2012 Kia Sportage

MSRP $18,500 - $28,400

Ranked #9 in Suv

7.7

Overall Rating

2012 Kia Sportage Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 31, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Kia Sportage made its debut back in 1995 as an almost box-shaped compact SUV. But Kia was quick enough to make it more appealing right from the following generation and the SUV also got bigger and entered the compact crossover segment. Initially, the SUV struggled with sub-par safety ratings but from the third-generation model, things improved to a great extent.

2012 Kia Sportage Latest Updates

  • Sep' 9, 2021 : Kia Announces Global Sales For August 2021 Read More »
See detailed review »

Pros

A handsome list of premium features

A strong turbocharged motor available in higher trim levels

More lively and sporty driving characteristics as compared to its rivals

Sharp styling 

Decent safety scores

Cons

Stiff ride quality 

Non-adjustable rear seats

Sub-par cargo capacity

What's New?

Reworked suspension

Extra insulation added to improve NVH levels


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$18500

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

139 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

144 cu.in.

horsepower

176 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

168 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

6 speed manual

chassis

suspension front

MacPherson strut front suspension

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspensin w/anti-rll bar

dimensions

wheelbase

103.9 in.

length

174.8 in.

width

73 in.

height

64.4 in.

curb weight

3157 lbs.

ground clearance

6.8 in.

capacity

passenger volume

100 cu ft.

cargo volume

54.6 cu ft.

towing capacity

2000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.9 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

16.1 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

20/23/27 mpg

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr./ 100000 mi.

powertrain warranty

10 yr./ 100,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./100,000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$18,500 onwards

LX$20,800 onwards

EX$23,900 onwards

SX$26,900 onwards

Colors and Styles

2012 Kia Sportage in Black Cherry color
Black Cherry

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Feature

6.0

Features

8.5

Engine and Performance

8.0

Fuel Economy

9.0

Interior

6.0

Exterior

8.0

Safety

6.0

Competition

8.0

7.7

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.7

Overall Rating


The 2012 Kia Sportage is a part of the third-generation model of the vehicle and comes with some mechanical improvements. The SUV carries a starting price tag of $18,500 and offers two powertrain and drivetrain options. In the segment, the Sportage goes up against rivals such as the Toyota RAV4, GMC Terrain, and the Subaru Forester.


8.5/10
Features

8.0/10
Engine and Performance

9.0/10
Fuel Economy

6.0/10
Interior

8.0/10
Exterior

6.0/10
Safety


2012 Kia Sportage Features

8.5/10

The 2012 Kia Sportage is available in four trim levels- Base, LX, EX, and SX. The base trim offers a plethora of premium features for a sub-20k price tag which include cruise control, full power accessories, and a decently-loaded infotainment system among others. Except for the base trim, all the trims get an optional AWD layout but the powertrain remains the same till the EX trim. The top-end SX gets a more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged motor and a sporty suspension system to complement the extra power on tap.

Trim

Base

LX

EX

SX

MSRP

$18,500

$20,800

$22,300(AWD)

$23,900

$25,400(AWD)

$26,900

$28,400(AWD)

Key-features

16-inch alloy wheels

All features of the Base, plus:

All features of LX, plus:

All features of EX, plus:

 

Cruise control

17-inch alloy wheels

18-inch alloy wheels

2.0 Liter turbocharged engine

 

Full power accessories

Exterior mirrors turn signals

Automatic headlights

Sports tuned suspension

 

Tilt-adjustable steering wheel

Tinted rear windows

Daytime running LED

Upgraded gauges

 

60/40 split seats

Keyless entry

Fog lights

Leather upholstery

 

Trip computer

 

Dual-zone climate control

 

 

Bluetooth connectivity

 

Power driver seat

 

 

4-speaker audio system

 

Upgraded cloth upholstery

 

 

Satellite Radio

 

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

 

We recommend

We would recommend the base trim for those looking for an affordable crossover. The EX would be perfect for the ones looking for some premium features at an affordable price tag. The SX is best suited for performance lovers.

2012 Kia Sportage Engine and Performance

8.0/10

The 2012 Kia Sportage is powered by a standard 2.4-liter Theta II naturally aspirated I-4 motor from the house of Hyundai. The engine delivers a maximum of 176 horsepower and 168 lb-ft of maximum torque. While driving the vehicle, the motor shows no traits of being lethargic, and given the vehicle’s size, it drives quite well. The refinement levels are decent and have improved over the previous models owing to the added insulation for this model year. The six-speed automatic transmission does a good job and while in the manual mode, offers a sporty driving experience. The SUV handles surprisingly well given its stiffer suspension setup but it takes a toll on the overall comfort levels inside the cabin.

