10 Best & Worst Kia Sportage Years (Stats & Examples)

The Kia Sportage has been in the market since 1995. This SUV is a smaller vehicle than other SUVs, and most people prefer its size as it is fun to cruise.

The recent models also come as plug-in hybrid. The Sportage hybrid can be seen at most dealers. It has great mpg city (+20) due to the electric motors.

The information in this article will show you the best and worst Kia Sportage years. 

The Best and Worst Years for the Kia Sportage Are:

The best years for the Kia Sportage are the 2010, 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2020 models. On the other hand, the worst years for Kia Sportage are the 2012, 2017, 2013, 2011, and 2014 models.

This helps you know what years to buy and what years to steer clear of.

What Kia Sportage Years Are the Most Reliable? 

You may want to know how long Kia Sportages last. If you want to purchase a Kia Sportage, it is crucial to check the most reliable year models, and they are as follows:

1. 2019 Kia Sportage

Most individuals prefer the 2019 Kia Sportage, which is why it is in the first position on the list. Several problems plagued this model’s predecessors, but the 2019 Kia Sportage got it right. With around 8 inches of ground clearance you’ll easily navigate most terrains – especially with all-terrain tires.

It offers an exceptional driving experience with a good navigation system and rear parking sensors, to make it easy to get into your parking spot. The panoramic sunroof can give a good overview of the sky and you can add magnetic sun shades for more peace on the rear seat. 

It also comes with an innovative infotainment system that enables you to connect your devices. For instance, you can connect with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay for entertainment. 

The 2019 Kia Sportage also has some notable safety features, such as automatic emergency braking. 

The compact SUV is available in two different four-cylinder engines, touted as the most dependable engines ever made by Kia. You get good cargo space with around 40 cubic feet of cargo room storage.

It can conveniently provide seats for five passengers, and if you are searching for a vehicle with a superb turbo engine, the 2019 Kia Sportage is the real deal. 

This vehicle is the most reliable Kia Sportage model, and people love the fuel economy, smart cruise control, and highway driving assist features. It will get you to your destination safely with blind-spot collision-avoidance assist to help you navigate around cyclists and other cars. The blind spot view monitor is a great feature as well to help you check your surroundings and avoid cyclist crash. The cameras alerts the driver and a clear turn signal in the instrument cluster also helps.

The 2019 Kia Sportage has an excellent reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 from U.S. News. 

2. 2015 Kia Sportage

One of the reliable models from the Kia brand is the 2015 model. This model is rated highly for safety and reliability as it possesses a robust engine. 

It has a panoramic moon roof, a USB port, and Bluetooth connectivity. 

It also comes with some incredible safety features that ensure the safety of the drivers and passengers. The vehicle’s handling is smooth, and the driving experience for everyone is pleasant due to the beautiful interior space as well as a robust exterior. 

With an average price of $16,400 to $20,000, you can own this SUV depending on trims and other factors. However, if you’d rather not own it, you should know that the Kia Sportage is among the Kia models you can lease.

3. 2010 Kia Sportage

The 2010 Kia Sportage offers you a pleasant riding experience and a warranty at an affordable rate. 

The 2010 Kia Sportage is available in two different trims. You also have the chance to choose between the all-wheel-drive and the front-wheel-drive option. Both with a good second row legroom behind the driver’s seat.

You can also choose the manual transmission option if you are old school. If you love the automatic transmission, the 2010 Kia Sportage offers you that chance.

It also comes with V6 engines, and this boosted the reputation of the Kia Sportage model. 

For example, CarBuyer rated the 2010 Kia Sportage highly, scoring 4.4 out of 5 on the Reliability and Safety Ratings. 

4. 2016 Kia Sportage

If you are looking for a reliable vehicle with some luxury features like ventilated front seats, the 2016 Kia Sportage fits the role.

Though its steering feel is not as great as the 2015 model, it is still a suitable SUV. 

Most owners who have driven this model confirmed its reliability, and they do not have to incur unnecessary expenses on the model. 

You will love some features of this front-wheel-drive SUV:

  • Cruise control
  • 182 horsepower
  • A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission, and
  • A 60/40-split folding backseat

5. 2020 Kia Sportage

If you love a vehicle with a sleek interior design, the 2020 Kia Sportage will win your heart. It is available in four trims, and its interior is an upgrade from its predecessor.  

