Kia Sportage

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Kia Sportage
2019 Kia Sportage 2 CRDi ISG S-A 1.6 Front.jpg
Facelift 2018 Kia Sportage 2 (fourth generation)
Body and chassis
ClassCompact SUV (1993-2004)
Compact crossover SUV (J) (2004-present)
LayoutFront-engine, four-wheel-drive
Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
RelatedHyundai Tucson (2004-present)
PredecessorKia Retona

The Kia Sportage is a compact crossover SUV (compact SUV until 2004) built by the South Korean manufacturer Kia Motors since 1993.

First generation (NB-7; 1993–2004)[edit]

First generation (NB-7)
20100922 kia sportage 01.jpg
Also calledWanli Sportage (China)
ProductionJuly 1993 – 2004
AssemblySouth Korea: Hwaseong (Hwaseong Plant)
Germany: Osnabrück (Karmann)
Russia: Kaliningrad (Avtotor)
Body and chassis
Body style3-door convertible
5-door station wagon
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel drive
Front-engine, four-wheel drive
RelatedMazda Bongo
Engine2.0 L FE I4 (gasoline)
2.0 L FE DOHC I4 (gasoline)
2.0 L RF I4 (diesel)
Transmission4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
  • 2,360 mm (92.9 in)
  • 2,650 mm (104.3 in)
  • 4,030 mm (158.7 in) (2-door)
  • 4,245 mm (167.1 in) (5-door)
  • 4,440 mm (174.8 in) (Grand Wagon)
Width1,855 mm (73.0 in)
Height1,635 mm (64.4 in)
The longer Kia Sportage Grand Wagon (2001, Australia)

The first-generation Kia Sportage was developed with a Mazda Bongo engineering base platform. It shares many mechanical components such as the engine, transmissions (early versions), and differentials with the Mazda line of vehicles. This was during Kia's alliance with Ford and Mazda, which involved Ford/Mazda providing technology and Kia providing inexpensive manufacturing facilities for Ford.

Early in 1994, an experimental project was attempted between Kia Motors with Daimler-Benz AG. A small number of converted three-door convertibles into two-door pickups, designated GLL200, were produced. Actual production numbers have never been verified, but rumored to be no more than a 25 units assembled. All were test marketed through franchise dealerships in Seoul, South Korea and Taipei, Taiwan. The collaboration was soon abandoned as Daimler unexpectedly withdrew before a formal agreement was achieved.

From 1995 to 1998, the Sportage was built by Karmann in Germany; thus, European buyers received German-built versions between these years, while the rest of the world received South Korean-built versions. It was launched in Asia in July 1993 but European sales did not start until two years later.

The Sportage was sold in either a five-door SUV or a three-door soft-top convertible. Kia initially developed the wagon in standard length form, but in circa 1996, the company released an extended length version. This stretched model—mainly sold in Asian markets under the name "Sportage Grand", but also as the "Grand Wagon"—featured a 305 mm (12.0 in) longer body utilizing the same wheelbase, an increase in luggage capacity from 1,570 to 2,220 liters (55.4 to 78.4 cu ft), and the relocation of the spare wheel from the tailgate to underneath the floor.[1]

Kia offered three Mazda-sourced engines in the Sportage, beginning with the 2.0-liter FE DOHC inline-four gasoline unit producing 95 kW (128 hp) and the 2.0-liter RF inline-four diesel rated at 61 kW (82 hp). Diesel-engined models were mostly restricted to European markets, as was the more basic single overhead camshaft (SOHC) version of the 2.0-liter FE gasoline inline-four. Delivering 87 kW (117 hp), this gasoline engine was available from 2000 onwards. In North America, the 2.0-liter FE DOHC engine produced 130 hp (97 kW) and had optional four-wheel drive. The 1997 model year Kia Sportage was the world's first production vehicle to be equipped with a knee airbag.[2]

This first-generation model (1993–2002) sold in low numbers even domestically in South Korea, and post-Hyundai takeover models (1997–2002) were recalled twice for rear wheels dismounting while driving. The first-generation Sportage was discontinued in South Korea in 2002, and in North America after the 2002 model year. By 2003, most international markets had discontinued the Sportage range, although it did remain on sale in some developing countries until its second-generation replacement arrived in 2005.

