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Used Kia Sportage review: 2010-2014

Graham Smith reviews the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Kia Sportage as a used buy.

After its early days as a budget buy, the SUV went ahead in leaps and bounds.


Apart from its value-for-money pitch there wasn't anything special about the Sportage when it first landed here in 1996 — it was the SUV you bought because you couldn't afford anything better. It has since come on in leaps and bounds.

In 2010 Kia launched the SL model, a major leap forward as it was longer, wider and lower than the outgoing KM series. Fresh and contemporary looks made the SL an altogether more appealing vehicle.

There were three models in the range, which started with the front-wheel drive Si, above which were the all-wheel-drive SLi and top-line Platinum.

The Si came with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which had to work hard to keep the wagon on the pace.

If you chose the SLi or Platinum, the engine options were still four-cylinders — a 2.4-litre petrol and a 2.0-litre turbo diesel. With more grunt than the engine in the Si, the 2.4 was much more capable. The turbo diesel provided an attractive blend of economy and performance.

For transmissions, the Si had a five-speed manual as standard and an optional six-speed auto. Buyers of the SLi or Platinum got the self-shifter.

The all-wheel-drive fitted to the SLi and Platinum was an on-demand setup. It operated in front-drive in most situations but if conditions called for it up to 40 per cent of the drive could be directed to the rear wheels.

On the road the Sportage was stable and assured thanks to unique tuning of its suspension and steering to suit Australian roads.

Kia updated the Sportage in 2013 when it released the Series II. There were a few changes, mostly cosmetic, the main one being the 2.4-litre petrol engine was dropped and the 2.0-litre became the sole petrol option.


It wasn't unusual to hear owners complaining about the quality and reliability of their Kia cars in the early days of the brand here, but it is today.

Few people have anything but high praise for their cars; those who do complain usually only have very minor issues to report.

While build quality is impressive no car is immune to problems and Kia recalled the SL series in January 2014 to rectify a problem with the tensioning cable in the seat belt pre-tensioners. It was feared the cable could break when deployed and not be able to fully restrain the occupant in the event of a crash. The recall affected just over 2900 vehicles built between August 2011 and March 2012.

The recommended service intervals are 12 months/15,000km and it's important that the servicing is done as Kia recommends. With that in mind check for a service record that shows the car of your choice has been properly maintained.

Check for underbody scrapes from off-road work. The Sportage is reasonably capable off the black top but it's not a bush-basher and any vehicle that has been used hard off-road should be rejected.

Coming up

Do you own or have you owned a Ford FG Falcon XR6? Share your experience with other CarsGuide readers by sending your comments to Graham Smith at or write to CarsGuide, PO Box 4245, Sydney, NSW 2010.


Year Price From Price To
2014 $10,890 $22,110
2013 $9,020 $20,130
2012 $8,250 $18,370
2011 $8,030 $17,050
2010 $6,380 $15,620

View all Kia Sportage pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

Based on 35 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
Highest Price

Range and Specs

EX (4x4) 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $8,470 – 11,880 2010 Kia Sportage 2010 EX (4x4) Pricing and Specs
EX (FWD) 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $7,480 – 10,560 2010 Kia Sportage 2010 EX (FWD) Pricing and Specs
LX (FWD) 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $8,367 – 8,990 2010 Kia Sportage 2010 LX (FWD) Pricing and Specs
Platinum (AWD) 2.4L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $11,990 – 15,990 2010 Kia Sportage 2010 Platinum (AWD) Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist


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