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2012 Kia Sportage

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2012 Kia Sportage Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

The first Kia Sportage was a rugged, but not terribly reliable, compact SUV with a body-on-frame chassis that made it a good low-cost alternative to the Jeep Wrangler. But, while the Jeep Wrangler has grown larger and less fuel-efficient, the 2012 Kia Sportage SUV has transformed into something altogether different. The 2012 Kia Sportage is now a clever compact SUV with a car-like ride, great fuel economy and an impressive level of overall quality and reliability. No longer a rugged off-road vehicle, the 2012 Kia Sportage compact SUV now competes with the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Chevy Equinox and Ford Escape. Beyond its head-turning styling, feature-laden standard-equipment list and available turbocharged engine, the 2012 Kia Sportage has one of the best standard warranties in the business, covering the powertrain for 10-years/100,000-miles.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need the room and versatility of a compact SUV, but you want something that is fun and sporty to drive, the 2012 Kia Sportage tops a very short list. Its affordable price makes up for its middle-of-the-road resale values, and its available 260-horsepower turbocharged engine is a rarity in this segment.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Not everyone will be drawn to the 2012 Kia Sportage SUV's polarizing looks. Those looking for a more traditional compact SUV with a large cargo bay should look to the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forster or Toyota RAV4.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Kia Sportage SUV has a slight increase in fuel economy for both the 2.4-liter and 2.0-liter turbocharged engines. All models receive improved rear suspension dampers and more sound insulation, while LX trims have new 17-inch wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires. EX trims with cloth seats get a new anti-bacterial, anti-soil fabric that also repels static build-up.

Driving the Sportage
Driving Impressions

The 2012 Kia Sportage's taut suspension and powerful engine choices put the "sport" in Sport Utility Vehicle. Compared with its nearest competitors, the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the 2012...

... Kia Sportage SUV rides a bit stiffer, but delivers better cornering and recovery from sharp dips in the road. The nicely-weighted steering feels good in your hands and delivers predictable response to rapid inputs and quick adjustments. The 2.4-liter and 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engines both offer ample power in any driving situation, with our favorite being the turbocharged version in the Sportage SX. The 2.4-liter is more than capable in climbing steep hills and handling quick passing maneuvers, but the turbocharged 2.0-liter adds a new level of driving fun. The 2.0-liter turbo also feature gasoline direct injection technology that helps it attain good fuel economy without sacrificing power.

Panoramic sunroof
More sun equates to more fun and this dual-section sunroof lets the rear-seat occupants stare at the wonders above.

2.0-liter turbocharged engine
Found in the 2012 Kia Sportage SX, the 260-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine makes the car surprisingly quick and a lot more fun to drive.

2012 Kia Sportage Details
Interior

The edgy exterior design of the 2012 Kia Sportage SUV carries over into the interior with a wildly (some say over-done) futuristic-looking dash, stylish cloth or leather seating and plenty of features to keep techno-savvy drivers happy. Functionally, there is much to like inside the 2012 Kia Sportage SUV, with a big, roomy rear seat that can be folded flat to make a modestly-roomy 54.6 cubic-foot cargo hold. While useful, the Sportage's cargo bay is not quite as large as those in the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4, both of which offer more than 70 cubic feet of cargo space. Cloth seating surfaces are standard and feature a number of colors and patterns to help owners better customize the Sportage. EX trims feature special anti-bacterial cloth that helps eliminate odors and stains that can accumulate over time. We like a number of the 2012 Kia Sportage's interior options, but the panoramic sunroof's manual sunshades don't strike us as very useful and should be power-operated.

Exterior

The 2012 Kia Sportage SUV's sleek design includes sharp lines, narrow side glass and Kia's signature "tab" front grille. Penned by Kia's Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer (the same man responsible for the Audi TT) the 2012 Kia Sportage SUV is a huge departure from previous designs, and even leaves most of its competition looking rather outdated. The clever interplay between the dark lines surrounding the grille, lower air ducts, and painted wheel inserts give the Sportage a keenly sinister appearance. The Sportage's high beltline and big wheel and tire combo make it look a bit like a hopped-up VW GTI. Don't be fooled by the 2012 Kia Sportage's sporty appearance, however, as its available all-wheel drive (AWD) and nearly seven inches of ground clearance make it every bit a compact SUV.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Kia Sportage SUV is offered in four front-wheel-drive trim levels: Base, LX, EX and SX, with AWD available on all but the Base. Standard equipment across all trim levels includes air conditioning, power accessories, Bluetooth, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a rear under-floor storage compartment and a satellite-radio-equipped audio system with four speakers. Some notable standard features that come with the EX and SX trims include Kia's UVO infotainment system, back-up warning system, push-button start, a cooling glovebox and auto-climate control.

Optional Equipment

All of the options available for the 2012 Kia Sportage come in the form of packages. Some noteworthy highlights of the Sportage option packages include a navigation system, heated front seats, a cooled driver's seat, a panoramic sunroof and a premium audio system with a subwoofer.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Kia Sportage SUV's new 2.4-liter engine is robust and fuel-efficient and should suffice for most drivers' needs. Costing a bit more is the turbocharged 2.0-liter, which provides V6-like power and 4-cylinder fuel economy. Both engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, which delivers impressive fuel-economy numbers and can be shifted manually. A 6-speed manual transmission is available, but only on the base trim level.