The Kia Sportage scored the lowest possible result in the Australian ANCAP crash tests – one star out of five. As well as a failure of the seat belts, the vehicle structure collapsed.[3]

c. 1998–2001
MY 1998–2001 Kia Sportage (US)
c. 1998–2002
MY 2000–2001 Kia Sportage EX (US)
c. 2002–2005
MY 2002 Kia Sportage convertible (US)

Second generation (JE/KM; 2004–2010)[edit]

Second generation (JE/KM)
Kia Sportage (better looking than the new version,in my view) - Flickr - mick - Lumix.jpg
ProductionAugust 2004–February 2010
2005–2015 (China)
AssemblySouth Korea: Gwangju (Gwangju Plant)
China: Yancheng (Yancheng Plant)
Ecuador: Quito (AYMESA)
Malaysia: Gurun (NAM)
Russia: Kaliningrad (Avtotor)[4]
Slovakia: Žilina (Žilina Plant)
Ukraine: Zaporizhia (AvtoZAZ)[5]
Body and chassis
Body style5-door station wagon
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
Front-engine, four-wheel drive
RelatedHyundai Elantra
Hyundai Matrix
Hyundai Tiburon
Hyundai Tucson
Kia Spectra
Engine2.0 L Beta II I4 (gasoline)
2.7 L Delta V6 (gasoline)
2.0 L CRDI I4-T (diesel)
Transmission4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
6-speed manual
Wheelbase103.5 in (2,629 mm)
Length171.3 in (4,351 mm)
Width2005–08: 70.9 in (1,801 mm)
2007–08 4WD (Europe): 1,840 mm (72.4 in)
2007–08 2WD (Europe): 1,800 mm (70.9 in)
Height66.7 in (1,694 mm)
2007–08 (Europe): 1,730 mm (68.1 in)

After a two-year hiatus, the model-year 2005 Sportage returned, sharing its Elantra-based platform with the 2005 Hyundai Tucson. The Sportage also had a 2.0 L straight-4 Diesel engine available in the United Kingdom. Pricing starts at just over US$16,000. Critics and fans of the original, pre-Hyundai Sportage complain that it is considerably larger than the original Sportage and has none of the earlier off-road capability, the two keys for its success. However, buyers of the second-generation model are likely to favor the available 173 hp (129 kW) V6, with 178 lb·ft of torque (241 N·m). Overall fit/finish and quality is noticeably improved over the first-generation model.[citation needed]

Kia Sportage (KM; Europe)

Facelift model of the second generation was introduced in May 2008. Since 2007, it is manufactured at the Žilina Plant in Slovakia. A second facelift was introduced in the UK in early 2009 only a few months after its first facelift.

The Sportage was named as one of the most reliable vehicles from the 2009 Consumer Reports reliability survey.[6] The Kia Sportage ranked second in the "20 least expensive 2009 vehicles to insure" list by According to research, the Sportage is one of the least expensive vehicles to insure. Low rates tend to reflect a vehicle's safety.[7]


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) displays a 2008 Sportage as an example of a weak roof

The second-generation Kia Sportage earned a top rating of five stars in crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) judged it merely acceptable for frontal and side-impact crash, performance, and poor strength of its roof in a rollover.[8]

Test Rating
Overall: 2/5 stars
Moderate overlap front: Average
Side: Average
Roof strength: Poor
Head restraints & seats: Poor

Third generation (SL; 2010–2015)[edit]

Third generation (SL)
Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDi AWD Platinum Edition (III, Facelift) – Frontansicht, 4. Mai 2014, Düsseldorf.jpg
Also calledKia Sportage R (South Korea & China)
ProductionMarch 2010–August 2015
2010–present (Kia Sportage R, China)
DesignerPeter Schreyer
Body and chassis
Body style5-door SUV
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
Front-engine, four-wheel drive
RelatedHyundai Tucson
Wheelbase2,640 mm (103.9 in)[9]
Length4,440–4,450 mm (174.8–175.2 in)[9][10]
Width1,855 mm (73.0 in)[9]
Height1,635–1,645 mm (64.4–64.8 in)[9]
Curb weight1,432–1,572 kg (3,157–3,466 lb)[10]

The SL series Kia Sportage was released in April 2010 to Asian and European markets, followed by the North and Central American markets in August 2010 for the 2011 model year. Australian models were released in October 2010.[11] It currently uses a 2.0-liter Hyundai R diesel engine with 184 hp (137 kW). Also, a 2.0-liter Theta T-GDI gasoline engine was available. The third generation receives a mid-generational refresh for the 2014 model year, with new headlamps, fog lamps, etc.

