KIA Sportage 1993 to 2002
The first generation Sportage was developed with a Mazda Bongo engineering base platform. It shares many mechanical components such as the engine, transmissions (early), and differentials with the Mazda line of vehicles. This was during the alliance of Ford-Mazda-Kia for technology and product sharing in the early to mid-1990s.
Sportage was sold in either a four-door or a two-door soft-top convertible. The four-door version also had a long chassis body (Sportage Grand) in Asian and Australian markets. The long chasis models came with 10 inches (250 mm) longer boot space in the back. The first-generation Sportage was discontinued in North America for 2002, worldwide for 2003 except for Pakistan (Asia) it continued till 2004; later it was put on hiatus until a second generation model was ready. The four-door short chassis model measures just a quarter of one inch longer and the same width as the Geo Tracker, but boasts 130 hp (97 kW) and optional four wheel drive. The 1998 Kia Sportage was the world’s first production vehicle to be equipped with a knee airbag. This first generation model (1993–2002) sold in low numbers even domestically in South Korea, however, and post-Hyundai takeover models (1997–2002) were recalled twice for rear wheels dismounting while driving.
From 1995 to 1998, the Sportage was built by Karmann in Germany and European buyers only received German-built versions, while the rest of the world received Korean-built versions.
KIA Sportage 2004 to 2010
After a 2-year hiatus, the 2005 Sportage returned, sharing its Elantra-based platform with the 2005 Hyundai Tucson. The Sportage will also have a 2.0 L straight-4 Diesel engine available in the United Kingdom. Pricing starts at just over US$16,000. Critics and fans of the original, pre-Hyundai Sportage complain that it is considerably larger than the original Sportage and has none of the earlier off-road capability, the two keys for its success. However, buyers of the second generation model are likely to favor the available 173 hp (129 kW) V6, with 178 pounds of torque (241 N·M). The ride is considerably more comfortable, quiet and fun. Overall fit/finish and quality is noticeably improved over the 1st generation model.
Facelift model of the second generation was introduced in May 2008. Since 2007, it is manufactured at the Žilina Plant in Slovakia. A second facelift was introduced in the UK in early 2009 only a few months after its first facelift.
Kia Sportage named as one of the most reliable vehicles from 2009 Consumer Reports reliability survey. The Kia Sportage ranked second in the 20 least expensive 2009 vehicles.
KIA Sportage 2010 to 2011
The 2011 Kia Sportage was released in April 2010 to Asian and European market, with North and Central American market release on 8 August, 2010. It currently uses a 2.0L CRDi 136 and 184 hp Hyundai R diesel engine, although Kia has announced that a gasoline direct injection turbo engine will also be released in 2011. The engine is the same one used in the Hyundai Sonata 2.0T.