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2015 Kia Sportage Review

The 2015 Kia Sportage delivers peppy engine performance, an attractive interior, and great safety and reliability ratings. It ranks in the middle of the compact SUV class, though, because of its stiff ride and snug back seat.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful turbocharged engine
  • Athletic handling
  • Handsome cabin styling
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Harsh ride
  • Below-average fuel economy

Rankings & Research

The 2015 Kia Sportage's #9 ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Kia Sportage has a score of 8.0 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 46 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 6.7
Interior: 6.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Kia Sportage Overview

Is the 2015 Kia Sportage a Good Used SUV?

The 2015 Kia Sportage is a pretty good used compact SUV, and it rates highly for reliability and safety. The Sportage's interior has an upscale appearance for this price point, and its tech features are easy to use. This Kia also offers quick acceleration, especially when equipped with its potent turbo-four engine. Its few drawbacks include a firm ride quality and slim rear seating space. If you can look beyond these issues, however, there’s a lot to like.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 46 Kia Sportage reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Kia Sportage?

Our site has about 730 listings for the 2015 Sportage, with an average price of $16,400. Prices range from $13,000 to $20,900, depending on the vehicle’s trim, mileage, location, condition, and features.

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How Much Does the 2015 Kia Sportage Cost to Own?

The 2015 Kia Sportage’s estimated five-year costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs come to almost $24,390, which is about average for the segment.  

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Kia Sportage?

The 2019 Kia Sportage has a starting price of $23,750, and its top trim starts at $34,600. While you’ll pay more for the new model, you’ll get a great deal more as well. The 2019 model is part of a new generation that offers a richer interior and a standard touch screen. The new model only comes with two rows, while the 2015 Sportage has an available third row. However, this third row is small, and even children won’t tolerate it for longer rides. If you can afford it, get the 2019 Sportage.

Read about the new Kia Sportage »

There are no new compact SUVs that have a comparable price to a used 2015 Sportage.

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Which Model Year of the Kia Sportage Is Best?

The 2015 Kia Sportage is part of a generation that includes the 2011 through 2016 model years. A used 2014 Sportage has the best value in this generation, since the SUV didn’t receive any major updates for 2015 or 2016. However, you should also consider the fully redesigned 2017 Sportage for its many upgrades, including standard features like a 5-inch touch screen and a rearview camera, as well as more available safety and tech features. It also received styling updates and has more passenger and cargo space than older models.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Sportage »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Kia Sportage?

The 2015 Sportage earns a good reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Sportage reliability »

2015 Kia Sportage Recalls

As of this writing, there is one recall for the 2015 Sportage. It addresses an issue with the fuel line. Make sure this recall is addressed before buying a used Sportage.

See more information on Kia Sportage safety recalls »

Which Used Kia Sportage Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Kia Sportage is available in three trims: LX, EX, and SX. The Kia Sportage LX comes with a few basic features like satellite radio, Bluetooth, and a USB port.

If you want a few more niceties and some extra technology, go with the Sportage EX trim. It comes with leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a touch screen, a rearview camera, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support.

The Sportage SX comes with the most high-tech features, including Kia’s UVO infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen and navigation. The SX trim also has rear park assist, heated and ventilated front seats, a cooling glove box, and an Infinity premium seven-speaker sound system.

See 2015 Kia Sportage trims and specs »

What Does Kia's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Kia offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 60,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Kia’s certified pre-owned vehicles receive the balance of the original 10-year/100,000-mile new-car powertrain warranty as well as a one-year/12,000-mile comprehensive Platinum warranty on non-powertrain parts. Every CPO Kia must pass a 164-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Kia warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Kia has one of the best CPO programs among affordable car manufacturers.

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How Safe Is the Sportage?

The 2015 Sportage has some of the highest safety scores in the class. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the SUV an overall rating of four out of five stars, with five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 Sportage the highest rating of Good in four tests out of five. It received the lowest rating of Poor in the driver-side small overlap front test.

There are no standard safety features in the 2015 Sportage, but a rearview camera and rear parking sensors are available.

See Sportage safety scores »

2015 Kia Sportage Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Kia Sportage or 2015 Mazda CX-5?

If you like the 2015 Sportage’s lively handling, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 should be on your list of compact SUVs to consider as well. It’s similar to the Sportage, with high safety ratings and a strong available engine, as well as sporty handling that results in a stiff ride. However, the Sportage has a better reliability rating and a more straightforward infotainment system than the CX-5. On the other hand, the Mazda has higher fuel economy estimates than the Kia. Both are good SUVs, so pick the SUV that best suits your needs.

Which Is Better: 2015 Kia Sportage or 2015 Kia Sorento?

The 2015 Kia Sorento is a midsize SUV with 18 more cubic feet of storage space than the Sportage. The Sorento is available with a third row of seats, so it can accommodate up to seven passengers. It is also available with a powerful V6 engine. Like the Sportage, the Sorento is easy to maneuver around corners, despite its larger frame, and it rates highly for reliability. If you need more utility, go with the Sorento. Otherwise, there isn’t much difference between these two Kia models.

Compare the Sportage, CX-5, and Sorento »

2015 Kia Sportage Performance

How Does the 2015 Kia Sportage Drive?

Base 2015 Kia Sportage models come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 182 horsepower. A 260-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is available. A smooth six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard; all-wheel drive is available.

The base engine has sufficient power for the average driver’s needs. However, the available engine is one of the most powerful in the class, and it provides a lot more oomph for highway driving. The Sportage has sharp handling and precise steering, but its ride is on the harsh side.

Does the 2015 Kia Sportage Get Good Gas Mileage?

The entry-level Sportage models get an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, which are below-average ratings for the class. All-wheel-drive models with the base engine return 19/26 mpg city/highway.

Read more about Sportage performance »

2015 Kia Sportage Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Kia Sportage Seat?

The 2015 Kia Sportage seats five in two rows. Cloth upholstery is standard; leather upholstery, heated front seats, and ventilated front seats are available. The front seats are reasonably comfortable, despite some firmness. The back seats don’t have much space for adults, but they can accommodate a few children. The Sportage’s cabin looks good, despite the abundance of plastic materials throughout.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Kia Sportage?

There are two full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and one upper tether for the middle seat.

2015 Kia Sportage Features

The 2015 Sportage comes standard with a six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and a USB port. Upgrades include a panoramic sunroof, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and the UVO eServices infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, and an Infinity stereo system. The infotainment system has user-friendly controls that are easily accessible.

See 2015 Kia Sportage specs »

Read more about Sportage interior »

2015 Kia Sportage Dimensions

Kia Sportage Cargo Space

The Sportage has 26.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats and 54.6 cubic feet with them folded. That’s less cargo space than most compact SUVs provide.

2015 Sportage Length and Weight

The 2015 Kia Sportage measures about 14.6 feet in length. Its curb weight ranges from 3,280 to 3,664 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Kia Sportage Built?

Kia manufactured the 2015 Sportage in South Korea.

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