2012 Kia Sportage SX 2.0 turbo from North America


Don't deal with Kia, they'll do anything to try to cop out of a warranty repair apparently


Detonation on uphill driving - 3000 miles.

Destroyed spark plugs - 5,500 miles.

More destroyed spark plugs and engine failure - 6,500 miles.

General Comments:

I loved this car. It was extremely quick, the AWD worked great, quiet cabin, more luxury features than an Escape Titanium, good ride.

I bought this as an upgrade to my 2011 Sportage LX. The LX's 2.4L engine wasn't quite up to the task of pulling my 1,100lb camper. It would struggle up hills while the A/C was running. I figured I would get the 270hp turbo one, and alleviate that issue. Well, I was VERY wrong.

At 3000 miles, I kept hearing a metallic rattle from the engine. The dealer told me this was "normal, and don't worry about it". The first time I put a trailer behind it, the engine gave out after 10 miles. I had to have Uhaul come get the trailer (1,700lbs), and had the car towed to my Kia dealer. 2 of the 4 spark plugs had the electrodes blown off. Their solution? Change the spark plugs. I asked them to look into why that happened. They told me "It's fine now, we drove it for 5 miles". It drove OK, but I could still hear detonation when driving uphill.

A month later, we hooked our 1,100lb pop up camper to it. We made it less than 10 miles this time. The engine gave out again. Had to have everything towed back to the dealer again. We waited there for 4 hours, and then they said the engine had no compression, and they're denying the warranty. Apparently, my camper was "too heavy". The car is rated for 2,000lbs... They then told me "It's only rated for 1,000lbs without a trailer brake". The manual states the 2.4L needs one, but no mention for the 2.0 turbo.

So, according to Kia, the engine failed, because the camper was 100lbs too heavy to haul without a trailer brake... Come on Kia. If I hurt the brakes, you'd have a valid point, but the engine failure has nothing to do with trailer brakes. My car has been sitting for over a month now, and I had to file a lemon law suit against Kia. They refuse to repair it.

If they would have fixed the detonation problem when I first brought it in, the engine wouldn't have eaten itself when I put a camper behind it. I suspect a bad knock sensor, or lack of proper testing and programming when they were developing the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd August, 2012

4th Aug 2012, 13:19

You tried to pull a travel trailer with a Kia? That's the problem right there... Not surprised it didn't work, but you would think with a brand new one it would for a while at least... or you would hope so...

The Sportage is meant for driving kids to soccer practice. The suspension sags if there are 4 adults in the vehicle.

Next time you tow something, get a REAL truck, like a Ford F-series pickup or a full frame, rear wheel drive, truck based SUV.

Sure, the gas mileage won't be quite as good, but you won't blow your engine. V-8 engines are made for a reason; to be durable, powerful and reliable, as well as towing trailers and heavy campers.

My father drives his classic car to car shows. NO ONE uses anything other than full size, rear wheel drive, american trucks to tow their cars. My girlfriend trains horses and coaches kids who ride horses; go to a horse show and the exact same thing, only full size american trucks used to pull horse trailers. Anyone who has towed for a long time does not take chances with japanese trucks, mid size trucks, front wheel drive SUVs, and ESPECIALLY not a 4 cylinder KIA... LOL.