In China, the third generation, called the Sportage R, was released by Dongfeng Yueda Kia in October 2010, and is to be built and marketed alongside the previous generation rather than as a replacement of the existing model.[12]

The Sportage won the 2011 Car of the Year (originally "Auto roku 2011 na Slovensku") in Slovakia and "Truck of the Year" nomination of International Car of the Year. The Kia Sportage was top of the JD Power Survey for 2012, it was the only car in the survey to score five stars across all categories, from mechanical reliability to ownership costs and the dealer experience.


The third-generation Kia Sportage received a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States.[13] Earning the award became tougher in 2010 when IIHS added the rollover crash test, which measures roof strength and is twice as stringent as the federal requirement. To pass this test, a vehicle's roof must be able to withstand the force of three times the vehicle's weight (acceptable rating). The federal standard requires a roof to hold 1.5 times the vehicle's weight.[14]

Test Rating
Overall: 5/5 stars
Small overlap front: Poor
Moderate overlap front: Good
Side: Good
Roof strength: Good
Head restraints & seats: Good


In South Africa, the Sportage took the 2013 Standard Bank People's Wheels Award for "SUVs and Crossovers – City & Suburban".[15][16]

Fourth generation (QL; 2015–present)[edit]

Fourth generation (QL)
2018 Kia Sportage (QL MY18) Si wagon (2018-11-02) 01.jpg
Pre-facelift Kia Sportage
Also calledKia KX5 (China)
ProductionSeptember 2015–present
DesignerPeter Schreyer
Body and chassis
RelatedHyundai Tucson
Wheelbase2,670 mm (105.1 in)
Length4,480 mm (176.4 in)
Width1,855 mm (73.0 in)
Height1,645 mm (64.8 in)
Curb weight1,488–1,626 kg (3,280–3,585 lb)[18]

Kia unveiled its newly redesigned Sportage at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2015, and brought it to market in 2016 (as a 2017 model in North America). The company said the contrasting sharp edges and smooth surfaces were inspired by modern fighter jets.[19]

There are three gasoline engines, as well as one diesel engine in the line-up. The gasoline options are a 1.6-liter, 2.0-liter or 2.4-liter, offering around 97 kW/161 N⋅m, 120 kW/200 N⋅m and 138 kW/241 N⋅m respectively, while the diesel is a 2.0-liter turbo that will produce around 135 kW/400 N⋅m. A 130 kW/265 N⋅m 1.6 T-GDi turbo-gasoline with an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, and a 136 kW/400Nm 2.0 R-Series diesel. Front- (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations are available.

In North America, the new Sportage is offered with three trim levels (LX, EX, and SX). Much like the previous model, it is available with two inline-four engine choices, a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter and a turbocharged 2.0-liter. The 2.4-liter produces 181 hp (135 kW) and 175 lb⋅ft (237 N⋅m), while the turbocharged engine makes 240 hp (180 kW) and 260 lb⋅ft (350 N⋅m), with small differences in performance dependent on whether FWD or AWD is configured. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Kia KX5 (Chinese Version)[edit]

Facelift Kia KX5
Facelift KX5 rear view

In China, the fourth generation Sportage was sold as the Kia KX5, the third generation model was sold alongside as the Sportage R, while the Kia Sportage name was used on a separate model developed from the second generation Hyundai ix35 chassis and also sold alongside.

The Kia KX5 received a facelift in 2019 conducted by Dongfeng Yueda Kia that would exclusively be sold in China only.

