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Kia Sportage

Overview
Review
OVERVIEW

2015 Kia Sportage – LX FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility I4 Auto Trans (Base Trim)

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2015 Kia Sportage: Angularfront
RATINGS

Editors Overall Rating

What is this?
This rating is provided by our team of editors based on their extensive professional expertise on Trucks, SUVs, Vans, and Wagons.
We liked
  • Available Turbocharged Power
  • Sporty Styling
  • Good Value for the Money
We disliked
  • 2015 Last Year for Current Model
  • Not the Most Refined in Class
  • Lacking Some Features of Competitors
PRICING Fair Market Pricing
What is this?
Fair Market Price is an estimate of a “fair” price that any given new vehicle can be purchased for. This national estimate, updated monthly, reflects recent market conditions (supply and demand) plus a reasonable dealer markup.
$21,162
Finance
Estimated monthly
payment:
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payment:
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MSRP
$21,900
MPG
21 / 28
City/Hwy
ENGINE
2.4L I4
HORSE POWER
182 hp
@ 6,000 rpm
TORQUE
177 ft lb
of torque @ 4,000 rpm
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
The 2015 Kia Sportage is the last model year of the current platform, which will be replaced by an all-new model for 2016, sharing its underpinnings with its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Tucson. But that doesn’t mean there’s necessarily anything wrong with the current Sportage. Introduced in 2011, the current model’s styling is still sharp and distinctive for the compact-crossover class, and an available 260hp 2.0L gasoline-direct-injection (GDI) turbo gives the Sportage ample power. While the current Sportage is stylish and fun to drive, its noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) characteristics make it one of the noisier entries in the class. The Sportage is available with a number of comfort and convenience options, including a heated and ventilated driver seat, navigation, and Bluetooth streaming audio, but recent updates to class leaders such as the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V put the current Sportage mid-pack in terms of features. If you’re a bargain hunter, expect special offers on the outgoing ’15 models to make room for the ’16 Sportage coming later in the year.

REVIEW

2013 Kia Sportage EX First Test

Same Great Style, Less Thrilling

Mar 4, 2013
Recently, we drove the 2013 Kia Sportage EX's boosted sibling, the 2013 Sportage SX, which is equipped with the Hyundai/Kia Theta II 2.0 GDI turbo engine. Cranking out 260 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, the engine made the small SUV fun to drive but a bit of a handful when driven aggressively. Although we're rarely ones to proclaim a vehicle has "too much power," the Sportage SX, especially in front-drive form, toes the edge of that line thanks to sometimes darty torque steer from the potent turbocharged powerplant.
Photo 2/16   |   2013 Kia Sportage Front Three Quarters
Those that like the style and amenities of the SX but don't have the need for speed will appreciate the fact that Kia also offers Sportage EX you see here. It is powered by the standard 2.4-liter port-injected four-cylinder that produces 176 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque and provides a driving experience that is considerably more sedate, as would be expected from a vehicle with 84 fewer horsepower and 101 less lb-ft of torque. That in no way implies, however that the EX is a less capable or inferior model to the hyper-caffeinated SX.
Photo 3/16   |   2013 Kia Sportage Rear
In some ways, the naturally aspirated powerplant is more appropriate for the class, with power figures that are in the same neighborhood as the segment volume leaders, the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Toyota RAV4. Fuel economy is also slightly improved over the turbo, at 30 mpg highway, compared to the turbo's 28, though the city figure for both engines is 21 mpg. In typical suburban stop-and-go driving, the 2.4-liter engine is entirely adequate, going about its business without undue fuss. Only during full-throttle passing and merging do you yearn for the added power of the turbo, as in the upper rev range, the 2.4 tends to produce more noise than accelerative thrust.
When we first picked up our EX tester, we noticed the persistent green "Eco" light on the dashboard. After some fiddling with the trip computer, we figured out how to disable this mode. It helped throttle response slightly, but could not make up for the substantial power deficit relative to the turbo. The EX's 0-60 time was an unremarkable 9.3 seconds, nearly a full second behind the Honda CR-V and 2013 Toyota RAV4. This time is also a full two seconds behind the time posted by the SX, but feels like even more. Chalk the drastic seat-of-the-pants difference up to the 101 lb-ft torque deficit, which while a handful off-the-line in the SX, makes passing and rolling acceleration a much more confident affair.
Photo 7/16   |   2013 Kia Sportage Front Seats
Power aside, our praise for other areas of the Sportage's design remains for the EX. Other than a single rear tailpipe and different badging, the EX is virtually indistinguishable from the hot-rod SX. You get the LED running lights in the front, 18-inch alloy wheels, and with the Premium package, the same navigation headunit and heated and cooled driver's seat, among other niceties.
Photo 8/16   |   2013 Kia Sportage Engine
The EX even wears the same-size 235/55-18 tires as the SX. The suspension tuning seems a little softer in the EX, but the ride could still not be accurately described as plush or serene. The Sportage is a small, short-wheelbase SUV in all its forms, and the suspension tuning can only do so much to hide this basic configuration. Going to a less-aggressive rolling stock than the low-profile 18-inch wheels and tires might help some.
Photo 9/16   |   2013 Kia Sportage Front View
The Sportage begs for a middle engine option, and the most obvious choice is the 2.4-liter GDI engine used in the base Sorento and Optima. Producing 190 hp and 181 lb-ft in its SUV applications, this engine would put a little more spring in the step of the Sportage without the hyper-adrenalized character of the SX's turbo. We would not be at all surprised to see this option appear on the 2014 model, possibly as part of a larger mid-cycle refresh.
In the hyper-competitive compact SUV market, the Sportage is a niche player, selling just a fraction of the units of the class leaders. But Kia seems comfortable offering the Sportage as a more stylish alternative to the more conventional Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. If you like the looks of the Sportage, but are happy with simply keeping up with traffic, rather than blasting ahead of it, the Sportage EX may be the perfect middle ground.
Photo 10/16   |   2013 Kia Sportage Side Profile

