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2005 Kia Sportage

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2005 Kia Sportage Review

Affordable and capable.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2005 Kia Sportage shows a complete redesign that shares nothing in common with its predecessors. The Sportage has great passenger and cargo space that allows for comfort and extra cargo. The interior proves very functional with features that seem handy and usable for on-the-road activities. This SUV also has reasonable safety features with multiple curtain airbags for extra protection. Although the cargo space expands from previous versions of the Sportage, the redesigned model still comes up short of cargo space in comparison to its competition.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 2.7-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Kia Sportage LX, Kia Sportage EX

What's New

After two years of having no Sportage models available, the 2005 Kia Sportage returns with a totally new design that shares nothing in common with previous models except for the name.


Much of the exterior of both versions remain the same with skid plates installed. The alloy wheels measure 16 inches and a steel spare wheel comes with new purchases. A temporary spare tire mounts on the inside as well. Both models have privacy glass installed to keep people outside the Kia from seeing inside the cargo space for extra security.

The rear window has both a rear defogger and an intermittent wiper that helps the driver keep the rear window as clear as possible in less than favorable driving conditions. A roof rack assists exterior cargo carrying if the interior cargo space cannot accommodate the whole load. A rear liftgate door with a manual flip-up lifgate window comes in the back. All of these features come standard on both the EX and LX.


On the interior of the 2005 Kia Sportage drivers find some similarities and some differences between the EX and LX. The LX has lower-quality cloth upholstery for the seats, while the EX has high-quality cloth seats. The front uses bucket seats and the driver’s seat offers height adjustment. The front and rear seats have exactly the same head, hip, and leg room available. The rear seats have split-folding backs and recline to provide comfort to the rear passengers. Power features on both the LX and EX include power door locks and one one-touch power window. The LX’s convenience features include storage in the front console and overhead console, a tilt steering wheel, and two 12-volt outlets with one in the front and one in the rear. The EX has all the same convenience features with additional features such as cruise control and a cargo net as well as speed-proportional power steering. The EX also includes air-conditioning, and leather trim on the doors, shift knob, and steering wheel.

Performance & Handling

Kia offers some variety in the choice of engines and drivetrains available for the Sportage. The standard engine in the LX, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, matches with the five-speed manual transmission. As an option, the LX offers a four-speed automatic transmission that comes standard on the EX. The EX comes only with the 2.7-liter V-6, which couples with the four-speed automatic with automanual and overdrive. With the V-6 engine, the 2005 Kia Sportage accelerates from zero to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds, more than a full second longer than the Hyundai Tucson.

Some drivers find that the V-6 delivers barely adequate power for the all-wheel-drive system found in the Sportage and that the four-cylinder’s power remains less than adequate. The manual transmission helps get more power and performance out of the LX’s four cylinders, but it still does not satisfy performance-orientated car buyers. Although the Sportage uses all-wheel drive, it does not focus on off-roading and proves more comfortable for light-duty tasks. All-wheel drive provides a benefit in the winter when traction gets low. The four-cylinder offers a 1500-pound towing capacity while the V-6 engine brings the towing capacity up to a full ton.


The 2005 Kia Sportage includes an anti-lock brake system with front and rear ventilated disc brakes. Front and rear head airbags pair with dual front side-mounted airbags. Electronic brake force distribution, stability control, and traction control help ensure that the Sportage does not lose balance or let its grip on the roadway slip. Fog lights remain available for extra light in poor visibility and a rear center three-point seat belt keeps the center passenger secure in case of a collision.

EPA Fuel Economy

Kia Sportage LX four-cylinder: 20/25 mpg city/highway
Kia Sportage LX V-6: 17/23 mpg city/highway
Kia Sportage EX V-6: 17/23 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Efficient fuel economy
  • Leather trim in the EX
  • New body design

You Won't Like

  • Lacks sufficient power
  • Incapable of serious off-road fun

Sum Up

Affordable and capable.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda CR-V
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Ford Escape
  • Hyundai Tucson

See the New 2015 Sportage.

Front & Driver Side View

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