2012 Kia Sportage

Posted: April 20, 2012 in Vehicle Reviews
Tags: , , , , ,

I often hear the Kia Sportage mentioned when I am discussing my vehicle search with other dog people. It’s usually classed with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV as a decent small SUV for toting crated dogs, but is it? I checked one out recently and here’s what I found: the Sportage could be a pretty versatile dog vehicle, like the CRV and RAV4 but for one small detail… the rear passenger row does not fold flat! This is not an issue for those riding their dogs belted on the back seat or loose in the cargo area, but it would require a custom platform to allow crated dogs to ride on a level surface in most crate sizes. The cargo area itself is too shallow with the seats up for most crates to sit perpendicular to the hatch, but may allow one crate set parallel to the hatch, possibly two small crates side-by-side.

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In case you have smaller crates or ride dogs belted or loose, here are the dimensions for the Sportage:

Width between wheel wells (narrowest part of the vehicle): 39.75″

Width at widest point: 51.5″

Tallest point: 32″ measured at the “seam” where the folded second row starts.

Lowest point: 27″ for 10″ from the hatch.

Cargo depth with all rows up: At the floor, 39.25″, but at the narrowest point, only 28″

Cargo depth with the second (and only) row down: 59″ – the second row does NOT fold flat, so crates would need to have something to rest on other than the seat backs to remain level.

Hatch measurements: 42.25-43.25″ wide, with the narrowest point at the top and at the very bottom due to curved corners, , 27.25″ tall

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MPG city: 4 cylinder, fuel injected engine, 2WD: 22 mpg; 4 cylinder, fuel injected engine, 4WD: 21 mpg; turbo gas direct injection, 2WD: 22 mpg; turbo gas direct injection, 4WD: 20 mpg;

MPG highway: 4 cylinder, fuel injected engine, 2WD: 32 mpg; 4 cylinder, fuel injected engine, 4WD: 29 mpg; turbo gas direct injection, 2WD: 29 mpg; turbo gas direct injection, 4WD: 28 mpg;

The Sportage does offer several helpful features for those transporting dogs regularly, though, as with the Sorento, some aren’t available in the base model.

  • Optional power outlets in the rear cargo area
  • Optional panoramic sunroof above the front row and second row of seating; the section above the front row of seating opens completely, the section above the second row is fixed.

There were several disadvantages, some quite major, that anyone looking at the Sportage should consider. The primary issue I saw was the lack of a fold flat second row of seating as mentioned in the first section of this entry. In addition, as with all 2012 Kia hatches I looked at, the rear window does NOT open independently, so locking the hatch cuts off all air flow from that direction and there are no regular windows flanking the third row seating area, further limiting airflow in the rear cargo compartment when the vehicle is stopped. As is the case with most small SUVs, the Sportage does not offer extra vents in the rear passenger or cargo areas. Keep in mind, too, that the rear cargo area stores the spare tire under the flooring vs. under the vehicle, so if you need to replace a tire, all items in the cargo area must be removed!

Overall, the Sportage would be suitable only for those with small crated dogs, a single medium-sized crated dog, or those who transport dogs outside of crates. It is a nice small SUV overall, with some helpful features, but the layout inside does make it less functional than other similarly-sized vehicles on the market today.

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