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So many small SUVs look like the boxes they were shipped in. Not the Kia Sportage, whose sporty ovoid styling stands out in a rectilinear field. The Sportage offers nimble handling and a roomy rear seat, but otherwise comes up short. Its stiff ride and loud cabin won't endear itself over the long haul. Acceleration with the base four-cylinder engine is leisurely and a lackluster 22 mpg overall proves to be no consolation.
Alerts
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
NA
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
2005
NA
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2005. ESC, side and head protection air bags standard from 2005.
Road Test

So many small SUVs look like the boxes they were shipped in. Not the Kia Sportage, whose sporty ovoid styling stands out in a rectilinear field. The Sportage offers nimble handling and a roomy rear seat, but otherwise comes up short. Its stiff ride and loud cabin won't endear itself over the long haul. Acceleration with the base four-cylinder engine is leisurely and a lackluster 22 mpg overall proves to be no consolation. The uplevel turbocharged four-cylinder engine offers a big boost in performance with only a one mpg penalty, but its 21 mpg overall is in the realm of much larger SUVs.

Practicality isn't the primary mission of the Sportage, despite decent interior space and fairly simple controls. The sporty styling reduces cargo space a tad and impairs the view out severely, especially to the rear. Refinement suffers, too, with noticeable road noise and a stiff ride. Opting for the sportier SX, with its firmer suspension and larger wheels and tires, only makes these annoyances more pronounced. Higher-trim models add upgraded interior furnishings and fancy available options such as a panoramic sunroof and heated and cooled front seats.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (260 hp)
  • 2.4-liter 4 (176 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2011 Kia Sportage owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Body control module

“Stopped working. Repair caused displays to work improperly”

Anonymous, PA (2011 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The emergency break light comes on occasionally even though the break is not applied and I have had it noted anytime that tI have had it in to the dealership. They have replaced a well and the break pedal on as recall to no avail”

Barbara A., AB (2011 Kia Sportage SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“The check engine light came on, I took it to a KIa dealer, they diagnosed the problem as a faulty oil pressure switch, and repaired it. They told me that a notice had been sent out about possible problems with the switch. I was not sent a notice of t”

Delphine E., CA (2011 Kia Sportage Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Brake lite switch recall (brake lites were OK)”

Donald S., NJ (2011 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Warning lights

“The brake lamp switch has been replaced 5 times now since the original purchase of the vehicle. It keeps failing, even after the recall, after a period of 12 or so months”

Anonymous, AZ (2011 Kia Sportage EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Keyless entry

“Both Keyless entry fobs stopped working at about the same time, even though only 1 had been used since the purchase. There was no indicators on the dash that these were not working. The car just would not start nor could I open the doors”

Anonymous, TX (2011 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“The back compartment of the car squeaks and rattles to and irritating degree”

Ellen C., WA (2011 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The car is very squeaky when you hit a bump like the shocks are shot”

Donald T., NY (2011 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“squeaks from front of car while driving. fan in AC/heat makes noise when turned on”

Anonymous, PA (2011 Kia Sportage Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear beatings were shot. Too early for that degree of wear”

Anonymous, MN (2011 Kia Sportage EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“windows are noisy with wind at normal speeds”

Anonymous, CA (2011 Kia Sportage EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Steering wheel controls

“at or around 70000 miles started having trouble. it may set or it may take up to 12 times to get it to set at a speed I wanted to go”

John G., IN (2011 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Controls do other commands than what was selected. One touch pad replaced, but the problem is ongoing”

Anonymous, BC (2011 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“When I first purchased the car the dealer took care of the pairing for me before I left the lot with the purchase. A while after that I purchased a new telephone that could not be paired with it”

Anonymous, TX (2011 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

“I have a Satellite XM Radio Subscription however am having hardware problems with the Satelite Radio function as it freezes on loading after starting the vehicle”

Andrew C., ON (2011 Kia Sportage EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

“ABS, stability control and Traction control stopped working due to main controller failure at 90000km”

Anonymous, ON (2011 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

“Car is vibrating, rotors need replacement”

Anonymous, AZ (2011 Kia Sportage EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Rotors went need changing, because of ware and heat. Replace with factory or better Metal Parts”

Friedhelm L., CA (2011 Kia Sportage Unsure Unsure)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Shocks or struts

“Spring on front shock/strut cracked and was found on garage floor”

Anonymous, RI (2011 Kia Sportage EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“we had a cluncking noise on the driver side front wheel. KIA replaced under warranty”

Shawn B., VA (2011 Kia Sportage LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

“Air conditioning ran hot and cold.. It would be fine and then seem to turn off, even though it was on”

John R., IL (2011 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Evaporator

“The Kia has a smell in the air that needs to dry out before shutting off engine and AC”

Friedhelm L., CA (2011 Kia Sportage Unsure Unsure)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

“Actually it was the turbo and it went out after a computer update. Easily fixed and works like a charm now”

Anonymous, NE (2011 Kia Sportage SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

“I had a transmission problem not even after owning the car for 30 days. The dealer did not believe me until I brought the car back in. It would shift into low gear for no reason then when you turned it off, it would reset itself”

Donald T., NY (2011 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Turbo or supercharger

“Vehicle is going thru a recall. I have experienced acceleration hesitation”

James O., CT (2011 Kia Sportage SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Muffler

“I know mufflers do wear but I cannot get a new one except at Kia which will cost approximately $600”

Anonymous, RI (2011 Kia Sportage EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

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