Some of us love sporty rides – more like muscle cars. The Kia Sportage is a clean sporty SUV that can also be referred to as a “Muscle” car due to its body design. Sportage is a series of compact crossover SUVs produced by the top Korean automaker, Kia.
The series has been around for many decades, and there have been several models. But then, not all Kia Sportage models are worth buying; hence, we’ll explain the worst Kia Sportage years to avoid and why you should do so.
You may expect the newer Kia Sportage models to outperform the older ones, but it’s not that way. The 2012 and 2017 Kia Sportage SUVs are flagged as the worst-ever models.
Surprised? Let’s get to the details!
Kia Sportage Overview
The Kia Sportage is a classic compact crossover SUV you can drive on-road and off-road depending on the powertrain you’ve got on your model. It has a luxurious interior and a well-crafted exterior. Although the Kia Sportage is from Korea, it is one of the best SUVs driven by Americans.
Inside the hood of Kia Sportage lies several impressive components that power the engine to deliver up to 180hp. Notwithstanding, multiple engine options are available for the Kia Sportage, and they all produce different amounts of torque response and horsepower.
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Kia Sportage Years To Avoid and Why
While the Kia Sportage may look all decent and alluring, not all model years are worth buying, especially if you’re shopping around for a used one. Hereunder is the list of “worst” Kia Sportage model years.
- 2000 Kia Sportage
- 2001 Kia Sportage
- 2011 Kia Sportage
- 2012 Kia Sportage
- 2013 Kia Sportage
- 2014 Kia Sportage
- 2017 Kia Sportage
- 2018 Kia Sportage
These eight (8) model years are linked with a high number of complaints regarding the failure of most crucial components, such as leaks resulting in high oil consumption, constant engine failures, windows and windshield problems, and internal accessories issues.
Common Problems With Kia Sportage
1. Engine Failure
Several engine problems were reported for the Kia Sportage SUV produced in the years above. The issues identified include engine shutting down while driving, poor MPG, excessive loud noise, and engine not turning over. On average, fixing Kia Sportage engine problems cost $2,500.
There is no specific mileage range when these engine problems occur; some people experience fatal failures even before 80k miles. Some owners of the 2011 Kia Sportage allege that they replaced the engine on their SUV more than 2 times – it keeps blowing up!
2. Windows and Windshield Problem s
It is reported that the power windows function on the 2014 Kia Sportage stops working abruptly – usually after 70k miles.
Also, owners of the 2017 Kia Sportage allege that the windows started malfunctioning (getting stuck at a particular height) after they hit 40k miles. Fixing windows issues on Kia Sportages costs an average of $300.
3. Interior Accessories / Electrical Problems
Different Kia Sportage owners reported different interior accessories, including Bluetooth connectivity issues, malfunctioning radio, faulty center console, complete electrical system shut down, and others.
These problems were reported in various model years; the average repair cost is $300.
Best Kia Sportage Years To Buy
The Kia Sportage has quite good model years you should consider choosing from. These “best” years have low complaints reported about them and scored high in reliability – on RepairPal and J.D. Power.
Hereunder is the list of Kia Sportage’s best years to buy.
- 1995 to 1999 Kia Sportage
- 2002 to 2011 Kia Sportage
- 2015 Kia Sportage
- 2016 Kia Sportage
- 2019 to 2023 Kia Sportage
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Kia Sportage Have a Lot Of Problems?
Not really “a lot of” problems, but the Kia Sportage had some model years with a high number of complaints regarding the engine. Majorly, it is the engine and some interior accessories (electrical components) that usually go wrong in Kia Sportages; the transmission and drivetrain are typically reliable.
Is The Kia Sportage a Reliable Car?
Kia Sportage is a reliable compact crossover SUV. It is rated 4.0 of 5.0 on RepairPal and ranks number 6 out of 26 other SUVs in its category. The Kia Sportage is a sporty SUV anyone can drive and can go off-road terrains too.
Is Kia Sportage Expensive To Maintain?
The Kia Sportage is one of the cheapest-to-maintain vehicles in its category. According to RepairPal, the compact SUV’s estimated annual maintenance cost is an average of $462. This practically means you won’t spend more than $6,000 in maintenance within the first 10 years of owning a Kia Sportage.
How Long Does The Average Kia Sportage Last?
Apparently, the Kia Sportage can last up to 200k miles; with proper maintenance and conservative driving habits, the Kia Sportage can last well above 250,000 miles. It is really a strong SUV built for the toughest driving conditions.
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This article explains the Kia Sportage years to avoid and the reason(s) why you should avoid them. It would be beneficial for you to choose a Kia Sportage from the recommended “best” model years – you’d get an excellent value for your spending.
A well-maintained Kia Sportage can last over 13 years or 250,000 miles. Sportage is literally Kia’s finest compact SUV and is pretty affordable compared to other rides in its class range.
Notwithstanding, when buying a used Kia Sportage, ensure to inspect the engine thoroughly; Kia Sportages have a lifeline history of critical engine failure after a few miles – from around 75k miles.