2012 Kia Sportage


Ranked #2 in Compact Suv

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Starting MSRP 

$18,500 - $28,400

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Key Spec of 2012 Kia Sportage
fuel economy


fuel type

Regular Unleaded


176 hp @ 6000 rpm

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

ProsConsWhat's New

A handsome list of premium features

Stiff ride quality 

Reworked suspension

A strong turbocharged motor available in higher trim levels

Sub-par cargo capacity

Extra insulation added to improve NVH levels

More lively and sporty driving characteristics as compared to its rivals

Sharp styling 

Decent safety scores

2012 Kia Sportage Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: May 19, 2022

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

 The 2012 Kia Sportage is a part of the third generation that offers a near-ideal balance of style and use. After the last year's redesign, the 2012 Sportage has an eye-catching exterior and class-leading interior. With more lively handling, the 2012 Kia Sportage's 176-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder is refined while the 260-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter engine in the SX model makes it one of the quickest models in its segment. Compared to the older generation, the new Sportage's turbocharged engine not only improves performance but offers better fuel economy of up to 21/30 mpg. The 2012 Sportage's dimensions offer a modest interior room with comfortable seating for five. There are now a total of four trim levels available, including Base, LX, EX, and SX.

2012 Kia Sportage For Sale

The 2012 Kia Sportage base with front-wheel-drive has a price tag starting from $18,500 which goes up to $28,400 for the SX Turbo with all-wheel-drive.  Stepping up to the Sportage LX adds more features including 17-inch alloy wheels, and keyless entry at a price of $20,800 with FWD and  $22,300 with all-wheel-drive. You can opt for a Convenience package that adds rear parking sensors, a rear spoiler, roof rails, and more. The Sportage EX is a more recommended choice as it includes the Convenience package along with 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, leather-wrapped steering wheel, the Uvo voice-activated cell phone, an audio interface, and more. For those who need more power, the SX exclusively features the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and upturned suspension.

2012 Kia Sportage Buying Advice

Since Kia redesigned the Sportage for the 2011 model year, the third-generation model marks a definitive departure from the previous version. The changes to the 2012 Sportage adds better sound insulation, and several more standard technology and features. So, anyone looking for a used Kia Sportage third-generation model can opt for the 2011 model year to save money, as it is nearly identical to the new Sportage. Moreover, the popular Sportage EX is the best-value-for-money choice, as it comes with all desired amenities. However, the Sportage SX Turbo should satisfy the buyers looking for a fast compact SUV.

2012 Kia Sportage Latest Updates

  • Apr' 13, 2022 : 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid Pricing Announced, Range Starts At $27,290 Read More »
  • Mar' 21, 2022 : Kia Sedona And Kia Sportage Earns J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS) Awards Read More »
  • Mar' 9, 2022 : Battle of the Generations: 2021 Kia Sportage V/S 2023 Kia Sportage Read More »

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. Though it has its own flaws including stiff ride quality and the interior's relative lack of cargo room compared to competitors like the Toyota RAV4, and Subaru Forester

Over All Rating


Out of 10

Notable Rankings

#2 in Compact Suv

#3 in Suv

Pictures & Videos


Base$18,500 onwards

  • 60/40 rear split bench seat
  • Air conditioning
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Trip Computer

LX$18,500 onwards

  • 16-inch silver aluminum Wheels
  • ABS and driveline Traction control
  • Cloth Seat trim
  • Front manual air conditioning
  • Seek-Scan Radio
  • Sirius AM/FM/Satellite

EX$23,900 onwards

  • 18-inch machined aluminum Wheels
  • 1St row LCD monitor
  • Driver Lumbar support
  • Dual zone automatic front air conditioning
  • Front Fog/driving lights
  • Parking assist
  • Remote keyless entry

SX$26,900 onwards

  • Leather Seat trim

Colors and Styles

2012 Kia Sportage in Black Cherry color
Black Cherry

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

For 2012, Kia Sportage gains revised suspension tuning that improves its handling. Kia has also improved sound insulation to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH). Some trim levels gain more standard features such as the LX getting standard 17-inch alloy wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires. The Sportage EX and SX models now come standard with Kia's Uvo hands-free interface.

