Kia Sportage Years to Avoid and The Best Years

Kia Sportage Years to Avoid – Are you considering purchasing a Kia Sportage? With its sleek design, ample space, and impressive features, it’s no wonder why this compact SUV has gained popularity among car enthusiasts. However, like any vehicle, not all model years are created equal.

In this article, we will explore the Kia Sportage years to avoid, shedding light on the worst years that potential buyers should be aware of.

Kia Sportage Years to Avoid

When it comes to buying a car, knowledge is power.

Understanding the problematic model years can save you from potential headaches, unexpected repairs, and overall dissatisfaction with your purchase.

Whether you are buying a new or used one, having a clear understanding of the Kia Sportage’s troubled years is essential for making an informed decision.

Kia Sportage Years to Avoid

While the Kia Sportage has undergone numerous improvements and updates over the years, certain model years have been associated with recurring issues and reliability concerns.

It is important to note that not all vehicles from these years will experience problems, but the following model years have been commonly reported as having more issues compared to others:

By being aware of the Kia Sportage years to avoid, you can make a well-informed decision and potentially save yourself from unnecessary expenses and inconveniences down the road.

Remember, this information should serve as a guide, and it is always recommended to conduct thorough research, seek expert opinions, and consider individual vehicle history before making a final decision.

Kia Sportage Years to Avoid

In the upcoming sections, we will explore each of these problematic years in detail, highlighting the specific issues that have been reported, and providing insights into the steps you can take to minimize potential risks.

One of the most notorious years to stay away from is 2012, which has required the Kia brand to embark on a recovery journey.

Additionally, 2013, 2001, 2009, 2008, 2000, and 2011 are among the worst years of creation for the Kia Sportage.

Read Also: Kia Telluride Years to Avoid

So, if you are considering purchasing a Kia Sportage, let’s dive into the worst years and equip you with the knowledge you need to make a wise investment.

Please note that this article is intended to be a helpful resource, and it is important to keep in mind that individual experiences may vary.

2012 Kia Sportage

The 2012 model year has gained notoriety as the worst offender, with numerous reports of engine problems. Owners have experienced engine failure, which can lead to sudden power loss while driving, leaving drivers and passengers stranded.

2013 Kia Sportage

The 2013 model year has also been plagued by engine issues, albeit to a lesser extent than the 2012 version. Owners have reported engine failures, knocking sounds, and overall poor engine performance.

2001, 2009, 2008, 2000, and 2011 Kia Sportage

These model years have also seen a significant number of engine-related complaints, including blown engines, engine stalling, and persistent knocking noises. These issues can pose safety risks and result in costly repairs.

By doing so, you can steer clear of the worst years of the Kia Sportage and find a model that offers reliability, performance, and peace of mind on the road.

Read Also: Kia Niro Years to Avoid

Kia Sportage Best Years

When searching for a dependable and trustworthy compact SUV, it’s crucial to consider the best years of the Kia Sportage. While some model years have faced challenges and issues, there are several standout years that have garnered praise for their reliability and performance.

Kia Sportage Best Years

Let’s explore the Kia Sportage’s best years, highlighting the models that have excelled in terms of reliability, driving experience, safety features, and overall customer satisfaction.

2014 Kia Sportage: Reliability and Good Driving Manners

The 2014 Kia Sportage earns a place on the best years list due to its commendable driving manners and exceptional reliability. Compared to its sub-par predecessors in 2011, 2012, and 2013, the 2014 Sportage proved to be relatively problem-free.

It received positive ratings from reputable sources, with Edmunds rating it at 3.4 out of 5.0, Kelley Blue Book at 4.4 out of 5.0, and JD Power scoring it 81 out of 100.

2019 Kia Sportage: The Preferred Choice

Kia Sportage Best Years

The 2019 Kia Sportage takes the lead as the preferred model year among many individuals. This model successfully addressed the issues that plagued its predecessors, offering a delightful driving experience and an array of desirable features.

With approximately 8 inches of ground clearance and all-terrain tires, it excels in navigating various terrains.

The 2019 Sportage boasts a user-friendly infotainment system, featuring connectivity options like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Safety is prioritized with features such as automatic emergency braking and blind-spot collision-avoidance assist. It also provides ample cargo space and comfortable seating for five passengers.

With its reliability, fuel economy, and advanced safety features, the 2019 Kia Sportage receives high praise, earning an excellent reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 from U.S. News.

Read Also: Kia Seltos Years to Avoid

2022 Kia Sportage: Value and Practicality

Kia Sportage Best Years

While not receiving any significant changes, the 2022 Kia Sportage stands out for its value and practicality, particularly in the LX model with the Value Edition package.

This package includes features like 18-inch alloy wheels and heated front seats, previously exclusive to higher-end trims.

As the last model in its generation, the 2022 Sportage benefits from lessons learned from earlier models, resulting in a refined and dependable vehicle. Edmunds rates it at 4.6 out of 5.0, while JD Power scores it 81 out of 100.

2021 Kia Sportage: Consistency and Comfort

Kia Sportage Best Years

The 2021 Kia Sportage maintains its reputation for consistency and comfort. While no significant changes were made, the addition of the Nightfall Edition and Nightfall Edition Premium options offers a sleek black finish in specific areas, enhancing its aesthetic appeal.

With a spacious cabin and satisfying ride-and-handling characteristics, the 2021 Sportage provides a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience.

Edmunds rates it at an impressive 4.8 out of 5.0, reflecting its high customer satisfaction.

Read Also: Kia Stinger Years to Avoid

2023 Kia Sportage: Bold Design and Hybrid Options

The 2023 Kia Sportage ushers in a new generation with a unique and bold exterior design. It stands apart from competitors with its extroverted styling and is available in hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrain options.

