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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.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2011 Kia Sportage has been recalled 5 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
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01
02
03
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06
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11*
12
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17*
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

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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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
ENGINE
Feb 15 2019
A damaged engine can increase the risk of a fire or it can cause an engine stall, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain 2011-2012 Kia Sportage vehicles. The engine oil pan may leak and, if not addressed, the loss of oil may result in engine damage.
What should you do:
Kia has notified owners, and dealers will replace the oil pressure switch with an improved one, free of charge. In addition, dealers will inspect the oil pan for any oil leaks, replacing it if necessary, free of charge. The recall began July 3, 2019. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC174.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V101000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 32296
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE:DELIVERY:HOSES, LINES/PIPING, AND FITTINGS
Dec 19 2018
A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source can increase the risk of a fire.
Summary:
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain 2011-2017 Optima, 2012-2017 Sorento and 2011-2018 Sportage vehicles that previously received an engine replacement under recall number 17V-224, warranty, or the Knock Sensor Detection System (KSDS) Product Improvement Campaign. The high pressure fuel pipe that connects to the fuel pump outlet may have been damaged, misaligned or improperly torqued during the engine replacement procedure, possibly causing a fuel leak.
What should you do:
Kia has notified owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the fuel pipe, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began January 17, 2019. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC172.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 18V907000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 71653
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINE
Mar 31 2017
Bearing wear may result in the engine seizing, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Kia Motor Company (Kia) is recalling certain 2011-2014 Optima, 2012-2014 Sorento and 2011-2013 Sportage vehicles. Machining errors during the engine manufacturing process may cause premature bearing wear within the engine.
What should you do:
Kia will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the engine assembly, and replace the engine if necessary, free of charge. The recall began June 20, 2017. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC147.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 17V224000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 618160
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:SWITCHES:BRAKE LIGHT
Jun 09 2015
Whenever the brake switch is not working, the brake lights will not illuminate, reducing the ability to warn other motorists of the driver's intentions of stopping, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain model year 2011 Sportage vehicles manufactured March 7, 2011, to June 8, 2011. In the affected vehicles, the brake light switch may intermittently fail.
What should you do:
Kia will notify owners, and dealers will replace the brake light switch, free of charge. The recall began on July 7, 2015. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC121.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 15V360000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 7722
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:SWITCHES:BRAKE LIGHT
Apr 01 2013
Failure to illuminate the stop lamps during braking or inability to disengage the cruise control could increase the risk of a crash. Additionally, when the ignition is in the 'ON' position, the transmission shifter may be able to be moved out of PARK without first applying the brake. This may lead to unintentional movement of the car which may increase the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Kia Motors Corporation (Kia) is recalling certain model year 2007-2010 Rondo, model year 2007-2011 Sedona, Sorento and Sportage, model year 2010-2011 Soul, model year 2008-2011 Optima, model year 2010 Forte, model year 2007-2009 Amanti, and model year 2009 Borrego vehicles. Originally, in April 2013, Kia recalled 623,658 model year 2007-2010 Rondo and Sportage, model year 2007-2011 Sorento, model year 2007 Sedona, model year 2010-2011 Soul, and model year 2011 Optima vehicles. In September 2013, Kia informed the agency that it was adding an additional 356,719 vehicles to this campaign. The total number of vehicles being recalled is now 980,377. In the affected vehicles, the stop lamp switch may malfunction. A malfunctioning stop lamp switch may cause the brake lights to not illuminate when the brake pedal is depressed or may cause an inability to deactivate the cruise control by depressing the brake pedal. Additionally, a malfunctioning stop lamp switch may also result in intermittent operation of the push-button start feature, affect the operation of the brake-transmission shift interlock feature preventing the shifter from being moved out of the PARK position and cause the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) malfunction light to illuminate.
What should you do:
Kia will send an interim notification to owners in May 2013. When parts are available, owners will receive a second notification and dealers will replace the stop lamp switch, free of charge. Owners may contact Kia at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's recall campaign number is SC098.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 13V114000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 980377
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