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2016 Kia Sportage Review

The 2016 Kia Sportage ranks in the top third of the compact SUV class. It offers a strong engine lineup, athletic handling, and a very good reliability score. However, it isn’t as roomy or as comfortable as some competitors.   

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful turbocharged engine
  • Sporty handling
  • Rigid ride quality
  • Small cargo hold

Rankings & Research

The 2016 Kia Sportage's #6 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Kia Sportage has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 44 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 8.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Kia Sportage Overview

Is the 2016 Kia Sportage a Good Used SUV?

The 2-row 2016 Kia Sportage is a well-rounded compact SUV that will suit a variety of shoppers’ needs. It delivers impressive performance, thanks to its refined ride and powerful available turbocharged engine. The Sportage boasts a good-looking, spacious interior loaded with desirable features. It’s also a great value; we named the Sportage our 2016 Best Compact SUV for the Money.

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 44 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 2016 Kia Sportage?

Based on more than 575 listings on our site for the 2016 Sportage, its price ranges from just under $13,300 to about $22,000. The average list price is $16,800. Still, the final price may vary depending on each SUV’s condition, mileage, location, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Kia Sportage Cost to Own?

Aside from a vehicle’s purchase price, you’ll need to consider the ongoing costs for gas, repairs, insurance, and maintenance. These expenses for the 2016 Kia Sportage will add up to approximately $22,870 over five years. That’s on the low end for the class. In comparison, five-year costs for the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox come out to about $25,000.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Sportage?

A new 2018 Kia Sportage starts at $23,600, which is about $6,800 more than the average price of a 2016 model. The Sportage was redesigned for 2017, so the 2018 has several features the 2016 lacks. These include a standard rearview camera and a 5-inch touch screen, as well as available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The 2018 model also earns better fuel economy estimates. Still, if you can live with the older body style and don’t require the technology upgrades, you may want to stick with the 2016 model to save money.

Read about the new Kia Sportage »

The 2018 Sportage isn’t a particularly attractive new-car alternative. Unfortunately, there aren’t any other new SUVs (compact or subcompact) that can compete with the 2016 Sportage’s price. Buying the used Kia is your best option.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Kia Sportage?

The 2016 Sportage has a reliability score of four out of five from J.D. Power. That rating places this Kia among the more reliable vehicles in the industry.

Read more about Sportage reliability »

2016 Kia Sportage Recalls

At the time of this writing, the 2016 Kia Sportage has no reported recalls.

See more information on Kia Sportage safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Kia Sportage Is Best?

The 2016 Sportage is the final model year of a generation that began in 2011. You may want to consider buying a 2014 or 2015 Sportage, as these models include many of the 2016 Sportage’s features for much less money. In addition, all three model years do well in our rankings, with scores ranging from 7.8 to 8.1.

The 2017 model was fully redesigned. It features the same powertrain as previous models, but it has a softer ride and adds a standard touch screen and rearview camera. The 2017 Sportage costs about $2,200 more than the 2016 model on average, but its improvements may be worth the extra money.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Sportage »

Which Used Kia Sportage Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Kia Sportage is available in three trims: LX, EX, and SX. The Kia Sportage SX comes with basic technology that is typical for the class, including a six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and a USB port. The Kia Sportage EX trim adds leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a touch-screen display, a rearview camera, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support.

For the most high-tech equipment, choose the Kia Sportage SX. It comes with an UVO infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen and navigation. The SX trim also comes with rear park assist, heated and ventilated front seats, a cooling glove box, an Infinity premium seven-speaker sound system, and voice commands.

See 2016 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, plus a one-year/12,000-mile comprehensive Platinum warranty on non-powertrain parts after the five-year/60,000-mile new-car warranty expires. 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.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Sportage?

The 2016 Kia Sportage earned the top score of Good in four out of five Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests. However, it received a Poor rating – the lowest score possible – in the small overlap front crash test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the front-wheel-drive Sportage an overall safety rating of four out of five stars, while the all-wheel-drive model earned a five-star overall rating. Both models earn five stars in frontal and side crash tests, as well as four stars in the rollover crash test.

Kia does not equip the 2016 Sportage with any standard safety features. A rearview camera and rear park assist are available in some models.

See Sportage safety scores »

2016 Kia Sportage Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Kia Sportage or 2016 Hyundai Tucson?

Between these two, the Hyundai Tucson is the SUV to choose. It was fully redesigned for the 2016 model year, and it won our 2016 Best Compact SUV for the Money award. The Tucson has a roomy cabin with comfortable, supportive seats. It’s also available with several safety features that the Sportage doesn’t offer, including blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning. Finally, the Tucson enjoys a perfect reliability rating and lower five-year cost estimates for gas, maintenance, repairs, and insurance.

Which Is Better: 2016 Kia Sportage or 2016 Mazda CX-5?

If you like the Sportage’s nimble handling, you will be even more impressed by the Mazda CX-5’s driving dynamics. The Mazda CX-5 has sharp handling and quick steering that make it fun to drive. It also earns good fuel economy estimates. Inside, the CX-5 has an upscale interior made with premium materials, as well as more passenger and cargo space than the Sportage.

Which Is Better: 2016 Kia Sportage or 2016 Honda CR-V?

The Honda CR-V is the way to go if you need a spacious, family-friendly SUV. It has one of the largest cargo holds in the class, and its back seats provide generous head- and legroom for tall occupants. The CR-V also won our award for 2016 Best Compact SUV for Families.

Compare the Sportage, Tucson, and CX-5 »

2016 Sportage Performance

How Does the 2016 Kia Sportage Drive?

The front-wheel-drive Kia Sportage has a 182-horsepower, four-cylinder engine mated to a smooth-shifting, six-speed automatic transmission. A 260-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine is available. The base engine generates satisfying power with little trouble. However, frequent highway commuters will prefer the zippier acceleration of the available turbocharged engine.

The Sportage has some of the sharpest driving dynamics in the class, with responsive steering and cornering composure rarely seen in SUVs. However, its sporty handling results in a somewhat harsh ride quality. All-wheel drive is available and can improve road grip in slick conditions.

Does the 2016 Kia Sportage Get Good Gas Mileage?

With the base engine and front-wheel drive, the Sportage earns 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Those are below-average estimates for the class.

Read more about Sportage performance »

2016 Sportage Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Sportage Seat?

The 2-row Kia Sportage seats five on cloth seats. Its cabin features clean styling and a straightforward layout. Despite the use of heavy plastics throughout, the Sportage’s cabin is well-made. Leather upholstery, as well as heated and ventilated front seats, are available. The Sportage’s front seats hold you in place, but they may be too firm for some. Its back seats provide little room for long-legged adults.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Kia Sportage?

The Sportage has two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats and one upper tether anchor in the middle seat.

2016 Kia Sportage Features

Standard features include a six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and a USB port. Available features include an Infinity premium stereo, a panoramic sunroof, an UVO eServices infotainment system, a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, push-button start, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

The Sportage’s simple dashboard design makes it easy for the driver to reach and adjust audio and climate controls. The available navigation system, which absorbs phone and audio functions, is also user-friendly.

See 2016 Kia Sportage specs »

Read more about Sportage interior »

2016 Kia Sportage Dimensions

Kia Sportage Cargo Space

The Sportage doesn’t have as much cargo space as most other SUVs in the segment. It offers 26.1 cubic feet with the rear seats upright, and 54.6 cubic feet with the seats folded.  

2016 Sportage Length and Weight

Kia Sportage LX and EX models have an overall length of 14.56 feet, while the Sportage SX is 14.6 feet long. LX and EX trims have a gross vehicle weight of 4,608 pounds. The front-wheel-drive Sportage SX has a gross vehicle weight of 4,586 pounds, while the all-wheel-drive model has a gross vehicle weight of 4,696 pounds. 

Where Was the 2016 Kia Sportage Built?

The Sportage is manufactured at Kia’s plant in Gwangju, South Korea.

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Sportage Shoppers Should Also Consider...

Hyundai Tucson 2016 2016 Hyundai Tucson

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Chevrolet Equinox 2016 2016 Chevrolet Equinox

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Honda CR-V 2016 2016 Honda CR-V

#2 in 2016 Affordable Compact SUVs

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