This model aims to compete with hybrid offerings from other popular SUVs in the market, such as the Hyundai Tucson and the Toyota RAV4 Prime.

With the latest infotainment and safety technologies, the 2023 Sportage offers a compelling choice for those seeking a modern and environmentally friendly SUV.

2017, 2018, and 2020 Kia Sportage: Reliability and Advanced Features

The 2017, 2018, and 2020 Kia Sportage model years also deserve mention as highly reliable options.

The 2017 Sportage features a new design, increased cargo space, and advanced safety features, earning a J.D. Power reliability rating of 4 out of 5.

The 2018 Sportage carries over many of the same features, offering a well-built cabin, ample cargo space, and advanced safety features.

The 2020 Sportage stands out with its updated exterior design, enhanced safety features, and new technology. J.D. Power awarded the 2020 Sportage an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars for reliability.

By choosing one of these best years for the Kia Sportage, you can enjoy a reliable and enjoyable driving experience for years to come.

Read Also: Kia Cadenza Years to Avoid

Kia Sportage Problems

It’s important to be aware of the common problems that certain model years may have experienced.

Understanding these issues can help you make an informed decision and avoid potential headaches down the road. We will delve into some of the most commonly reported problems with the Kia Sportage, covering engine issues, interior concerns, and braking troubles.

Kia Sportage Problems

By familiarizing yourself with these common problems, you can determine which Kia Sportage years to avoid and ensure a safe and cost-effective ownership experience.

1. Engine Problems

Among the Kia Sportage models, engine issues have been a significant area of concern, with the 2012 model year standing out as the worst offender.

Many customers have reported a range of engine problems that have led to numerous complaints and frustrations. Some of the specific engine issues encountered with the Kia Sportage include:

  • Blown engine: Instances where the engine unexpectedly fails, resulting in a complete loss of power while driving.
  • Engine death while driving: The engine abruptly shuts down during operation, posing a safety risk on the road.
  • Knocking engine sound: Persistent knocking or ticking noise coming from the engine, indicating potential internal damage.

These are just a few examples of the engine problems that have plagued certain Kia Sportage models. Such issues can not only be dangerous but also lead to expensive repairs.

The 2011, 2012, and 2013 versions have garnered the most customer complaints regarding engine troubles over the years.

It is advisable to steer clear of these specific model years to avoid unnecessary expenses and potential safety hazards.

Read Also: Most Expensive Kia

2. Interior Issues

Another common set of problems reported by Kia Sportage owners relates to interior issues. While these may not affect the car’s driving performance, they can significantly impact comfort and convenience.

Certain pre-2010 models have received complaints regarding various interior accessories and components. Some of the interior issues include:

  • Air conditioning malfunctions: Problems with the cooling system, such as ineffective cooling or irregular temperature control.
  • Interior accessories issues: Complaints about malfunctioning buttons, knobs, or electronic features within the cabin.
  • Seat belt issues: Reports of seat belts failing to retract or buckle properly, compromising safety.

Investing in a vehicle means expecting a functional and comfortable interior. Avoiding Kia Sportage models that suffer from interior problems will help you maintain a satisfactory ownership experience.

By identifying the specific years associated with these issues, you can make a well-informed decision and select a model that meets your expectations.

3. Braking Troubles

Braking is a critical aspect of any vehicle’s safety, and the Kia Sportage has experienced braking issues, particularly with the 2011 model year.

Brake-related problems pose a significant risk to both the car and its occupants, and it is advisable to avoid models that have a history of such issues.

Opting for newer Kia Sportage models can provide you with improved brake performance and peace of mind.

By being aware of the engine issues, interior concerns, and braking troubles reported in specific model years, you can avoid potential pitfalls and select a Kia Sportage that meets your needs.

With this knowledge, you can confidently choose a Kia Sportage that offers both reliability and longevity, ensuring a satisfying ownership experience.

Is the Kia Sportage a reliable car?

According to, the Kia Sportage ranks 6th out of 26 compact SUVs in terms of reliability. It receives a positive score, indicating that it is generally considered a reliable car. The annual repair cost for the Kia Sportage is $462, which is lower than the average cost of $521 for similar vehicles.

Additionally, there is an 11% chance of a severe repair being necessary for the Sportage.

These statistics suggest that the Kia Sportage is a dependable choice with lower repair costs compared to its competitors.

Does Kia Sportage Have Engine Problems?

While earlier Kia Sportage models, particularly those from the late 1990s and early 2000s, have encountered engine problems, more recent models have shown significant improvements in terms of engine performance and reliability.

It is important to note that advancements in engineering and manufacturing processes have helped Kia address and resolve these issues over time.

To ensure the longevity and performance of any vehicle, including the Kia Sportage, regular maintenance and servicing are crucial.

Adhering to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, such as oil changes, filter replacements, and other routine inspections, can help prevent potential engine problems and keep the vehicle running smoothly.


While older Kia Sportage models from the late 1990s and early 2000s may have experienced engine problems, the more recent models have shown improvements in reliability and performance.

Regular maintenance and servicing play a vital role in preventing potential issues and ensuring the longevity of the vehicle.

By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each model year, prospective buyers can make informed decisions when choosing a Kia Sportage.

Conducting thorough research, considering expert opinions, and test-driving different model years can help individuals select a reliable and enjoyable Kia Sportage that meets their needs.

Remember, when exploring the Kia Sportage, being aware of the specific years to avoid, such as the 2012 model, can save you from potential problems down the road.

Related Articles: