Common problems with Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage is one of the best-selling Kia models in North America. This compact SUV comes with a lovely cabin, spacious cargo area, and high-tech features, and the ride is balanced. However, it also has several issues. But what are the common problems with the Kia Sportage?  

Common problems with the Kia Sportage are engine problems, braking issues, electrical problems, transmission issues, exterior & interior issues, suspension problems, and cooling system issues. Despite having multiple issues, the Kia Sportage can last for a long while if it’s well-maintained and repaired.

What are the common problems with Kia Sportage?

Engine problems

Kia Sportage users have reported different engine problems over the years. The good news is that most of them are minor, but some have been serious leading to engine failure. One of the things that cause engine issues is a faulty engine sensor. Nonetheless, Kia issued a recall although many owners reported that the fix was temporary.

Other Kia Sportage engine issues are excess oil usage, turbocharger problems, fuel pump failure, and cylinder misfire. If you’re having an engine problem, you should take the car to a professional mechanic for diagnosis and fixing.

Transmission problems

Another common problem that Kia Sportage users face is transmission problems. Many Kia Sportage users have reported having transmission failure. If this happens, the user will have to replace the entire transmission. However, this can be costly and cumbersome to repair.

  Is Kia EV6 a good car?

Transmission failure in the Kia Sportage is normally caused by a faulty torque converter. The work of the torque converter is to convert the engine’s rotational force into hydraulic pressure. This pressure is vital as it is utilized to move the transmission’s gears. So, if the torque converter fails, it can make the transmission slip or even fail. 

Cooling system issues

The cooling system is a very vital part of the car as it helps to remove excess heat from the engine, maintains the engine operating temperature, and brings the engine to its normal operating system. The cooling system is made up of a radiator, thermostat, and water pump. So, if one of the parts fails, the cooling system won’t work well.

While all of the above parts can fail, the most common cooling system issue is a leaking radiator. A common sign of a failing radiator is a coolant leak. Ensure the mechanic fixes this issue before it gets out of hand.

Electrical problems

The Kia Sportage is also known to have many electrical issues. Most of these problems are caused by a bad battery or alternator. The car’s battery provides power to the car’s electrical system. If the battery fails, it can cause the lights to dim or flicker, the engine to stall, and the radio to cut out.

So, have the mechanic check the battery and alternator to fix electrical issues. Note that the alternator is responsible for charging the battery. So if it fails, the car will also develop electrical problems.

Braking issues

Different Kia Sportage users have reported experiencing different braking issues. Nonetheless, the most common braking problem is premature wear of the brake pads. This is usually caused by towing a heavy load or stop-and-go traffic. Another common braking problem is the brakes making a squealing noise. This issue is usually caused by worn-out brake pads.

  Common problems with Kia Rio

Therefore, if you’re having braking problems on your Kia Sportage, you should have the brake pads and brake calipers inspected and fixed to avert the problem.

Suspension problems

Some Kia Sportage users have also reported having suspension problems. Note that a faulty suspension can make the car lose control. The main cause of this problem is worn-out suspension parts. Hence, have the mechanic replace the faulty or worn-out parts to rectify the issue. 

Exterior and interior quality problems

Several Kia Sportage users have reported having exterior and interior quality problems. Some of the common issues noted are faded paint, cracked headlights, faulty door handles, and loose trim. These issues are normally due to poor craftsmanship. Kia recalled some models and fixed the problem.


Is the Kia Sportage reliable?

Yes, the Kia Sportage is very reliable. It is one of the most reliable Kia SUVs on the market. According to J.D. Power, the Kia Sportage has a reliability score of 88 out of 100, which is exceptional. This is greater than most of its rivals in the compact crossover SUV segment.

Nonetheless, it is important to consider the Kia Sportage model years as some are more problematic than others.

Is the Kia Sportage expensive to maintain?

Like most Kia SUVs, the Kia Sportage is cheap to maintain. It is estimated that the Kia Sportage will cost around $7,873 to repair and maintain in the first 10 years of ownership. This is better than the industry average of most SUVs by around $1,260. Besides, the cost of spare parts is quite lower compared to most of its rivals.

How long does the Kia Sportage last?

Kia has improved a lot over the years. The latest Kia Sportage models should last longer than the older models. Older Kia models clock between 150,000 and 250,000 miles. However, with proper maintenance and care, the latest Kia Sportage models should last for more than 250,000 miles.

  Is Kia Stinger a good car?

Does Kia Sportage hold its value?

Yes, Kia Sportage has one of the best resale values in its class. This is because a Kia Sportage will depreciate by 29% after 5 years of ownership. Therefore, it will have a resale value of around $23,352, which is excellent. Nonetheless, for the Kia Sportage to attract such an excellent depreciation value, proper care and maintenance are needed.

Which is the least reliable Kia Sportage model year?

The least reliable Kia Sportage model years are 2012, 2013, and 2017 models. These cars seem to have lots of problems and are costly to fix. One of the main problems that these cars face is engine issues. Not only can engine issues cause the car to stop working, but they are expensive to repair too.


The Kia Sportage is an efficient, reliable, spacious, practical, comfortable, and safe compact SUV. Nonetheless, it also comes with a few issues that users should note and prevent to enjoy the ride. Some of these problems include engine, transmission, suspension, braking, and electrical problems.

With great care and maintenance, the Kia Sportage can last for more than 250,000 miles. Besides, if you’re purchasing a used Kia Sportage, it is vital to consider the model year you’re buying as not all of them are reliable.

Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

Recent Posts