2010 Kia Sportage SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Kia Sportage SUV

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Kia Sportage Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 140 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2010 Kia Sportage

  • Though outclassed in many ways by more refined competitors, the 2010 Kia Sportage remains a solid choice for buyers in search of an affordable compact crossover.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Practical interior, good value compared to competition, long powertrain warranty.

  • Cons

    Both engines lack oomph, disappointing fuel economy.

  • What's New for 2010

    Other than a couple of minor feature revisions, the 2010 Kia Sportage is unchanged.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Awesome car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Sportage

Living in Central Canada where the winter weather can get down into the -40C range, and the summer temps, like today, can hover in the +30C area, I read reports on the Sportage and decided to buy. I previously had a Kia Magentis for five years, which, to date is the best car I have ever owned. The Sportage is coming in a close second. Very comfortable, great ride, good on gas and excellent dealer service all add up to continuing with this brand next year. No problem starting in the cold weather and efficient air conditioning in the summer bring excellent reliability. I miss an inside armrest, wish it had digital temperature controls, but if that is all I have to complain about????

Esc light is on

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Sportage

I really like this car. I replaced a 2002 Chevy trailblazer with my Kia. I think it's a good choice. That car was junk. Recently my esc off light is on. Any suggestions other than take it to a dealer. It isn't doing anything funky or making any noises. It came on after a bad rain storm. It comes on after about a mile a 2 has passed. Other than that its a great vehicle.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Long term review

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Sportage

Owned the Sportage for a year and half with 35k miles still going strong. Recently I've been getting as much as 30 MPG. The sportage is very solid, no issues at all. The sportage has been a great commuter car and family work horse. Between commuting and getting the kids off to there sports, this car has been great. plenty of storage in the back with enough room to travel with 5 people. I find The 4 cylinder 2.0 liter engine adequate. Its not a rocket but gets me where i have to go. The 5 speed makes the sportage fun to drive. The outside finish is still as shiny as the day i got it. No issues at all , none. I do all of the required maintenance through the dealer. Easy to maintain. Great car!

Loved it, sorta love it

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Sportage

Spent a PA winter driving circles around other ppl and going up hills passing everyone. FUN. It's cute, way more economical than my Jeep was and super reliable in terms of the engine. After a year, however, the left rear side is creaking like an old house & like another reviewer said, my back hinge is rusting off and I have to get another. The hinges were on back order so this is a common problem apparently. The interior is cheap, you can't go in there without scratching it. Great engine, love the look and simplicity of it, but the rest is not holding up to my expectations at the moment. I don't think a car should have ANY problems after a year, just saying. Overall I still love it.

Great suv for the price.

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Sportage

We bought the Sportage because it was thousands cheaper than the rest of the compact SUVs and has a better warranty. Kia was also offering a $2000 rebate at the time. Have about 27k on it and so far it has been great. posted fuel economy is 20/25/23, we live in the country and average about 26 mpg, not bad. The only disappointment so far is the tires. They already need to be replaced. The 2.0 I4 is ok at highway speeds but acceleration is a little slow. Get the V6 if you want the 4WD model. Other than that it's a great SUV at a great value.

Pre owned kia

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Sportage

Purchased this car in early March, with 14,000 miles on the clock. Have put 6,000 miles on it in 3 months. Averaging 21 mpg 80/20 highway city split. (75 mph over hilly WV terrain). Very pleasant dealership experience. The USB adapter seems to have stopped working, the only flaw against this car.

Full 2010 Kia Sportage Review

What's New for 2010

Other than a couple of minor feature revisions, the 2010 Kia Sportage is unchanged.


Let's be clear right up front: The 2010 Kia Sportage is a good little crossover SUV. The only problem is that the hyper-competitive compact crossover segment is one of those places where being good might not be quite good enough.

The Sportage's long-standing midpack status dates all the way back to the model's U.S. introduction in 1995, when it broke new ground as one of the first truly compact sport-utility vehicles. Unfortunately, that original version was also rather crude, and it was quickly eclipsed by more refined entries from Honda and Toyota.

