Compact SUV; Built in South Korea
  • 4-door hatchback
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $6,200 – $16,000*

2005 Kia Sportage

2005 Kia Sportage

2005 Kia Sportage

  • Cargo room
  • Acceleration (4-cyl)

Sportage is a fine light-duty people-mover with an impressive list of standard equipment and modest off-road capabilities. We prefer the available V6; it provides class-competitive power and is smoother than rivals’ fours, though no more powerful.


Kia introduced a new compact SUV for 2005 with standard curtain side airbags. The ’05 Sportage shared its car-type platform with the Hyundai Tucson produced by Kia’s corporate parent. Sportage offered 4- or 6-cyl engines and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. LX and EX models were available. Base LXs came with a 140-hp 4-cyl and a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. LX V6s and EXs came with a 173-hp V6 and automatic only. All were available with AWD that lacked low-range gearing but had a dashboard switch that locked in a 50/50 front/rear torque split. Antilock 4-wheel disc brakes, traction/antiskid control was standard. So were front side airbags and curtain side airbags. An EX Luxury Package added leather upholstery and heated front seats. Kia shared Hyundai’s warranty coverage of 5-years/50,000-mi. basic, 10/100,000 powertrain, but only the basic warranty was transferable to a second owner.

Yearly Updates

2006 Sportage
No significant changes.
2007 Sportage
Sportage was unchanged for 2007.
2008 Sportage
The 2008 Kia Sportage was largely unchanged.
2009 Sportage
Sportage got slightly freshened styling.
2010 Sportage
The 2010 Kia Sportage saw no major changes.


transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

A 2.0-liter 140-hp 4-cylinder engine with 136 lb-ft of torque was offered with 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. A 2.7-liter 173-hp V6 with 178 lb-ft of torque was offered only with the 4-speed automatic.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/121
Engine HP 140
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 136
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.7/162
Engine HP 173
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 178
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



Road Test

Four-cyl models are fine for normal commuting, but lack power for confident highway merging and passing. The V6 is about as peppy as 4-cyl engines in Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The automatic transmission is responsive with either engine, though not even the V6 has an abundance of passing punch. We’ve had no opportunity to test with manual transmission. Test AWD EX’s 19.4-mpg average is very similar to that of test 4-cyl CR-V and V6 Ford Escape. There’s been no opportunity to measure with the 4-cyl. Note that V6 models have a 17.2-gal fuel tank vs. 15.3 for 4-cyl models. Around town, Sportage is composed, though slightly less absorbent over sharp bumps than sibling Tucson. A firm suspension transmits faint vibration through the steering column on coarse surfaces and can jolt over sharp ridges. Handling is taut and balanced, with little body lean for a small SUV. Steering is a bit firmer than in Tucson. Brakes have progressive pedal feel and provide quick, sure stops. Road noise comes through in the form of body drumming, and there’s noticeable tire noise. Wind rush is well-suppressed. The four-cyl engine is coarse and buzzy. The V6 is quiet at cruise, but strains loudly in fast acceleration.

Gauges are clearly marked and easy to see. All controls are grouped conveniently in the easy-to-reach center dashboard stack. Dials have rubber grips for better feel. Sportage’s interior materials are a cut above CR-V and slightly upscale of Tucson. In front, there’s adequate leg room and generous head room. Both the cloth and leather seats are comfortable, with good side-bolster support. The standard tilt steering wheel helps tailor a good driving position. Over-the-shoulder visibility is partially blocked by thick rear pillars. Taller back-seat riders may find the available sunroof’s housing cuts into head room. Leg room in back is good, becoming tight only for taller riders with the front seats more than halfway back. Slim door bottoms mildly impede entry/exit. There’s room behind the rear seats for groceries but not large objects. The rear seats fold down to form a flat load floor. A separate-opening tailgate window adds convenience. The cabin has eight cupholders, including one in each door, and adequate small-item storage.


Model Tested: 2005 Kia Sportage AWD EX

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 4
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 5
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 4


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 7


Value - 7

Total: 54


4-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
103.5 171.3 70.9 66.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
66.6 15.3 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.7 39.4 42.1 37.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Cold-starting problems
Description: The engine may not start in cold weather due to ice blockage in the exhaust pipe. (2004-07)
Cold-starting problems
Description: Moisture (water) in the muffler freezes in cold weather preventing engine starting unless a drain hole is drilled into the bottom of the muffler. (2004-07)
Description: Early-build vehicles were wired is such a way that the fog lights can be turned on when the high beams are in use and must be rewired to prevent this so as to meet local and/or state laws. (2005)
Electrical problem
Description: Hesitation under light load or upon acceleration on vehicles with 2.7L engine caused by faulty throttle position sensor. (2005-07)
Check-engine light
Description: Check engine light may illuminate and a trouble code for problem with reverse gear may be set on vehicles with 2.7L engine requiring reprogramming transmission control module. (2005-06)
Software problems
Description: Heater output may not be adequate in colder climates unless the engine control module was flashed with a software revision. (2005-09)

Recall History

2005 Sportage
Description: The antiskid system may inappropriately reduce power and apply the brakes while driving, resulting in a skid or crash. Dealer will reprogram the antiskid system hydraulic electronic control unit.
2005 Sportage
Description: Defective parking-brake lever may not engage or may allow vehicle to roll when engaged, which may result in a crash. Dealer will replace parking-brake-lever assembly.
2005 Sportage
Description: A fuel-tank leak could occur when the tank is full, possibly resulting in engine stalling at a stop and fire in the presence of an ignition source. Dealer will replace the fuel tank and charcoal canister.
Description: The stop lamp switch in the affected vehicles may malfunction and cause the brake lights to not illuminate when the brake pedal is depressed or may cause the brake lights to remain illuminated when the brake pedal is released. A stop lamp switch malfunction may also affect the operation of the brake-transmission shift interlock feature so the transmission shifter would not be able to be shifted out of the park position. Dealers will replace the stop lamp switch free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.