When the 2009 model year lineup was introduced by Kia, the Sportage underwent a mild refresh of its styling and had a few electronic upgrades. This was the first facelift of the second generation of the Kia Sportage, which essentially remained the same since it was launched in 2005.
The four-door compact crossover SUV is built on the same car-based platform as the Hyundai Tucson and shares some of the same basic design. There are two trim lines for the 2009 Kia Sportage, which are fitted with different engines.
Body Styles: Compact crossover SUV
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 2.7-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Sportage LX, Sportage EX
The Kia Sportage gets a light design refresh for the launch of the 2009 model year. For the exterior, the grille and headlamps are updated. Color-keyed bumpers and alloy wheels are added in 2009 as well. As the SUV had a major overhaul when the second generation was launched in 2005, it’s no surprise that Kia keeps the overall design relatively the same this year.
Inside, some of the controls are modified to improve use and ergonomics. Satellite radio, USB ports, and auxiliary jacks are now standard features for the audio systems of both the LX and EX models of the 2009 Kia Sportage. Lastly, a new optional navigation system is introduced.
While the 2009 Kia Sportage is not the most modern or refined SUV in its class, its overall design ensures that it is different from most of the other vehicles on the road. It is very easy to recognize. Design features, such as the rounded side rocker panels and the additional small rear window, lend to its unique look.
The 2009 Kia Sportage has a comfortable and roomy interior, with the space used efficiently to provide the best combination of legroom for front and back seat passengers, while still having a good area for cargo in the rear. The rear row of seating can be folded forward and lowered into the foot well to increase significantly the cargo carrying area and to provide a flat floor for stowing cargo.
The interior has a modern feel with gauges and controls clearly seen and easy to use. Both the LX and EX come with upholstered seating, but leather seating is available as an option on the EX model. The quality of the materials used in the interior may leave some people wanting more, but this is one way Kia is able to keep the price of the 2009 Kia Sportage low.
Performance & Handling
The 2009 Kia Sportage LX can be fitted with either a two-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 140 horsepower and 136 lb-ft of torque, or a 2.7-liter, V-6 engine that has a power output of 173 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. The EX version of the 2009 Kia Sportage is fitted with the V-6 engine only. Both engines are weak in comparison to the competition, with the V-6 barely able to compete with many of the four-cylinder engines found in other crossover SUVs.
There is some body lean when cornering at speed, but, overall, handling is very good. It provides a balanced and maneuverable ride both in the city and on the highway, although acceleration can leave something to be desired. Maximum towing capacity is 1500 pounds for the four-cylinder engine and 2000 pounds with the V-6 engine.
Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control systems, front side airbags, and full-length side-curtain airbags. Top scores were achieved by the 2009 Kia Sportage for front and side impact crash tests.
EPA Fuel Economy
Sportage LX four-cylinder: 20/25 mpg city/highway
Sportage EX V-6: 18/23 mpg city/highway
- Lots of standard features
- Low price
- Roomy interior
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy
- Less powerful engines
- Poor acceleration
Great compact crossover SUV for those on a budget.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda CR-V
- Suzuki Grand Vitara
- Toyota RAV4
- Volkswagen Tiguan