2.4-liter in-line 4
176 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
168 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 (front-wheel drive, manual), 21/30 (front-wheel drive, automatic), 20/27 (AWD, automatic), 19/25 (AWD, manual)

2.0-liter turbocharged in-line 4
260 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque @ 1,850 - 3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 (front-wheel drive), 20/25 (AWD)

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2012 Kia Sportage Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 134 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Flowless. BEST BUY. WE ARE MOVING. PRICE TO SELL

By on Monday, March 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"LIKE CAME RIGHT FROM THE MANUFACTURE.• Bluetooth, Hands-Free • CD Player • Cruise Control • Heated Seats • Navigation • Power Locks • Power Windows • Premium Audio • Premium Wheels • Security System WHELL LOCKS VOICE ACTIVATED COMMAND FOR TEL, RADIO, MEDIA SALELLITE CODE• Steering Wheel Controls • Trailer Hitch/HARNESS, BOAT CHARGER, MUD GUARD"

1 person out of 5 found this review helpful

Great family vehicle That is fun to drive!

By on Friday, January 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fast and fun to drive for a four door family car."

Cons: "Electric assist steering is a little touchy."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

2012 Sportage

"We needed a family vehicle with a little more room. with that being said We have always owned sporty two door cars and truck, so the thought of buys a four door grocery getter was not something I looked forward to. We had looked at comparable vehicles like the Ford Escape, but ultimately chose the Kia Sportage for the better standard 10 year 100,000 mile warranty that was upgraded for free to the 20 year 200,000 mile warranty during a promotion event and it had all virtually all of the same features for less money. My wife loves this car and she use to have a Mercedes C230! We opted for the T-GDI and I am glad we did. This little 4 banger really dishes out the power and is great on fuel mileage. We have almost 50,000 miles on it so far and it has been a good investment so far. My only complaint is the electric assist steering is a little touchy and takes some getting use to, but after driving it for a while its not that bad. If you want a reliable fast crossover style car that has cargo space for the family road trips or just trips to the grocery that won't break the bank, this is the car for you."

16 people out of 19 found this review helpful

2012 Sportage

Love my Sportage

By on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,770

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Gorgeous looks, fun to drive, precise, reliable"

Cons: "Engine noise, poor front seats, thick A pillars"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Got a used 2014 Sportage with 32000 miles on it. However, it looks and feels almost brand new. Real smooth to drive. Love almost everything about it and it looks absolutely unlike anything on the roads. I feel safe and comfortable in it. The dashboard and centre console is neat and meaningful which is a really big thing for me. I absolutely despise the busy fussy curvy dashboards. Minimal, clearly marked and neatly laid out buttons you push and rotate are what is needed when you are driving. Also love the sound system - its unlike any other car of a similar price range that I have seen. The car feels precise, and a bit sporty. You get an awesome steering feedback, but have to live with a stiff suspension. Seating height is very good and to my liking, though the front seats lack lumbar support. Rear seating space is really good - lots of leg room and head room and a flat floor. Lots of clean cargo space too and the cargo floor is at a perfect height from the ground. Greenhouse is pretty good with great front visibility, but the A-pillars could have been thinner. You have to crane your neck to lookout for an incoming car when taking a left curve on winding roads. I didn't have any issues with rear visibility though - instead I think that curved rear is one of the best looking parts of this car. I'm getting around 20mpg in city. No issues with the car yet. Braking and handling is all to my liking. My only complaint is that it somehow lacks the punch when pressed up from an idling state of 60-75mph. Seems like it went to sleep and I have to press real hard to wake it up out of slumber when it downshifts and accelerates. It may be a driving behaviour thing or a thing with the automatic transmission, but it sometimes makes me less confident while changing to higher speed lanes. That being said, it quickly gathers speed in the 40-60 range, and also feels pretty capable beyond 75. Additionally, the idle engine noise is pretty high for my liking and it only gets higher when accelerating from zero. Feels like i've turned on a truck. The noise can even be heard inside the cabin and does feel uncomfortable having experienced other cars with pretty silent cabins. Inspite of a few negative things that I pointed out, it is a car that gives you greater value for money than any other car out there without cutting down on quality, functionality and reliability. Love it. Its a neat little fun, reliable and meaningful car."

17 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Good value

By on Thursday, November 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good price, Stylish, Lots of features."

Cons: "Small trunk space, poor visiblity rear window"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Kia put together a nice package at a good price which is why I bought the EX model with the premium package. It had everything I wanted without adding things I did not care about. I'm getting about 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg highway with overall mpg at 22.43. I have not had any problems with the Sportage."

24 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Very pleased

By on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Sporty and satisfying to drive. Deceptively quick."

Cons: "Front seats not perfect. Slippery steering wheel"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We looked at all the offerings in this category and none had the value/dollar that the Sportage offered. The Sportage is fun to drive and has excellent power. I was concerned that it would get terrible mileage because of feedback I had read on the internet, however once we hit the 10,000 mile mark we are consistently seeing 23-24 mpg around town and up to 32 mpg highway. Considering the performance I have no complaints with the mileage. My only complaints are in the area of comfort. It's very good, but could be better. The seats need some work, they tend cut off the circulation on my legs and the steering wheel doesn't have enough down adjustment for my liking, plus the steering wheel is made of a material that is slippery, which makes it fatiguing to grip on long trips. I have to wear driving gloves to add some grip."

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Great for the snow!

By on Tuesday, September 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Price, gas mileage, dependability"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Love the Kia brand and this vehicle is no exception. I am not a "big" vehicle person but needed something especially for the winters in Erie, Pa. Extremely happy!"

15 people out of 28 found this review helpful

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