The trims are LX, S, EX, and SX trims. 

Other features of this model are:

  • New LED headlights.
  • Front and rear bumper.
  • An 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay.
  • Android Auto compatibility.
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Great numbers for city MPG around 20.

It also comes with

  • A motor Driven Power Steering
  • Blind-spot collision warning
  • Lane-keeping assist feature
  • Rear camera display
  • High beam assist, and
  • Front and rear parking assist sensors 
  • Optional heated steering wheel
  • Power sunshade (automatic sun shade slide in the roof)

The 2020 Kia Sportage is renowned for quality performance and giving you value for money. 

It has excellent reliability ratings, and there are no issues with the SUV now. 

What Kia Sportage Years Should You Avoid? 

It is essential to know the Kia Sportage years you should avoid. You should also explore some Kia SUV problems.

Having this knowledge will enable you to ignore the problematic model years. Let us check these worst-year models one after the other. 

1. Kia Sportage 2011

This vehicle received almost 220 complaints from owners. 

Based on the information data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2011 Kia Sportage was recalled five times, which is a sign that the model is unreliable. 

Customers are advised to ignore this model as it would give them nightmares. 

However, engine failure is the most prevalent problem with this model year. In some cases, some owners have complained about abrupt engine seizing and engine failure. 

In this model, brake failure is a common occurrence. Most owners have complained about an abrupt locking up of brakes which prevents the automobile from starting. 

Failure of the turbo cooler and master cylinder is part of the common problems of this model.

It is wise to avoid buying the 2011 Kia Sportage because it is prone to those issues listed. 

2. 2012 Kia Sportage

The 2012 Sportage has a reputation for being the worst model year in the Kia lineup.

The number of complaints about this SUV is higher than the other vehicles. Fixing the issues on this model will drain your pocket as they can be pricey.

According to the information from the NHTSA, there are about 280 complaints from owners about engine issues and most people who own this model have complained about extreme noise from the engine.

Some owners complained about engine stalling while in motion and resorted to purchasing a new engine to replace the faulty one. 

The 2012 model is noted for engine damage, an issue that triggers fire in the engine compartment. This model was recalled four times, and this has to do with the vehicle’s bearing.

It is not advisable to purchase this model. The complaints are many, and the issues are expensive to fix. 

3. 2013 Kia Sportage

Though the manufacturer improved on this model, the 2013 Kia Sportage needed help to overcome the challenges that plagued its predecessors. 

Engine problem is a common issue among the owners of this model and in some cases, drivers have lodged complaints about a knocking sound in the engine.

The engine is likely to stall and stop suddenly while in motion, and this could cause delay, especially when you have an appointment. 

The 2013 model also has electrical, suspension, drivetrain, and fuel system failure problems. 

Even the air conditioning system in this model tends to malfunction. 

4. 2014 Kia Sportage

This model is not exempted from the nemesis of its predecessors, the engine issues. More owners have complained about this model’s issues, so you should not buy the SUV. 

There are reports about engine fires, excessive oil consumption, and engine stalling while in motion. 

5. 2017 Kia Sportage

If there is any vehicle that you must avoid buying, the 2017 Kia Sportage model is the one.

This model received around 288 complaints, and the NHTSA issued three recalls for the 2017 Kia Sportage.

Some owners even complained about

  • Excessive fuel consumption
  • Transmission issues
  • Air conditioning system, and
  • Brake malfunctioning

Despite having fewer issues than other models, the expenses to maintain the vehicle are not for people with a limited budget size.

What Are Some Typical Problems With The Kia Sportage Models? 

These are some common problems in most Kia Sportage models:

  • Engine Failure
  • Turbocharger Problems
  • Misfiring of Cylinder
  • Suspension issues
  • Cracked headlight and poor paint quality.
  • Interior issues include air conditioning malfunctions, seatbelt issues, and internal accessories problems.
  • Braking Issues
  • Engine Compartment Fire
  • Excessive Oil Consumption
  • Excessive Fuel Consumption
  • Check Engine Light issues.
  • Fuel tank leakage

Closest Competitors

Some of the other popular small SUVs in the same class include:

  • Honda CR-V
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Subaru Forester
  • Kia Connect
  • Toyota Rav4


Go Back: Best & Worst Years For ALL Kia Models

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.