Can a Kia Sportage tow a pop-up camper?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can a Kia Sportage tow a pop-up camper? We will discuss Kia sportage towing capacity, performance, engine and safety on the road. 

Can a Kia Sportage tow a pop-up camper?

Yes, a Kia Sportage can tow a pop-up camper. The maximum towing capacity for a Kia Sportage is 4800 lbs(1900 kg), depending on the year of manufacture. 

Kia Sportage is an ideal car for going on vacation. It offers plenty of cargo space and enough power to tow a small to medium-sized camper. 

Kia Sportage Towing Capacity

YearTowing Capacity for Unbraked Trailers (kg)Towing Capacity for Braked Trailers (kg)
20211500 1900 
20201500 1900 
20191500 1900 
20181500 1900 
20171500 1900 
20161500 1900 
20151600 1600 
20141600 1600 
20131600 1600 
20121600 1600 
20111600 1600 
20101200 1600 
20091200 1600 
20081200 1600 
20071200 1600 
20061500 1500 
20051500 1500 
20041800 1800 
20031800 1800 
20021800 1800 
20011800 1800 
20001800 1800 

Towing with a Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage has been fortunate to get an all-wheel-drive from another dealer, unlike its ‘cousins’ from Hyundai, who have to do with a somewhat outdated 4×4 drive system.

The SUV market follows a very different course from that of passenger cars. For that reason, it is perfectly normal for a Korean car to pioneer a whole range: the Kia Sportage is the best example (Kia Sportage video). About 10 years ago, when it hit the Spanish market, it came across the Toyota RAV4, the forerunner of the compact SUV range. Its technology, on the other hand, was surprising: under its SUV body was hidden a real SUV.

The trend changed radically with the Kia Sportage II (as of 2005). Twinned with the Hyundai Tucson, it was built as if it were a simple car: without independent chassis and with a transverse engine. 

The current Kia Sportage III shares its base with the successful Hyundai ix35. It is a model to which we have given cane in this section since its all-wheel drive is not up to the task and, if you demand too much of it (especially with a trailer), it turns off and that’s it (Hyundai ix35 trailer test).

The Kia Sportage does not share the Hyundai’s 4×4 drive system: Kia has sought support in Austria to manufacture its new version. Dynamax, the machine manufactured by Magna-Steyr, has, like Hyundai’s transmission, an electronic multiple disc coupling for the transmission of power to the rear axle. However, Magna ensures that its system is more resistant and thermally more stable, so if you demand too much, it will not die like the ix35.

The Kia Sportage is now available with a 184 hp diesel engine that increases torque by 17% over the base diesel. Although with the 136 hp engine and 319 Nm of torque it is enough to start the two-ton ‘mole’ that it carries on its back. Starting is not a problem, not even in the mountains. However, the acceleration has some other weak points: the 136 hp engine (compared to the 184 hp) requires several seconds more for the trailer to go from 60 to 80 km / h. When it comes to recovery figures, there is a difference of one third.

However, the Kia Sportage is a long way from being a weak or overloaded SUV when it has two tons behind. It is true that you have to downshift more than once and that the sixth gear is only useful in flat areas, but the truth is that it is not a problem and the engine pushes wonderfully. In addition, it achieved a new savings record: in our own test cycle, it required 0.05 l / 100 km less than the Volkswagen Tiguan TDI DSG, the car that held the title until now.

The chassis leaves no room for criticism. Although the Kia Sportage carries 100 kilos of cargo in the trunk, in addition to the trailer, and it seems that it is overloaded, the truth is that the hitch does not offer stability problems and achieves maximum safety when tackling the curves.

Kia Sportage technology and safety when towing

In addition to the design, the other great novelty of the KIA Sportage 2019 focuses on technology. The more equipped version – called SXL – now carries an extensive catalogue of driving aids, including a frontal collision alert with the autonomous emergency brake, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistant, rear cross-traffic alert. and blind-spot monitoring.

Other highlights of the top of the range are the panoramic roof, the LED headlights, the wireless smartphone charger, the Arkamys infotainment system with navigator and sound, the electric parking brake, the hands-free opening trunk and the wheels. 19-inch aluminum.

Like a good KIA, the value/price ratio is one of its main attributes, and that is that for less than 500,000 pesos – in the version without all-wheel drive – you can access an SUV with next-generation driving assistance. 

In the most accessible versions, with a 2.0-litre engine – very tight in power, by the way – there is also a good dose of comfort. From the EX version, we have elements such as an electrochromic rearview mirror, dual-zone climate control, reverse camera, light and rain sensor, smart key and rear parking sensor.

Generally speaking, the quality of the cabin is good. The selection of materials is not the benchmark in the segment, although we do not find cheap-looking plastics either. Fits between parts appear solid and there are no noises to indicate poor assembly work, at least early in its life cycle. The 2.0-litre engine versions are imported from Slovakia, while the 2.4-litre ones come from South Korea.

Final thoughts

The KIA Sportage lives in a segment where it competes against more than a dozen rivals. Among all of them, its main attribute is the good dose of equipment in relation to the price. The Sportage is an SUV for customers interested in convenience, technology and comfort … and the statistics say that these types of customers are not few. 

Its room for improvement is in the supply of engines, where the absence of any turbo gives way to Volkswagen Tiguan, Honda CR-V, SEAT Ateca or Peugeot 3008 to customers looking for better fuel efficiency and higher performance. The introduction of such an engine in the Sportage range in the medium term is not ruled out.

Do you have any suggestions or queries regarding towing with a Kia Sportage? Let us know!

FAQ on Can a Kia Sportage tow a pop-up camper?

What size camper can a Kia Sportage pull?

A Kia Sportage can tow up to 2000 lbs for a braked camper and a maximum of 1653 lbs for an unbraked camper. 

What happens when you exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity?

When you exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity you bring a series of consequences for your card, such as engine overheating; tire failure, overloading the drivetrain, CO2 emissions increase among others. 

What percentage of max towing capacity is safe?

A percentage of 80% or 75% of max towing capacity would be safe and recommendable. 

How do you know if you tow too much weight?

You know you are towing too much weight when the rear of the truck will appear hunkered down and the front end will feel light.


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