While the previous-generation Sportage was an also-ran, this fourth-generation redesign jumps almost to the top of the small SUV class. Distinctions like the rakish roofline and spry demeanor remain, but improvements include more civilized road manners, a roomier interior, improved crash-worthiness, and better visibility.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

We expect the 2021 Sportage will be much more reliable than the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2018, 2019 and 2020 models. Select the used car model year to see reported issues with those similar past models.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2018 Kia Sportage has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
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17*
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
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NA
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NA
Engine Minor
NA
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NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
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NA
NA
NA
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NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
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NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
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NA
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NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
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NA
NA
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NA
NA
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NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
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NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
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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 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 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 2018 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

Android Auto

"Fails 20%"

Anonymous, TX (2018 Kia Sportage SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Apple CarPlay

"20% of the time the Appleplay fails to recognize Connected phone"

Anonymous, TX (2018 Kia Sportage SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"It is a terrible navigation system. Voice recognition doesn't work, and it often can't find an address when it is input manually before driving. As well, POI's don't work, and very difficult to find things like a golf course, a particular store, etc. Pretty much useless, unless you input the address while stopped, and it happens to recognize an address. Process then becomes find a location on my phone, input the address and maybe it finds it, otherwise try to use phone to navigate."

Dianne T., ON (2018 Kia Sportage SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Software update fixes

"The software was draining the battery while the car was off causing it not to start without a jump."

John W., NJ (2018 Kia Sportage SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Transmission computer

"At highway speeds under light load , on kickdown (downshift) the transmission would go into neutral."

Daniel H., MD (2018 Kia Sportage EX 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

Keyless entry

"The worst feature of the car is the automatic tailgate. It may or may not open when you want it to, you just stand and wait, wondering if it will choose to open this time or not. At the same time, it will frequently pop open if you pass by it, not wanting it to open. Several times we have found the tailgate wide open the next morning. An equally terrible feature is that there is no mechanism to close the tailgate automatically, like by using the foot wave on the Escape. I had a Ford Escape before and the foot control worked perfectly, all the time. Another terrible feature is the design of the key fob. The buttons stand out from the fob, so the buttons seem to get pushed inadvertently quite frequently just from being in a pocket, Frequently this sets off the car alarm, even when we are in the house. Again, on the Ford Escape, it never happened."

Dianne T., ON (2018 Kia Sportage SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Engine light kept coming on and they had to change the vent solenoid 2 days after leasing the vehicle."

John W., NJ (2018 Kia Sportage SX 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

Heater system

"I live in Erie, PA and winters are very cold. I park my car outside. Even turning my heater to its fullest it takes a good 20 minutes for it to heat up. Conversely, the AC works well no matter how hot it is."

Phyllis A., PA (2018 Kia Sportage LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"the starter kept killing the battery. the car was in the shop 4 times before they would give me a new starter. kept saying they fixed it but never completely fixed it, it would breakdown a week -10 days later."

Anonymous, CT (2018 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

Wheel bearings

"Shortly after purchasing we could hear a humming noise took it in and was taken care of and covered under warranty."

Anonymous, (2018 Kia Sportage EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"soon after getting it we started to get stone chip. dealer repainted lower doors"

Anonymous, (2018 Kia Sportage SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

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

Drive System

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

Body Integrity

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

Engine Major

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

Brakes

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

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.

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

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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
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
Mar 04, 2021
An engine compartment fire can increase the risk of injury.
Summary:
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain 2017-2021 Sportage and Cadenza vehicles. The electrical circuit in the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) may short-circuit, which can cause a fire in the engine compartment.
What should you do:
Kia will notify owners, and dealers will replace certain fuses in the electrical junction box. Vehicles equipped with an electronic parking brake (EPB) will also receive a HECU software update. Repairs will be performed free of charge. Owners are advised to park outside and away from structures as a precaution until the recall repair is complete. The recall began on April 30, 2021. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC206.
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: 21V137000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 379931
ENGINE, FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
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
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