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Kia Sportage
2011 Kia Sportage LX (US)
Manufacturer Kia Motors
Parent company Hyundai Kia Automotive Group
Also called Naza Sportage (Malaysia)
Production 1993–2002
Class Mini SUV (1993–2002)
Compact crossover SUV (2004–present)

The Kia Sportage is a compact crossover SUV built by the Korean automaker Kia Motors since July 1993.[1]

First generation (1993–2002)

First generation
Kia Sportage 4-door (Europe)
Also called Kia Grand Sportage
Kia Sportage Wagon
Production 1993–2002
Assembly Hwasung Plant, Hwasung, South Korea
Osnabrück, Germany
Body style(s) 2-door convertible SUV
4-door SUV
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel drive / Four-wheel drive
Engine(s) 2.0L Mazda 3FE DOHC 128 hp (95 kW) I4 petrol
2.0L Mazda FE 117 hp (87 kW) I4 petrol (Europe from 2000)
2.0L Mazda RF 82 hp (61 kW) I4 diesel (Europe)
Transmission(s) 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2-Door: 92.9 in (2360 mm)
1995–96 4-Door: 104.4 in (2652 mm)
1997–2002 4-Door: 104.3 in (2649 mm)
Length 1995–97 4-Door: 159.4 in (4049 mm)
1998–2000 4-Door: 167.1 in (4244 mm)
2-Door: 156.4 in (3973 mm)
2001–02 4-Door: 170.3 in (4326 mm)
Width 1995–97 4-Door: 68.2 in (1732 mm)
2-Door & 1997–2002 4-Door: 68.1 in (1730 mm)
Height 65.0 in (1651 mm)
Related Mazda Bongo

The first generation Sportage was developed with a Mazda Bongo engineering base platform. It shares many mechanical components such as the engine, transmissions (early), and differentials with the Mazda line of vehicles. This was during the alliance of Ford-Mazda-Kia for technology and product sharing in the early to mid-1990s.

Sportage was sold in either a four-door or a two-door soft-top convertible. The four-door version also had a long chassis body (Sportage Grand) in Asian and Australian markets. The long chasis models came with 10 inches (250 mm) longer boot space in the back. The first-generation Sportage was discontinued in North America for 2002, worldwide for 2003 except for Pakistan (Asia) it continued till 2004, later it was put on hiatus until a second generation model was ready. The four-door short chassis model measures just a quarter of one inch longer and the same width as the Geo Tracker, but boasts 130 hp (97 kW) and optional four wheel drive. The 1998 Kia Sportage was the world's first production vehicle to be equipped with a knee airbag. This first generation model (1993–2002) sold in low numbers even domestically in South Korea, however, and post-Hyundai takeover models (1997–2002) were recalled twice for rear wheels dismounting while driving.

From 1995 to 1998, the Sportage was built by Karmann in [ermany and European buyers only received German-built versions, while the rest of the world received Korean-built versions.

Second generation (2004–2010)

Second generation
Pre-facelift Kia Sportage (Europe)
Production 2004–2010
Assembly Gwangju Plant, Gwangju, South Korea
Žilina Plant, Žilina, Slovakia
Yangcheng Plant, Jiangsu, China
Kaliningrad, Russia (Avtotor[2])
Bicutan. Parañaque City, Philippines
Quito, Ecuador (AYMESA)
Body style(s) 4-door SUV
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel drive / Four-wheel drive
Engine(s) 2.0L Beta II I4 petrol
2.7L Delta V6 petrol
2.0L CRDI I4 diesel
Transmission(s) 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
6-speed manual
Wheelbase 103.5 in (2629 mm)
Length 171.3 in (4351 mm)
Width 2005–08: 70.9 in (1801 mm)
2007–08 4WD (Europe): 1,840 mm (72.4 in)
2007–08 2WD (Europe): 1,800 mm (70.9 in)
Height 66.7 in (1694 mm)
2007–08 (Europe): 1,730 mm (68.1 in)
Fuel capacity 2.0L I4: 15.3 US gal (57.9 L)
2.7L V6: 17.2 US gal (65.1 L)
Related Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai Matrix
Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai Tiburon
Kia Spectra

After a 2-year hiatus, the 2005 Sportage returned, sharing its Elantra-based platform with the 2005 Hyundai Tucson. The Sportage will also have a 2.0 L straight-4 Diesel engine available in the United Kingdom. Pricing starts at just over US$16,000. Critics and fans of the original, pre-Hyundai Sportage complain that it is considerably larger than the original Sportage and has none of the earlier offroad capability, the two keys for its success. However, buyers of the second generation model are likely to favor the available 173 hp (129 kW) V6, with 178 pounds of torque (241 N·m). The ride is considerably more comfortable, quiet and fun. Overall fit/finish and quality is noticeably improved over the 1st generation model.

2009 Kia Sportage LX (US)

Facelift model of the second generation was introduced in May 2008. Since 2007, it is manufactured at the Žilina Plant in Slovakia. A second facelift was introduced in the UK in early 2009 only a few months after its first facelift.

Kia Sportage named as one of the most reliable vehicles from 2009 Consumer Reports reliability survey.[3] The Kia Sportage ranked second in the “20 least expensive 2009 vehicles to insure” list by According to research, the Sportage is one of the least expensive vehicle to insure. Low rates tend to reflect a vehicle’s safety.[4]

Total U.S. sales

Calendar Year Sales
2005 29,009
2006 37,071
2007 49,393
2008 32,754
2009 42,509

Crash test ratings

The IIHS displays a 2008 Sportage as an example of a weak roof

The second-generation Kia Sportage earned a top rating of five stars in crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety judged it merely Acceptable for frontal and side-impact crash performance, and Poor for the strength of its roof in a rollover.[5]

Third generation (2010–present)

Third generation
2011 Kia Sportage EX (US)
Production 2010–
Assembly Oskemen, Kazakhstan (Azia Avto)
Body style(s) 4-door SUV
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel drive / Four-wheel drive
Engine(s) 1.6L I4 GDi petrol
2.0L I4 petrol
2.4L I4 petrol
1.7L I4 CRDi turbo diesel
2.0L I4 CRDi turbo diesel
Transmission(s) 6-speed automatic
6-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,640 mm (103.9 in)
Length 4,440 mm (174.8 in)
Width 1,855 mm (73.0 in)
Height 1,635 mm (64.4 in)
Related Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai i30
Kia cee'd
Kia Forte
Designer Peter Schreyer

A replacement Sportage third generation is due in early 2010 in European markets.[6] It will use a 2.0L CRDi 136 and 184 hp Hyundai R diesel engine. Kia has announced that a gasoline direct injection turbo engine will be released in early 2011. The engine is the same one used in the Hyundai Sonata 2.0T.[7]

In China, the third generation, called Sportage R, was released by Dongfeng-Yueda-Kia in October 2010, and to be built and marketed alongside—rather than as replacement of—the existing model.[8]


The 3rd generation Kia Sportage, designed by Peter Schreyer, awarded 'Top Safety Pick' from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the USA.[9] Earning the award became tougher in 2010 when IIHS added the rollover crash test, which measures roof strength and is twice as stringent as the federal requirement. To pass this test, a vehicle’s roof must be able to withstand the force of three times the vehicle’s weight (acceptable rating). The federal standard requires a roof to hold 1.5 times the vehicle’s weight.[10]

Monthly U.S. sales

 Jan 2010   Feb 2010   Mar 2010   Apr 2010   May 2010   Jun 2010   Jul 2010   Aug 2010   Sep 2010   Oct 2010   Nov 2010   Dec 2010   2010 Total 
n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 2,529 2,529


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