Available from March 2019, the front fascia was completely restyled with headlamps integrated with the grille and the rear end of the KX5 was also slightly redesigned for the Chinese market. Despite the exclusively restyled exterior, the wheels of the Chinese version are the same as the ones on the international Kia Sportage facelift.[20]


The 2017 Sportage received a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).[21]

Test Rating
Overall: 5/5 stars
Small overlap front: Good
Moderate overlap front: Good
Side: Good
Roof strength: Good
Head restraints & seats: Good
Front crash prevention: Superior
Headlights: Acceptable
Child seat anchors (Latch) ease of use: Acceptable


The Sportage won the 2016 Red Dot Award for Car Design.[22]


The Sportage was Kia's best selling model worldwide in 2016, overtaking the Rio.[23]

Calendar year United States[24] Canada Global South Korea
1998 28,582
1999 52,383
2000 62,350
2001 52,369
2002 39,436
2003 5,616
2004 121
2005 29,009
2006 37,071
2007 49,393
2008 32,754
2009 42,509
2010 23,873
2011 47,463
2012 36,357 359,742[25]
2013 32,965
2014 42,945
2015 53,739 6,509[26] 399,969[27]
2016 81,066 515,067[23] 49,877
2017 72,824 42,232
2018 82,823 20,969


  1. ^ "Kia Sportage (Sportage)". GoAuto. John Mellor. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  2. ^ "Kia Sportage 1998-2002 models". Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-24. Retrieved 2012-09-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Группа компаний Автотор :: Автомобили KIA" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 4 April 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  5. ^ "CJSC "ZAZ" started to produce КІА cars". AvtoZAZ. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  6. ^ Consumer Reports' 2009 Annual Car Reliability Survey Archived 2009-10-31 at the Wayback Machine 27 October 2009. Reuters
  7. ^ The Most Expensive Cars to Insure Archived 2016-01-10 at the Wayback Machine 3 June 2009, U.S. News Rankings & Reviews
  8. ^ IIHS/HLDI: Kia Sportage IIHS
  9. ^ a b c d "Kia Sportage: Abmessungen" [Kia Sportage: Dimensions] (owner's manual) (in German). Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  10. ^ a b "2013 KIA Sportage Brochure" (PDF). KIA MOTORS AMERICA. 2012. pp. 11–12. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  11. ^ "Sportage makes early UK debut". Auto Express. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  12. ^ "With 2011 Sportage R, Hyundai-Kia Engages a Rare "4WD" Mode".
  13. ^ 2011 Kia Sportage Named '2010 Top Safety Pick' By Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 19 August 2010. PR Newswire
  14. ^ 2011 Kia Sportage Named IIHS Top Safety Pick 19 August 2010.
  15. ^ "Standard Bank People's Wheels Awards winner announced". Standard Bank. 27 November 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  16. ^ "KIA WINS BIG AT THE ANNUAL STANDARD BANK PEOPLE'S WHEELS AWARDS". Kia Motors. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  17. ^ Bouchaàla, Faris (2017-09-21). "Kia Al Djazaïr/ Gloviz : Le nouveau Sportage à partir de 3 990 000 da TTC". Autobip.
  18. ^ "2016 Kia Sportage Brochure" (PDF) (brochure). KIA MOTORS AMERICA. p. 12. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  19. ^ "For Better Or Worse, Kia Sportage Gets Major Redesign For 2017". Forbes. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  20. ^ "3月19日上市 东风悦达起亚新款KX5到店".
  21. ^ "2017 Kia Sportage". Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
  22. ^ "New Kia Sportage and Optima win new design awards". 30 March 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  23. ^ a b "Kia Motors posts 3.2% rise in 2016 Global Sales". Kia Motors Global Media Center. Kia Motors.
  24. ^ "News - Sales Data". Kia Media. Kia Motors.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-09-08. Retrieved 2017-09-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ "Kia Canada Inc. sales up 7.5 per cent in December contributing to 67,914 vehicles sold in 2015" (PDF) (Press release). Mississauga, Ontario: Kia Canada Inc. 2016-01-06. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  27. ^ "Kia Motors posts 0.3% rise in 2015 global sales". Kia Motors Global Media Center. Kia Motors.

External links[edit]