2013 Kia Sportage EX
BASE PRICE $25,000
PRICE AS TESTED $28,100
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 2.4L/176-hp/168-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3330 lb (58/42%)
WHEELBASE 103.9 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 174.8 x 73.0 x 64.4 in
0-60 MPH 9.3 sec
QUARTER MILE 17.1 sec @ 80.9 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 116 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.77 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.8 sec @ 0.57 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON 21/30 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 160/112 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS 0.80 lb/mile
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2015 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$21,900
21 / 28
2.4L I4
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Truck Trend news
2015 Kia Sportage Pricing Rises $150 to $22,645
The 2015 Kia Sportage carries over, but it receives a slight increase in price at $22,645.
Karla SanchezAug 19, 2014

2014 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$21,600
21 / 28
2.4L I4
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Truck Trend news
2014 Kia Sportage Prices Increase, Base Model Dropped
Changes Also Spell End to Manual Transmission
Edward A. SanchezDec 10, 2013

2013 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$19,000
20 / 27
2.4L I4
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Truck Trend news
2013 New York: Wonder Woman Edition Kia Sportage
Kia Represents League of Justice's Lone Lady
Edward A. SanchezMar 27, 2013
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2013 Kia Sportage EX First Test
Recently, we drove the 2013 Kia Sportage EX's boosted sibling, the 2013 Sportage SX, which is equipped with the Hyundai/Kia Theta II 2.0 GDI turbo engine.
Edward A. SanchezMar 4, 2013
Truck Trend
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2013 Kia Sportage SX FWD First Drive
Consumers tend to be thrilled when they can get features and style of much more expensive models in a wallet-friendly package and the 2013 Kia Sportage SX is a perfect example of the Korean brand's value-packed reputation.
Edward A. SanchezSep 25, 2012

2012 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$18,500
20 / 27
2.4L I4
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Truck Trend truck reviews
2012/2013 Compact Crossover SUV Comparison
Ford Escape vs. Honda CR-V vs. Kia Sportage vs. Mazda CX-5 vs. Volkswagen Tiguan -- Whether we like it or not, crossovers are here to stay, while the body-on-frame SUVs that we know and love are never going to enjoy the same mass-market appeal they once had.
Kirill OugarovSep 4, 2012
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First Test: 2012 Kia Sportage EX
The Average CUV buyer wants the utility and space of a station wagon or minivan, but the looks and a fraction of the off-roading ability of an SUV to get to yoga class and run the kids to the mall.
Michael FebboJul 18, 2012
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2012/2013 Compact Crossover SUV Comparison
Ford Escape vs. Honda CR-V vs. Kia Sportage vs. Mazda CX-5 vs. Volkswagen Tiguan
Motor Trend EditorsJun 25, 2012
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2012 Kia Sportage EX First Test
Best Admired from a Distance
Michael FebboMay 23, 2012