Kia went back to the drawing board and rolled out an all-new Sportage in 2004. Built on a more carlike unibody platform, this second-generation Sportage was a dramatic improvement over the previous version. The problem, of course, is that while the Sportage's engineers were upping their game, the competition was upping theirs. The result is that the 2010 Sportage is likable enough, but it lacks any subjective advantages that might lure buyers away from segment leaders like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

The Sportage's most obvious shortcoming is that both its available engines are no match for its rivals. Its 173-horsepower V6, for example, actually has less oomph than the CR-V's four-cylinder, to say nothing of the RAV4's spirited 269-hp V6. The Kia's four-speed automatic also lacks refinement compared to the competition's five-speeds, and that missing gear also adversely affects the Sportage's fuel economy. While these weaknesses don't exactly make the Sportage a slug in everyday driving, they're the kind of small differences that can become the deciding factor in a segment filled with a number of attractive choices.

There is one area where the Kia Sportage does manage to one-up its competitors, however, and that's the value proposition it offers. Compare its list of standard features with the Honda and Toyota, then take a look at their respective MSRPs and you'll discover that buying the Sportage can save you thousands of dollars. Figure in Kia's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and this Korean crossover begins to look even better. As such, the Sportage is best suited for buyers whose first concern is finding a relative bargain.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Kia Sportage is a compact crossover SUV that's offered in LX and EX trim levels. Both are offered with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.

The entry-level LX comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, keyless entry and a flip-up rear window that opens independently of the liftgate. The interior features air-conditioning (except on four-cylinder base models), cloth upholstery, full power accessories, cruise control and a six-speaker CD/MP3 stereo with satellite radio capability and auxiliary audio/USB input jacks.

Pony up for the EX and you'll get 17-inch wheels, foglights, a sunroof, heated outside mirrors, upgraded cloth upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, plus a rear cargo area cover and a trip computer. The EX can be decked out with a Luxury package that adds choice extras including rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an upgraded stereo with six-disc CD changer. A navigation system is also offered on EX models as a stand-alone option.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2010 Kia Sportage can be had with one of two engines and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. LX base models get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts out 140 hp and 136 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard and a four-speed automatic transmission is available as an option. Those in search of better performance can step up to the LX V6 or top-of-the-line EX, both of which are powered by a 2.7-liter V6 that's good for 173 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. The four-speed automatic is the only transmission offered.

In our tests, a V6-powered Sportage took 10.7 seconds to accelerate from zero to 60 mph. To put that number in perspective, that's about a second slower than the quickest four-cylinder crossovers and more than 3 seconds off the time set by the segment-leading RAV4 V6.

The Sportage's powertrains are also substantially less fuel-efficient than those of its competitors. EPA estimates range from 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined for the front-wheel-drive, four-cylinder model to 18/23/20 for the all-wheel-drive V6.


The 2010 Kia Sportage comes equipped with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, side curtain airbags and side-impact airbags for front seat passengers. Active front head restraints are also standard.

In government crash tests, the Sportage earned a top five-star rating for both frontal and side impact crash protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Sportage received an "Acceptable" rating (the second highest of four) in its frontal offset and side-impact crash tests. Unfortunately, the Sportage got a worst-possible score of "Poor" for its performance in the IIHS's new roof-strength test.

Interior Design and Special Features

Step inside the 2010 Kia Sportage and you'll find a pleasing interior with seating for up to five passengers. Build quality and materials are also generally good, with the exception of a few cheap-feeling knobs and switches.

Up front, the Sportage offers head- and legroom on par with most of its competitors. The 60/40-split rear seat offers slightly less legroom, however, making it a bit of a tight squeeze for larger adults.

That split-folding rear seat design makes schlepping stuff easy. In passenger mode there are 23.6 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats, while folding them forward creates a nice flat load floor with a total of 66.6 cubic feet of space. While those numbers are respectable enough, both fall a tad short of the category leaders.

Driving Impressions

Much of the appeal of compact crossovers is in their ability to deliver some of the practicality of larger SUVs along with easier maneuverability and parking on city streets and in tight parking lots. The 2010 Kia Sportage is no exception.

Because the performance of the base model's four-cylinder is weak, we'd recommend stepping up to one of the V6-powered models. Even with the V6, the Sportage feels rather sluggish compared to many competitors, though it's probably just fine for most people's needs. On the open road, the Sportage feels nimble. The ride quality is a little firmer than the norm and handling is not exactly sporty, but neither is really objectionable.

Talk About The 2010 Sportage

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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