2012 Kia Sportage Review
The 2012 Kia Sportage stands out for its attractive, modern styling, plenty of standard features and affordable base price, but reviewers complain about its performance and poor visibility.
The 2012 Kia Sportage may be one of the least expensive models in its class, but test drivers say that it is more upscale than its price suggests. Unlike many affordable compact SUVs, the Sportage has a sleek, aggressive exterior that reminds critics of pricier European models. The Sportage is also loaded with standard tech features, like Bluetooth and a USB port, that are usually optional in this class and standard on many luxury compact SUVs.
Although it offers luxury at an affordable price, the 2012 Sportage does have its flaws. Auto reviewers say the base engine is underpowered, though the optional turbocharged engine gives the Sportage a much-needed boost. One characteristic that might be a deal breaker is the Sportage’s hampered front and rear visibility.
Even with these imperfections, reviewers like the 2012 Kia Sportage because it is such a great value.
Other Cars to Consider
While the Kia Sportage is one of the most attractive models in the class, it lacks utilitarian features that are found in family-oriented SUVs. The Honda CR-V, our 2011 Best Affordable Compact SUV for Families, is more expensive, but it has a lot of features that make family life easier. These include a conversation mirror that lets the driver see what’s happening in the back seat without turning around, a center tray table and an under-seat storage bin.
For a better combination of performance and good cargo space, consider the Mazda CX-7. Reviewers call it one of the most engaging vehicles in the class (second in line to the pricier and smaller Volkswagen Tiguan). It has more cargo space than the Sportage and has a turbocharged engine option, but it doesn’t come standard with features like Bluetooth or a USB port.
Details: Kia Sportage
The 2012 Kia Sportage is available in four trims: base, LX, EX and SX. The SX trim is the only trim available with a turbocharged engine. Changes for 2012 include a revised rear suspension and more floor insulation to make the cabin quieter.
See the full list of 2012 Kia Sportage specs.
- "If a CUV is on the shopping list, you'd have to look at this one. Kia's sharp styling and steadily improving mechanical sophistication indicates a company on a roll. Besides, the warranty is almost endless." -- AutoWeek
- "Some visibility was sacrificed to the racy styling and interior materials and fuel economy fall a bit below par for the class. Otherwise, Sportage delivers a host of standard features, an impressive list of luxury options, and the bonus of Kia's strong warranty. Our nod goes to the high-value LX and EX trims. The SX's quicker acceleration and sharper handling can't overcome its noisy engine, stiff ride, and much higher price." -- Consumer Guide
- "Sportage looks stylish, is well-equipped and oozes embraceability. But, oh, what a disappointment in some major ways." -- USA TODAY