2011 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$18,295
21 / 29
2.4L I4
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Truck Trend truck reviews
First Test: 2011 Kia Sportage SX
Sportage SX Takes Aim at Turbo Cute-Utes. Kia's handsome new Fleet of Peter Schreyer-designed vehicles now bears no resemblance to the platform-shared sibling lineup at Hyundai.
Frank MarkusJun 10, 2011
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First Test: 2011 Kia Sportage SX
Uppity Upstart Targets the Big Boys.
Frank MarkusMay 18, 2011
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Kia's Sportier 2011 Sportage SX Starts at $26,490
News of a sportier SX trim for the 2011 Kia Sportage isn't new to us, but the Korean car company has now given us the full rundown of what we can expect for the U.S.-spec version of the turbocharged crossover.
Donny NordlichtMar 4, 2011
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February 2011 Sales: Hyundai/Kia Break Records Again, Sorento Best-selling SUV
Hyundai and Kia are on a roll: their January sales numbers were record-setting, and now their February 2011 sales have managed to shatter more corporate records.
Evan McCauslandMar 3, 2011
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January 2011 Sales: Hyundai Up 22 Percent, Kia Up 23 Percent
It's no secret that Hyundai and Kia managed to set some record sales figures in 2010, but the momentum appears to have carried into the first month of 2011.
Andrew PetersonFeb 2, 2011
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Kia Gives Direct-injected Turbo the 2011 Sportage SX
The most notable addition for the 2011 Kia Sportage SX will be the direct-injected turbo four-cylinder engine, already found in the 2011 Kia Optima SX and 2011 Hyundai Sonata Turbo.
Donny NordlichtJan 18, 2011
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Hyundai, Kia Forcast 6.33 Million Vehicles in 2011, a 10-Percent Sales Increase
Volkswagen may have plans to dominate global automotive sales by 2018, but Hyundai and Kia may be the dark horse in the race.
Steve DiehlmanJan 4, 2011
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Kia's 2011 Sportage Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick Designation
The 2011 Kia Sportage arrived at dealers this month and it has already earned the Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a marked improvement over its predecessor.
Benson KongAug 19, 2010
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First Test: 2011 Kia Sportage
Old Name, New Everything
Benson KongAug 4, 2010
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Kia Releases Pricing On 2011 Sportage, Starts At $18,990
Today, Kia officially announced pricing on the 2011 Sportage, which starts at $18,990, including a $695 destination fee.
Evan McCauslandJul 21, 2010
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First Drive: 2011 Kia Sportage
Kia's Small Crossover, with Newfound Attitude
Allyson HarwoodJun 24, 2010
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First Look: 2011 Kia Sportage
The 2011 Kia Sportage first wowed us with its new baby-Sorento styling last month at its international debut in Geneva, but now that it's turned up in New York for its U.S. debut, we've learned a few more facts about the new model.
Scott EvansMar 31, 2010

2010 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$16,995
20 / 25
2.0L I4
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Truck Trend news
Kia's New UVO Hands-Free System To Debut At Next Month's Consumer Electronics Show
Kia has announced that it will arrive at next month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas with a product to rival Ford's Sync infotainment technology.
Rory JurneckaDec 30, 2009

2009 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$16,695
20 / 25
2.0L I4
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2008 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$16,360
20 / 25
2.0L I4
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2007 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$15,900
22 / 27
2.0L I4
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2006 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$15,900
22 / 27
2.0L I4
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Truck Trend news
Recall Alert: Kia Rondo, Sedona, Sorento, and Sportage For Faulty Brake Light
Kia recalls 139,844 of its vehicles for a faulty brake light. Kia Amanti, Rondo, Sedona, Sorento, and Sportage models from MY 2006 and 2007 may suffer from a damaged stop lamp switch that indicates falsely or doesn't operate at all.
Nate MartinezMay 4, 2009

2005 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$15,900
22 / 27
2.0L I4
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First Look: 2005 Kia Sportage
To create the new 2005 model, Kia kept most of the Sportage's best traits and reengineered the rest into a platform joint-ventured with Hyundai.
John MatthiusApr 28, 2005
Truck Trend
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2006 Future Vehicle Forecast
Manufacturers love to keep us guessing. They try to keep secrets from us, and we fight tooth and nail to get the info out as soon as possible.
Editors of Motor TrendApr 1, 2005

2002 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$14,645
18 / 21
2.0L I4
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Truck Trend truck reviews
Preowned: 1995-2002 KIA Sportage
With some truck owners contemplating a whole-system change away from big-engine brutes, another possibility has emerged: Find a cheap, reliable, decent used mini 'ute for day-to-day driving.
Marc CookOct 2, 2008

2001 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$14,645
18 / 21
2.0L I4
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2000 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$14,195
18 / 21
2.0L I4
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1999 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$13,995
19 / 23
2.0L I4
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1998 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$14,895
19 / 23
2.0L I4
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Truck Trend truck reviews
Preowned: 1995-2002 KIA Sportage
With some truck owners contemplating a whole-system change away from big-engine brutes, another possibility has emerged: Find a cheap, reliable, decent used mini 'ute for day-to-day driving.
Marc CookOct 2, 2008

1997 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$14,495
19 / 22
2.0L I4
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1996 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$13,795
19 / 23
2.0L I4
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Truck Trend truck reviews
Preowned: 1995-2002 KIA Sportage
With some truck owners contemplating a whole-system change away from big-engine brutes, another possibility has emerged: Find a cheap, reliable, decent used mini 'ute for day-to-day driving.
Marc CookOct 2, 2008

1995 Kia Sportage

SPECIFICATIONS
$13,495
19 / 23
2.0L I4
VIEW ALL SPECIFICATIONS
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
Truck Trend truck reviews
Preowned: 1995-2002 KIA Sportage
With some truck owners contemplating a whole-system change away from big-engine brutes, another possibility has emerged: Find a cheap, reliable, decent used mini 'ute for day-to-day driving.
Marc CookOct 2, 2008
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e.g. Tacoma
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