Model

Kia Sportage LX

Toyota RAV4

GMC Terrain SLE-1

Subaru Forester 2.5X

MSRP

$20,800

$22,650

$25,560

$20,595

Engine

2.4 Liter Inline 4

2.5 Liter Inline 4

2.4 Liter Inline 4

2.5 Liter Flat 4

Drivetrain

Front-wheel drive

Front-wheel drive

Front-wheel drive

All-wheel drive

Transmission

6-speed shiftable automatic

4-speed automatic

6-speed shiftable automatic

4-speed shiftable automatic

Power

176 hp @ 6000 rpm

179 hp @ 6000 rpm

182 hp @ 6700 rpm

170 hp @ 5800 rpm

Torque

168 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm

172 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm

172 ft-lbs. @ 4900 rpm

174 ft-lbs. @ 4100 rpm

0-60(MPH)

9.3 sec

8.0 sec

6.8 sec

8.5 sec

Quarter-Mile

17.1 sec

16.0 sec

15.4 sec

17.3 sec

Top Speed(mph)

113 mph

120 mph

120 mph

117 mph

The Toyota RAV4 gets an almost similar motor to the Sportage in terms of displacement and puts out better power and torque figures. But its 4-speed automatic unit is disappointing and it drives nothing like the Sportage even. The GMC Terrain has the best horsepower rating here and is the quickest one too among the rivals here. The Subaru Forester comes with its unique H-4 motor but its performance levels are just about at par with the rivals.

2012 Kia Sportage Fuel Economy

9.0/10

The 2012 Kia Sportage returns impressive mileage figures and is at par with the rivals as well. The SUV returns 21mpg of city mileage and 30mpg of highway mileage. The combined mileage is rated at 25mpg. The disappointing bit is the sub-par gas tank capacity of 15.2 gallons which results in lower driving range figures as opposed to the rivals.

Model

Kia Sportage LX

Toyota RAV4

GMC Terrain SLE-1

Subaru Forester 2.5X

MPG (City) (mpg)

21

22

22

21

MPG (Highway) (mpg)

30

28

32

27

MPG (Combined) (mpg)

25

24

26

23

Fuel Capacity (gallon)

15.3 gal

15.9 gal

18.0 gal

16.9 gal

Range (City/Hwy)

321/459

350/445

396/576

355/456

The GMC Terrain offers the best highway mileage of 32mpg as well as combined mpg as well. The RAV4 has a slightly higher city mileage and slightly lower highway mileage than the Sportage. The Forester is the least fuel-efficient of all but its decency-sized gas tank makes up for it.

2012 Kia Sportage Interior

6.0/10

The 2012 Kia Sportage interior is a combination of complex and stylish design cues that has an overall pleasing appeal to it. As is the case with budget vehicles from Korean carmakers, there is quite a bit of hard plastics all over the cabin but gets well-textured surfaces. There is a sufficient amount of soft padding at the major points of contact and the adequate headroom and legroom offer an overall pleasant experience inside the cabin. The front seats offer excellent comfort levels while the rear seats are comfortable too but lack any sort of adjustments. The sub-par 26.1 cu-ft of cargo space behind the rear seats can be increased to a generous 54.6 cu-ft by folding the seats. 

Model

Kia Sportage LX

Toyota RAV4

GMC Terrain SLE-1

Subaru Forester 2.5X

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.1/56.7/41.4

40.8/57.1/41.8

39.8/55.7/41.2

41.6/56.1/43.1

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.5/55.1/37.9

39.7/55.3/38.3

39.2/55.3/39.9

40.4/55.6/38.0

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

26.1 cu. ft.

36.4 cu. ft.

31.6 cu. ft.

33.5 cu. ft.

The Subaru Forester has the most spacious cabin here along with impressive comfort levels and a spacious boot as well. The Toyota RAV4 takes the second spot in terms of spaciousness but its interior design is rather dull. The GMC Terrain offers the best experience inside the cabin with premium features and sorted ride quality.

Some interior features are:

  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Full power accessories
  • Tilt-only steering wheel
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control(EX)
  • leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob(EX)

How intuitive is the 2012 Kia Sportage’s infotainment unit?

