Can a Kia Sportage be Flat Towed? Here’s The Surprising Answer!

If you’re considering towing a Kia Sportage behind your RV or truck, our article “Can a Kia Sportage be Flat Towed?” offers a clear, detailed answer. Discover the do’s and don’ts of flat towing this popular SUV to ensure a safe and hassle-free journey.

Flat towing is a great way to bring a convenient driver with you when you hit the road with your RV. Picking the right vehicle to flat tow behind you is very important. So, can a Kia Sportage be flat towed?

Image for "Can a Kia Sportage be flat towed?" shows a dark gray Kia Sportage at a profile, in front of a rocky background
Can a Kia Sportage be flat towed? The answer is simple

Unfortunately, the Kia Sportage cannot be flat towed, at least the newer models. There are some years that you can flat tow.

Can a Kia Sportage be Flat Towed?

The most common Kia Sportage models cannot be flat towed. Kia Sportage models made in or before 1995 had manual transmission 4WD, low-range gearing, and a two-speed transfer case, allowing them to be flat towed.

No Kia Sportage model since 1995 can be flat towed. The Kia Sportage model is one of the amazing rollouts of the Kia brand. 

Kia no doubt produces some of the best SUVs and car designs, but sometimes you have to look beyond the beauty and prepare for the unavoidable unpleasantries – towing! In such times, you’ll need to know what to do, what your options are, and how to go about it.

That is no longer the case since all Sportage vehicles released after 1995 come with an automatic transmission and lesser flat towing features. 

Although Kia Sportage cannot be flat towed, there are other options that you can use when you are in dire need of a tow. A typical example is the Dolly tow. 

What is flat towing?

Do Hyundai Sonatas Last Long 2 Can a Kia Sportage be Flat Towed? Here's The Surprising Answer!

Flat towing is also known as dinghy-towing. A vehicle can be flat towed when you can tow it with all four wheels touching the ground. 

It is often used by attaching the SUV to the back of a recreational van,  motorhome, or heavy-duty vehicle that drags the car along as it moves. When you flat tow, it appears as if the RV does all the work while your SUV is tied along. But that is not the case. 

As the wheels are moving, many of its parts are also in motion. Using the wrong towing methods can cause damage to a car, that’s why a question such as “Can a Kia Sportage be flat towed?” is common.

Why is Flat Towing Popular?

Flat tow is cheap

It is relatively cheaper and costs less. If your Sportage were created with flat towing features, all you would need to do is attach it to an RV. 

When you have the right tool in your RV trunk it is cheaper to flat tow.

Flat tow is easy to set-up

When compared to other methods, flat towing is easier to use.

Novices often prefer the flat tow option because, unlike dolly tow, it is easy to set up and works seamlessly. 

Not being able to flat tow could be stressful as you begin to consider your options in the middle of a journey.

The major downside of flat tows is that not all vehicles can be flat towed.

Image for a Can a Kia Sportage be flat towed? Shows a red Kia Sportage driving across a dusty road
2021 Sportage

Why can’t a Kia Sportage be Flat Towed?

So, can a Kia Sportage be flat towed? No, but here’s why.

Drivetrain configuration

In the Drivetrain configuration, the driveshaft, the axles, and the wheels connect with the engine in a chainlike manner. 

As such, the wheels turn with the engine once it is in motion, irrespective of the gear. 

The energy is transmitted from the engine to the wheel while the torque or twisting force is also linked for control. A drivetrain car has a driveshaft, a U joint, a CV joint, and an Axle shaft. 

Vehicles with this technology cannot be towed with all wheels touching the ground, because the drivetrain may be damaged.

Automatic transmissions

The Kia Sportage has automatic transmissions. So, when people ask “can a Kia Sportage be flat towed?” the answer is easy to find.  

So, when the towing is ongoing, no natural lubricant is released and that can make the wheel stiffen or even damage it. 

Manual transmissions, on the other hand, release lubrication naturally and you need not worry, provided it is placed on neutral gear.

Four (4) wheel drives

Kia Sportage sometimes comes with a four (4) wheel drive, 2WD, or rear-wheel drive.

These genres of cars cannot be flat towed except in some extremely rare cases. 

Some Older Versions of Kia Sportage may be flat towed

If you have an older version (1995-2005) of Kia Sportage with 2WD and manual transmission, you can flat tow under some conditions. 

Which usually include the following:

  1. Check to ensure that Transaxle oil is at the recommended level.
  2. Inspect Transaxle and ensure it is in correct working order.
  3. Release parking brake.
  4. Put the gear shift in NEUTRAL.
  5. Unlock the steering wheel with the key in the ignition and the “ACC” position.
  6. Make sure the front tires are of the equal sizes
  7. Front tire pressure must be equal and within the recommended range.
  8. Flat tow from the front.
  9. Remove key from ignition immediately after towing.
  10. Put in the parking brake. 

How to know if your own Kia Sportage can be flat towed

You may now be confused whether your Sportage is in the older model category or newer ones. Here are two easy factors to check to be sure:

Is it manual or automatic transmissions?

Manual transmissions may be easily flat towed, but automatic is not. 

Meanwhile, manual 4WD cannot be flat towed either.

 Check your manual first

The sure guide as to whether you can flat tow your Kia Sportage is your car manual. 

The car manual often contains all you need and will give you a heads up on if it can be flat towed.

How to Tow A Kia Sportage

Important Information for Kia Sportage Lovers

The Kia Sportage model has high utility, plenty of cargo space, and versatile uses. 

Its many features justify why it is in demand to date.  

But when you live a van-life lifestyle, it is desirable to flat tow your SUV right behind your motorhome

More importantly, when there is an emergency, you need a towable vehicle. 

Unfortunately, it is not advisable to flat tow your Sportage, but you could easily dolly tow. 

Alternative Towing Methods for Kia Sportage include the following:

Dolly Tow

This towing method suspends the front tires in the air. 

The front tires are placed on the dolly which attaches to the RV. 

This towing method raises the front tires off the ground while the rear tires roll along. 

Always remember that your manual should be your guide. 

For more information, you can check out the Kia manual for emergency towing. 

Car Trailer

This option is best for long-distance traveling, such as intercity towing. 

Your entire vehicle is lifted from the ground and placed in the car trailer for transporting. 

This option is very safe but it is also costlier to rent/use. 

Most times, car trailer towing is used when transporting a new vehicle from one location to another.

Tip: Ensure that the towing vehicle has the capacity and weighs more than the towed vehicle to avoid damages

Conclusion On Can A Kia Sportage Be Flat Towed:

As a closing note, we have discussed whether Kia Sportage can be flat towed and we discovered the recent models cannot. 

However, older models from 1995-2005 may be flat towed under certain conditions provided they are 2WD and with manual configurations. 

We also learned that using the wrong type of towing method could be damaging to your Kia Sportage. 

In the end, you need to be friends with your manual, and consider the features of your Kia Sportage. 

Either way, a quick alternative tow method is the dolly tow which is quite affordable, and the car trailer towing method. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *