kia sportage years to avoid

Kia Sportage Years to Avoid: A Comprehensive Guide

The Kia Sportage, a compact SUV, has been making waves in the car industry since 1993. It’s become quite popular and left a significant mark. It is a stylish compact SUV known for its outstanding performance and is no exception to these ups and downs. But don’t worry! Understanding the ‘kia sportage years to avoid‘ can make your car-buying journey more accessible.

This detailed guide is here to help potential buyers tell the difference between a good deal and a disaster waiting to happen. By knowing which years had less reliable models, you can avoid future problems. Get ready as we explore the good and bad of owning a Kia Sportage – your dream car could be closer than you think!

5 Most Reliable Kia Sportage Years


kia sportage years to avoid

The 2020 Kia Sportage stands out for its reliability in the Kia range. Its new look, better safety measures, and fresh tech make it more attractive and trustworthy. J.D. Power’s high-reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars supports this view. It performs well, too, thanks to the standard 2.4L engine and the optional turbocharged 2.0L engine that offers smooth rides and saves on fuel costs. The roomy interior with easy-to-use entertainment features guarantees a comfy and fun journey for everyone in the car.


The 2017 Kia Sportage is a trustworthy model. It has a makeover in design, more room for luggage and better safety measures. These features make it an excellent pick for those who want a second-hand compact SUV. The J.D. Power reliability score is 4 out of 5, proving its reliability.

A turbocharged engine that boasts 240 horsepower gives an exciting drive but doesn’t use too much fuel, making it perfect for those mindful of fuel expenses. The peaceful and comfy interior and user-friendly infotainment features provide a fun ride for drivers and passengers alike.


The 2018 Kia Sportage keeps many dependable features from its 2017 version. It has a high J.D. Power reliability rating because of its well-built cabin, ample cargo space, and modern safety features.

kia sportage years to avoid

You can choose a turbocharged engine for more fun driving or stick with the standard 2.4L engine for enough power in daily use. The 2018 Sportage is a trustworthy option for a small SUV that balances comfort and easy-to-use technology. Its solid construction and user-friendly features make it reliable and convenient for drivers.


The 2019 Kia Sportage is a trustworthy car that keeps up the excellent reputation of the Sportage series. Its reliability gets a score of 4 out of 5 from J.D. Power. The car has a sleek interior and offers a smooth ride, making it attractive for people who love comfort as much as speed.

It has excellent standard features like a turbocharged engine for exciting drives and another standard engine powerful enough for everyday use. It also has modern safety features like warnings for leaving your lane and automatic brakes in emergencies, adding to its trustworthiness. Overall, comfort, speed, and safety are well-balanced in the 2019 Kia Sportage.


The 2021 Kia Sportage, though a new model, is already known for being dependable. It keeps many features from older models like a luxury interior, easy-to-use infotainment system and top-notch safety features. The J.D. Power gave it a reliability rating of 4 out of 5 which means it’s likely to stay reliable over time. Its good performance and practical use make it a great pick for those looking for a trustworthy compact SUV.

5 Kia Sportage Years To Avoid

Here we have shortlisted some of the Kia Sportage Years to Avoid.


kia sportage years to avoid

The 1999 Kia Sportage is known for being unreliable because it has many mechanical problems. Many people who own this car have had issues with the engine not working, the transmission breaking down, and the electrical system messing up. These problems can cost a lot to fix and make the car less dependable. This model has a few safety features that new cars have, like stability control and better airbag systems. The way it looks is also old-fashioned compared to new models.


The 2000 Kia Sportage is known to have many mechanical and electrical problems, just like the 1999 version did. These issues can make repairs expensive, which could be better for someone who wants a car they can count on. The engine and transmission are especially problematic, often causing significant performance issues. On top of that, the 2000 Sportage has few of the safety features that newer models do. This makes it less appealing for people who put safety first. The design of this model also looks old compared to new compact SUVs.


It’s known that the 2001 Kia Sportage has lots of mechanical problems. These include issues with the engine, transmission, and electrical system. Fixing these problems can cost much money and make the car less dependable.

kia sportage years to avoid

This model doesn’t have the latest safety features and looks that newer models have, which makes it less attractive to many people looking to buy a car. So, it would help if you considered purchasing a more recent Sportage model because it performs better and has updated safety features and looks.


The 2002 Kia Sportage often needs help with its engine, transmission, and electrical system. Fixing these can be expensive and can also make the car less dependable. Cars this old often have these issues, mainly because car technology has dramatically improved since 2002. The 2002 Sportage also has fewer safety features or new design elements than more recent models.

This might not appeal to people who want their cars to be safe and look modern. Choose a more unique Kia Sportage model or look at other brands that are known for being reliable.


kia sportage years to avoid

Owners have reported several problems with the 2005 Kia Sportage. These include concerns about the engine, suspension, and brakes. These issues might lead to costly fixes and make the car less dependable. This model year might have newer safety features and design elements in more recent models.

The 2005 Sportage started a new generation of improvements, but these problems still exist. Getting a unique Kia Sportage model for a better and more reliable driving experience is a good idea. More recent models have been improved to perform better, be safer, and be more reliable overall.

What Are Some Typical Problems With The Kia Sportage Models?

Engine issue

kia sportage years to avoid

Kia Sportage cars made around the late 90s and early 2000s can sometimes have engine troubles. These can be anything from oil leaks and engine misfires to head gasket failures. These issues can make the car perform poorly, use more fuel, and be costly to fix if not sorted out quickly. For Kia Sportage owners, it’s essential to look after their cars well and deal with any possible engine problems as soon as they pop up.

Regular checks by a good mechanic can spot and sort out these issues before they become more significant. It’s also a good idea for owners only to use top-quality oil and parts when looking after or fixing their cars because low-quality stuff might worsen existing problems or even cause new ones.

Transmission problems

Older Kia Sportage models can sometimes have serious transmission issues that affect how well the car drives. You might notice gears slipping, the car hesitating when you try to speed up, or a sudden drop in power. These are all signs that there could be something wrong with the transmission. Fixing these problems can be pricey and might even require new information.

To avoid these issues, check your car and get regularly serviced. This helps keep all parts of your vehicle working right. But remember, any signs of possible transmission trouble should be checked by an expert mechanic immediately. They can find out what’s wrong and tell you what needs to be done to fix it. Not caring for these problems could lead to worse damage over time and more expensive repairs later.

Electrical system issues

kia sportage years to avoid

From the late ’90s to the early 2000s, Kia Sportage models often have electrical system problems. These issues include lousy wiring, faulty sensors, and ignition system troubles. These problems can cause the car to stall or not start, which could be dangerous. Getting regular check-ups and services to find and fix these electrical issues before they worsen is essential. During these checks, a skilled mechanic will carefully review the car’s electrical system and make any needed repairs or changes.

Suspension problems

Some Sportage owners often report problems with their suspension. This can include parts wearing out too soon, a noisy or bumpy ride, and tires not wearing evenly. These problems can make driving uncomfortable and even dangerous if not handled. It’s essential to have regular checks and upkeep to spot these issues early. This means looking at the car’s shocks, struts, and tires often for any damage or wear. Fixing these problems immediately can help your car parts last longer and make your ride smoother.

Brake system issues

Some Kia Sportage models can indeed have problems with their brakes. This might include early wear and tear on the brake pads and rotors, leaks in the brake fluid, or even total brake failure. These issues can make the brakes work less well, which could be dangerous for everyone in the car.

Checking your car often and fixing any problems as soon as they arise is crucial in stopping them from worsening. Getting a mechanic to look at your brakes often is a good idea because they can spot any damage or wear and tear. For those with a Kia Sportage, pay attention to any strange sounds or changes when you use your brakes. Ensure you check your car out immediately if you notice anything different to keep safe while driving.

