Product Reviews

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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 3 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 2012 Kia Sportage has been recalled 3 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
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01
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06
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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 2012 Kia Sportage owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

“Works sporadically”

David C., CA (2012 Kia Sportage EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“UVO system with the backup camera took so long to load that we were done backing up by the time the backup camera turned on. Much improved with an under warranty service, still a little slow”

Anonymous, IN (2012 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen goes blank

“Display freezes and goes blank occasionally when it switches to backup camera”

Anonymous, IL (2012 Kia Sportage EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“i have a recurring problem where the infotainment screen 'reboots' when i start the car. this causes the screen to go blank and the backup camera doesn't work. I had the whole unit replaced once, but the new unit does the same thing”

Donald F., GA (2012 Kia Sportage EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“My cell phone would not hook with the car blue tooth. Dealership fixed at no cost”

Anonymous, CO (2012 Kia Sportage LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
CD player

“CD wouldn't play either...is all-in-one unit. Had to replace entire unit & pay full price (out of warranty for stereo systems)”

David L., TX (2012 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

“Radio just quit on me...wouldn't connect with regular radio OR Sirius/XM . Was one month out of warranty, so had to pay full price & replace the entire unit”

David L., TX (2012 Kia Sportage LX 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

“We have had more miles on other vehicles and because we are responsible in our break use have had little problem. This problem came on fast. No notice on our regular service appointments. Had it checked and ended up with rear pad and rotor replacement. Costly repair”

Anonymous, WI (2012 Kia Sportage Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Based on other vehicles I have owned, have never had rotors fail after 60000 km (have gotten 100-150k on other vehicles, including another AWD vehicle)”

Anonymous, NS (2012 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

“Both front and rear rotors rusted out in under 5 years and needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, NS (2012 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Rotors were making sporadic clicking/clunking noise when braking or turning after applying brakes. Turns out they were rusted out and warped after only 60000 km, and were not replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, NS (2012 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaking

“Brakes frequently make squeaking sound when released. Function fine, but a minor annoyance. Dealer could not find a problem”

Anonymous, NS (2012 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

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

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“All lighting systems on the left side of the car became nob-functional, to include. turn signals, emergency flashers, brake lights”

Joan N., KS (2012 Kia Sportage SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Body control module

“one of the critical fuses went out, and the car's electronics would reset themselves every time the car was restarted”

Anonymous, AE (2012 Kia Sportage EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“We had two separate issues, both were corrected by the dealer. Haven't had issue since”

Anonymous, IL (2012 Kia Sportage Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Warning lights

“Brake light on instrument remains lit upon starting, turn vehicle off & restart, light goes off”

Anonymous, GA (2012 Kia Sportage EX 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

A/C compressor

“Ac died at 95000 miles”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Kia Sportage Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“doers not work”

Anonymous, FL (2012 Kia Sportage LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Takes a while to cool, then does not keep the temperature cold”

David C., CA (2012 Kia Sportage EX 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

Engine rebuild or replacement

“AC compressor went out at around 100000 miles Engine failed at 99000 miles”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Kia Sportage Base 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The engine went bad and it was replaced at approximately 70,000 miles on the vehicle”

Anonymous, PA (2012 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

“faint rattle can be heard at freeway speeds coming from the passenger side of the vehicle. The noise is worse on bumpier roads, but is nearly constant when traveling at 60+ MPH”

Peter G., TX (2012 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“it was a bad rear strut and repaired under warante”

Donald M., IL (2012 Kia Sportage SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

“Our Kia began jerking as we were driving. Took it in to our dealership and it turns out the whole transmission needed replacement. We got it replaced under warranty”

Alice S., FL (2012 Kia Sportage EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

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

“Leaking shock on pass. rear. Replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, GA (2012 Kia Sportage EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

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.

Transmission Minor

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

Drive System

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

Engine Cooling

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

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.

Exhaust

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

Engine Minor

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

Paint/Trim

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

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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:
The remedy for this recall is still under development. An interim owner notification was mailed on April 10, 2019. A second letter will be sent once the remedy is available. 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
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