front angled right parked on the concrete.

When the Night Falls

The 2021 Kia Sportage begins ahead of the game as a gorgeous SUV. It has smooth and dynamic curves that give it a sporty edge while maintaining a strong body profile. With lots of colors to choose from, just about anyone will find a look that suits them. So before we ever even get to the Nightfall additions, we are looking at an exceptional body for a compact SUV that has considerable style to match its capability.

The radiator grille and frame have all been given the piano black makeover, which makes the Sportage look like a stealth operative. Piano black accents can be seen from the interior of the fog lights to the front and rear bumpers trimmed in black. The front and rear skid plates have also been blacked out, giving the accents of the vehicle face a sleek and nocturnal appearance. The side moldings have been given a dark makeover and covered in a glossy finish. Finally, there will, of course, be special edition badging, and the front grille will sport a glossy dark grey badge.

As for the windows, the Nightfall and Premium Editions also include a panoramic sunroof with solar glass with a finishing touch to give the windows black satin surrounds to provide a soft, dark diffuse. The Nightfall Edition exterior features are quite nice and do give a slightly darker edge to the sleek look of the Sportage. It does come rather pricey for mostly color accents, however. For an extra $1,500, you are only really getting color accents.

It’s What’s On the Inside that Counts

If you have the extra allowance and want that covert look, then it might be worth it to spend even a little more for the Nightfall Premium, which comes with some more substantial additions on the inside you can feel. The interior is comfortable and punches well above its price point with high-end materials and styling that makes you feel like you are in a more expensive luxury SUV.

The seats are comfortable and have features like heating and ventilation as options. There are also sensible dials combined with an advanced touch screen and intuitive control placement, making it easy to make modifications from the driver’s seat. There is decent storage for large and small scale items with adjustable seats providing extra room. There is 30.7 cu.ft. of luggage space behind the rear seats, which expands to 60.1 cu.ft. when folded down.

The Nightfall Premium offers some higher-end tech upgrades and quality to the interior and one addition to the exterior package. One last touch to the outside is unique 18” wheels that complete the undercover aesthetic. If you want the full night effect, you are definitely going to want to have these wheels.

The interior is where we find the real value and quality push of the Nightfall Premium. There are some luxury material features such as a leather shift knob and high-quality finish center fascia. These additions give the cabin a high quality feeling like riding in a luxury SUV. You can feel it when you shift. The difference in having leather in hand and how light interacts with the console will constantly give you a sense of high-class.

Featured with the Premium is the same technology offered on the EX trim with optional EX tech packages. The infotainment is already impressive inside this SUV with an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration. Go further with added wireless charging for your devices in the Nightfall Premium Edition. You will also find the Nightfall Premium comes with Smart cruise control featuring Stop & Go, smart key, and other advanced tech features. You can also get features like heated/ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a 320-watt Harman Kardon audio system.

The black interior is shown a 2021 Kia Sportage from the backseat.

Style and Substance

There are a lot of options with the new 2021 Kia Sportage, and it’s important to leverage your resources to get you exactly what you need. The special Nightfall Edition and Nightfall Edition Premium add some excellent changes to the vehicle’s look. Still, for the amount you’ll be spending extra on it, it may be worthwhile to go the extra mile for the Premium. The exterior changes are beautiful and dynamic, but for the cost, you might as well get the upgraded tech options available to the premium. With the Nightfall Premium Edition Package, you don’t need to take a half measure on style or substance.

The 2021 Kia Sportage is a capable compact crossover SUV that starts at a fair price. The level of luxury and quality achievable with the Nightfall Edition and Nightfall Premium Edition is an incredible deal for the cost. If you are on the lookout for an advanced and comfortable SUV with lots of extra room and excellent performance, you really can’t afford to look any further than the 2021 Kia Sportage.

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