Air conditioning issues

If your Sportage’s air conditioning isn’t performing well, it can make your drive uncomfortable. Problems like weak airflow, insufficient cooling, or foul odours often arise from a clogged cabin air filter, refrigerant leaks, or issues with the AC compressor. Regular servicing of the air conditioning system is crucial for its smooth operation.

Air conditioning issues

This includes replacing the cabin air filter annually or as your car’s manufacturer recommends and keeping an eye out for refrigerant leaks that can reduce cooling efficiency. Even after regular maintenance, you might encounter some persistent issues. These could be due to more severe problems, such as a faulty AC compressor, and may require a professional’s inspection. Staying on top of maintenance and resolving issues promptly ensures a relaxed and comfortable drive, even on hot days.

Fuel system issues

Kia Sportage models can have various problems due to fuel system issues. These problems can make the car use more fuel and perform poorly. Sometimes, the vehicle might even stop running. These problems usually happen because of blocked fuel injectors, broken fuel pumps, or fuel tank problems.

Keeping the car in good shape is very important to prevent and fix these issues. This means you should often clean your car’s fuel system and check if everything works correctly. By doing regular upkeep on your car, you can make sure it works well and avoid more significant issues later on.

Paint and body issues

Several Sportage owners have noted problems with the car’s paint and body. To keep these issues from getting worse, it’s essential to maintain your car regularly. This includes cleaning and waxing your vehicle to shield the paint from early peeling and rusting. These steps eliminate damaging substances like dirt, salt, and other chemicals that can eat away at the car’s exterior over time.

Paint and body issues

It’s also essential to check your vehicle frequently. Doing this will let you catch any possible cabin water leaks before they become more significant problems like structural damage or mold growth.

Which Year Kia Sportage Is The Best?

The 2020 Kia Sportage is known for its outstanding reliability and updated design. It got a top score from J.D Power, which shows it’s long-lasting and performs well. Its new look gives it a fresh feel and looks good, too. There are also better safety features to keep passengers safe.

This model has new tech that makes driving more accessible and more fun. Things like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a simple-to-use infotainment system make it easy to use. The 2020 Sportage mixes dependability, style, safety, and tech, making it perfect for anyone looking for a small SUV.

Is Kia Sportage Reliable?

The Kia Sportage is often seen as a dependable car. Kia has worked hard in recent years to fix problems found in older models of the Sportage. This effort has led to higher reliability scores from respected groups like J.D. Power. Still, how long a Kia Sportage stays reliable depends on how its owner takes care of it.

Regular check-ups and upkeep are crucial to keeping your Sportage running smoothly for longer. It’s also important to remember that everyone’s experience may differ based on their drive and their conditions.

Does Kia Sportage Have Engine Problems?

Kia Sportage cars made mainly in the late 90s and early 2000s sometimes had engine troubles. These problems could be as severe as engine failure or as minor as oil leaks. But remember, not every car from this time had issues. Many people didn’t have any significant problems with their vehicles.

Newer Kia Sportage models are much better in terms of performance and reliability. The company has worked hard to fix the old engine problems. Still, taking good care of your car is always important to ensure it lasts a long time. This means changing the oil on time, replacing filters, and fixing minor problems before they become big.


To sum up Kia Sportage Years to Avoid, the Kia Sportage has changed significantly. The newer versions are very reliable and perform well. The 2020 version is the best yet, combining reliability, style, and great features perfectly. Some of the older versions had engine and other issues, but taking good care of them can help avoid many problems. All in all, if you’re looking for a small SUV that’s practical and reliable, the Kia Sportage is a great choice. The models from recent years are especially worth considering.


How reliable is Kia Sportage generally speaking?

Aside from the problematic years mentioned, the Kia Sportage is considered a reliable compact SUV with good safety ratings.

Are there any recent Kia Sportage models that are reliable?

Yes! Models from recent years such as 2020 and onwards have shown improved reliability based on customer feedback and expert reviews.