In the base trim, the 2012 Kia Sportage offers a pretty basic infotainment system with features such as a four-speaker sound system, Bluetooth phone, and audio connectivity, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack, an iPod/USB audio interface, and a CD player. Stepping up to the EX trim brings in a lot more infotainment features along with the user-friendly UVO infotainment interface as well.

Some infotainment features are:

  • Navigation System(optional)
  • Satellite Radio
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Auxiliary audio input
  • USB-port
  • UVO infotainment system(EX)

2012 Kia Sportage Exterior

8.0/10

The 2012 Kia Sportage exterior looks better than most of its rivals owing to its sporty and sharp styling cues. The front end of the SUV has a unique aggressive stance owing to the front grille and the front bumper design. The headlamp units flank the front grille seamlessly while the hood gets a couple of sculpted shapes on either side that gels in with the A-pillar. The side profile has a neat design with a plastic cladding running underneath and the 16-inch alloy wheels of the base trim leave a little room for the desire to upgrade to bigger 18-inch wheels.

Model

Kia Sportage LX

Toyota RAV4

GMC Terrain SLE-1

Subaru Forester 2.5X

Curb Weight (lbs)

3186 lb.

3360 lb.

3853 lb.

3300 lb.

Length (in.)

174.8 in.

181.9 in.

185.3 in.

179.5 in.

Width (in.)

73.0 in.

71.5 in.

72.8 in.

70.1 in.

Height (in.)

64.4 in.

66.3 in.

66.3 in.

65.9 in.

Ground Clearance (in.)

6.8 in.

7.5 in.

6.9 in.

8.7 in.

Wheelbase (in.)

103.9 in.

104.7 in.

112.5 in.

103.0 in.

The GMC Terrain has the traditional chunky and boxy exterior design like the rest of the American SUVs but it appeals to the right set of buyers in the market. The Toyota RAV4 has the dullest of designs when compared to the rivals here while the Subaru Forester has a handsome and proper SUV-ish exterior design.

Some exterior features are:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Panoramic sunroof(optional)
  • Turn indicators on external mirrors(optional)
  • Tinted rear windows 
  • Keyless entry

2012 Kia Sportage Safety

6.0/10

The 2012 Kia Sportage has a decent safety department as compared to its rivals. The SUV scored a decent 4-star rating in NHTSA crash tests while the IIHS gave it a top “Good” rating as well. Being an affordable vehicle it covers the basics alright but the advanced safety techs are hard to find at this price point. Some of the safety techs include full-length side-curtain airbags, active front head restraints, antilock disc brakes, and front-seat side airbags among other features.

Some standout safety features include:

  • Anti-lock braking System
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • Hill descent control
  • Active front head restraint
  • Front-seat side Airbags

2012 Kia Sportage Final Verdict

The Kia Sportage is a strong contender in the fast-paced compact crossover SUV segment and has a lot of things going for it. Kia has kept in mind the performance lovers out there and offers a turbocharged motor with the top-end model of the SUV which dishes out some impressive performance figures while being decently fuel-efficient. On the inside, if you can look beyond the hard plastics, you’re in for a treat with the sharp and stylish design along with comfortable seats. Apart from the bogged-down experience due to the overly stiff ride quality, the Sportage poses as a strong offering in the segment.

Similar Cars

2012 Jeep Compass
2012 Jeep Compass

MSRP: $19,295- $26,045

7.6/10
2012 Ford Escape
2012 Ford Escape

MSRP: $21,440- $28,120

7.7/10
2012 Jeep Liberty
2012 Jeep Liberty

MSRP: $23,395- $28,995

7.9/10
2012 GMC Terrain
2012 GMC Terrain

MSRP: $25,560- $33,010

7.8/10
2012 Mitsubishi Outlander
2012 Mitsubishi Outlander

MSRP: $22,345- $27,895

7.0/10
2012 Ford Edge
2012 Ford Edge

MSRP: $27,770- $38,960

7.8/10
2012 Hyundai Santa Fe
2012 Hyundai Santa Fe

MSRP: $23,225- $30,925

7.1/10
2012 Hyundai Tucson
2012 Hyundai Tucson

MSRP: $19,145- $26,495

8.1/10
2012 Jeep Wrangler
2012 Jeep Wrangler

MSRP: $22,045- $33,770

7.3/10
2012 Chevrolet Equinox
7.8/10