The 2012 Kia Sportage continues to offer two powertrains: a four-cylinder engine and a more powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine. With up to an estimated 21/30 mpg city/highway, the Kia Sportage gets good fuel economy for the class. The more interesting part is the 2012 Kia Sportage's interior styling, which features attractive hard plastic surfaces throughout the cabin. With the back seats folded, the Sportage has 54.6 cubic feet of cargo space. While its exterior design is eye-catching, the interior is considered class-leading.

Buying Advice

We would recommend the base trim for those looking for an affordable crossover, which comes with impressive standard amenities. Starting at a price of $18,500, the Sportage base FWD trim includes features such as Sirius satellite radio, auxiliary and USB input jacks, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel-mounted controls, power windows, and door locks, and air conditioning, and a center console with an armrest and storage compartment. The mid-pack Sportage EX would be perfect for the ones looking for some premium features while the SX should satisfy drivers who want more power.


The 2012 Kia Sportage is available in four trim levels- Base, LX, EX, and SX. The base Sportage 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.

2012 Kia Sportage Pricing:

The 2012 Kia Sportage starts at a Manufactured suggested retail price of $18,500 for the base model and goes up to $28,400 for the top-range SX Turbo model. Except for the base trim, every Sportage version can be had with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. In the used car market, you can find the 2012 Sportage for sale at a price range of $9,268 to $12,918 depending on the vehicle's condition, location, mileage, and features.











MSRP (AWD) N/A $22,300 $25,400 $28,400


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


After the redesign last year, the EX models get new high-performance suspension dampers. All models come standard with Kia's Sync-like Microsoft-UVO system, and the Sportage's interior gets a new treatment with anti-soiling and anti-static cloth seats, which are now standard on EX models.

The top-of-the-line SX trim gets a push-button start with a smart key, which lets you start or stop the engine and lock/unlock doors from the outside with the key tucked in a pocket or purse. Leather seats also come in the SX, and heated and air-cooled front seats are optional. All models come with 60/40 split rear seats and the seats on upper-level trims feature a one-touch strap for easier access. 

Engine and Performance

The 2012 Kia Sportage is powered by a standard 2.4-liter Theta II naturally aspirated I-4 motor, which is good for 176 horsepower and 168 lb-ft of maximum torque. While driving the Sportage with the base engine, 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 2012 Sportage handles surprisingly well given its stiffer suspension setup but it takes a toll on the overall comfort levels inside the cabin.

The Sportage goes from 0-60 in 9. 3 seconds and needs 119 feet of distance to come to a complete stop. There is decent acceleration off the line, but getting up to speed on the freeway can a little longer. The Sportage's optional, 260-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-four engine takes care of those who need more power. Compared to the Sportage's older V6, the turbo-four adds 84 more horses and more than 100 lb-ft more torque. This engine offers plenty of power for passing and merging.


2012 Kia Sportage

2012 Toyota RAV4

2012 GMC Terrain

2012 Subaru Forester







2.4 Liter Inline 4

2.5 Liter Inline 4

2.4 Liter Inline 4

2.5 Liter Flat 4


Front-wheel drive

Front-wheel drive

Front-wheel drive

All-wheel drive


6-speed shiftable automatic

4-speed automatic

6-speed shiftable automatic

4-speed shiftable automatic


176 hp @ 6000 RPM

179 hp @ 6000 RPM

182 hp @ 6700 RPM

170 hp @ 5800 RPM


168 ft-lbs. @ 4000 RPM

172 ft-lbs. @ 4000 RPM

172 ft-lbs. @ 4900 RPM

174 ft-lbs. @ 4100 RPM


9.3 sec

8.0 sec

6.8 sec

8.5 sec


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.

Fuel Economy

The 2012 Kia Sportage returns impressive mileage figures and is at par with the rivals as well. The 2012 Sportage with the base 2.4L engine returns EPA estimated 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and combined 25 mpg. The all-wheel-drive models drop those to 20/27/23. The more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine in the SX delivers EPA estimated 21/28/24 with front-wheel drive and 20/25/22 with AWD. 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.


2012 Kia Sportage

2012 Toyota RAV4

2012 GMC Terrain

2012 Subaru Forester 

MPG (City) (mpg)





MPG (Highway) (mpg)





MPG (Combined) (mpg)





Fuel Capacity (gallon)

15.3 gal

15.9 gal

18.0 gal

16.9 gal

Range (City/Hwy)





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.


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. You get a sub-par 26.1 cu-ft of cargo space behind the rear seats of the Sportage, which can be increased to a generous 54.6 cu-ft by folding the back seats. 


2012 Kia Sportage

2012 Toyota RAV4

2012 GMC Terrain 

2012 Subaru Forester 

Seating Capacity





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





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





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?

Inside 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)

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.

Body-colored side mirrors with integrated turn signals are standard on most models, the same goes for projection headlights. The side profile has a neat design with a plastic cladding running underneath. The 16-inch alloy wheels of the base trim leave a little room for the desire to upgrade to bigger 18-inch wheels on the higher models. SX models come with a unique black and chrome version of the grille


2012 Kia Sportage

2012 Toyota RAV4

2012 GMC Terrain

2012 Subaru Forester 

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

The 2012 Kia Sportage has better safety features and ratings than most compact SUVs. The 2012 Sportage 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. 

Like all Kia vehicles, the Sportage comes standard with dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, and side curtain airbags. Other safety features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), stability control, brake assist (BA), and electronic brake distribution (EBD). Hill-start assist also comes standard and prevents the vehicle from rolling backward on a steep hill. A tire-pressure monitoring and downhill brake control complete Kia's safety checklist.

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 Vs. 2012 Toyota RAV4

Both the Kia Sportage and the Toyota RAV4 are immensely popular vehicles in the segment. Where the former focuses more on being a good-looker and an all-around package, the latter relies on superb reliability and toughness. Both the crossovers come with a very similar engine setup but the RAV4 is quicker on its feet and registers quicker times. It also provides better MPGs in the city and has a roomier cabin as well. The Kia offers more features off the block and has more MPGs in the city. It also has a fresh face that attracts a lot of younger audiences as well. 

2012 Kia Sportage Vs. 2012 GMC Terrain

The GMC Terrain outpowers the Kia Sportage with a more powerful engine and, naturally, posts quicker times on the clock. Apart from this, the Terrain one-ups the Sportage with more MPGs and a bigger fuel tank to help with its range. The Sportage might not have the oomph but is a more sophisticated offering. It has a nicely detailed cabin with comfortable accommodations. It might have a smaller boot capacity but the space is more usable and utilitarian with additional hooks to help carry smaller stuff. Along with this, a comprehensive infotainment system makes the Sportage a tech-laden offering as well as all the modern amenities.

2012 Kia Sportage Vs. 2012 Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester comes with a flat-4 engine configuration that aids in good traction off the line, paired with a standard AWD system. The 170 hp engine helps in a quick 0-60 MPH dash but gives in to the Sportage’s extra hp in the quarter-mile run. Performance aside, the Sportage is also more fuel-efficient than the Forester but has a smaller tank that reduces the overall range. The Forester brings in a bigger cabin and a larger boot but the design needs an update and is nowhere as pretty as the Sportage. Also, its heavier weight makes the Forester very difficult to handle and be fun around the twisty roads. 


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.


vehicle bio
base price


body style

4dr SUV

engine type

144 cu in

horse power

176 hp @ 6000 rpm


168 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm


6-Speed Automatic w/Overdrive


174.8 in


103.9 in


73 in

curb weight

3186 lbs


64.4 in

Ground Clearance

7 lbs

passenger volume

100 cu ft

cargo volume

54.6 cu ft

passenger capacity

5 Seats

fuel economy

21/25/30 mpg

highway range

435.00 mi

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

Kia Sportage 5 year Cost To Own

Cash Price(MSRP)
5 Year Cost To Own
Total 5 year Cost To Own -  $44,726
Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5total
Financing Interest$1,766$1,404$1,021$711$233$5,135
Taxes and Fees$2,412$226$186$161$164$3,149
Total Cost-To-Own$14,826$7,194$6,686$7,907$8,113$44,726
Read more about Cost-To-Own »

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