Can A Kia Sportage Tow A Trailer?


The Kia Sportage is an SUV with a sports look. You will love the look and the drivability of the car on and off the road. While the Kia Sportage can be used for everyday drives to the office and on an occasional road trip, the SUV is more hardworking than that. 

Although the SUV is not as powerful as some larger SUVs, it is still powerful enough to meet most of your needs. But can it tow a trailer?

Can A Kia Sportage Tow A Trailer? 

The Kia Sportage can tow a trailer of up to 2,000 pounds provided you install a trailer brake system. Without the trailer brakes, the Sportage will only manage to pull up to 1,653 pounds, which is still impressive given the size of the car. 

You do not have to install the trailer brakes just because you want to tow the heaviest load possible. The brakes will give you more control of your vehicle and reduce the stopping distance. You will feel safer on the road and be able to take care of emergency braking with ease. 

Kia Sportage uses four-wheel disc antilock brakes that will work perfectly when you need to stop the car and the SUV. However, when you are driving fast and need to make an emergency stop, the brakes will not act fast enough. 

The SUV is even better for people who love adventure as it offers enough cargo space at the back. Behind the rear seats, the car offers 30.7 cubic feet of cargo space. If you need more space, you can fold down the rear seats and experience up to 60.1 cubic feet of space. If you still need to carry more, you can place items on the roof rails available on some of the trim packages, except the LX. 

What else does the Kia Sportage offer?

What are the Specs of a Kia Sportage? 

If you go for the 2021 Kia Sportage, you will enjoy its combination of comfort, space, and drivability. For the SUV to tow up to 2,000 pounds with its size, it needs power and a strong construction. You can count on the Sportage to drive smooth even on rugged terrain. 

It is available in four trims; LX, EX, S, and the top SX Turbo. Most of the differences between these trims are cosmetic, but there are some major differences on performance and functionality. The first three trims feature a 2.4L inline four cylinder engine that generates 181 horses. 

The SX Turbo sports a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that generates 240 horses. The LX, EX, and the SX Turbo are all front-wheel drive vehicles, but they allow you to upgrade to all-wheel drive. The S Trim package comes standard with all-wheel drive. The two engine options mate to an electronic six-speed automatic transmission. 

Whichever trim you pick, you will enjoy the comfort offered by gas shock absorbers and MacPherson struts. There are also multi-link dampers on the rear that further ensure you are comfortable inside the SUV. 

Some of the standard features on the Sportage LX include:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Rear privacy glass
  • USB port 
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto 
  • Six-speaker sound system 
  • Eight-inch touchscreen display 
  • Selectable driving modes 

The car also offers a suite of safety features such as the driver attention monitor that alerts you if you look fatigued. Another feature is the lane departure warning and lane-keep assist that tracks when you are about to drift off the road and helps steer you back into the lane. It also offers forward collision mitigation, which sounds an alert if there is a risk of an impending collision – the feature can also apply the brakes autonomously. 

If you pick the higher trims, you will enjoy even more advanced features such as simulated leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, roof rails, blind spot monitoring, heated front rails, keyless entry and ignition, and LED headlights among others. 

The SX Turbo not only tows more and has more engine power, but it also has the most luxury and comfort features. It has a Harman Kardon eight-speaker system, wireless charging pad, sport-tuned suspension, parking sensors for the front and rear, and leather seats. 

The SUV is also fuel efficient. The 2.4L engine has a fuel efficiency of 30 mpg and 23 mpg for highway and city driving respectively. If you go for the 2.0L Turbocharge engine, you get 26 mpg on highway and 21 mpg in the city.

The mileage will reduce when towing a trailer because the SUV will be under heavy load. However, it will not reduce enough that you find the car not economical. You will make fewer refill stops, and this will be great when you are towing.

The SUV can accommodate up to 16.4 gallons of gas in its tank – these are so many miles even with a trailer behind the SUV. 

What Can the Kia Sportage Tow? 

If you are planning a weekend getaway, Kia Sportage can tow a small pop up camper for you or a boat. Large popup campers weigh up to 3,000 pounds, but the smaller ones weight 1,500 pounds or less. Your Kia Sportage will tow these smaller campers with ease. 

Note that the popup camper’s rated weight is dry weight – which is weight without any gear. As such, you need to consider the weight of the gear that you will carry inside the camper. The campers are between 8 and 16 feet long when collapsed, which is just enough for your Sportage.

At the camp, the camper can extend up to 32 feet for the large models. 

You can also tow small boats with the Sportage. The average small fishing boat weighs about 1,700 pounds, a weight that your Sportage can handle without much struggle. Small sail boats, less than 20 feet, are also light enough for your Sportage to tow. 

When getting ready to tow, you need to consider the weight of your trailer and the gear that you will carry. The weight of the trailer contributes towards the total 2000-pound rating that your SUV should haul. If you have a lot of items to carry, including coolers, food, batteries, clothing, and several other supplies, you should go for a lighter trailer. 

Getting Ready to Tow

You need to check your Kia Sportage’s user manual for instructions on how to tow. It is also important that you check the instructions that come with the boat or the trailer to ensure that you have all the equipment you need to start the tow. 

Further, you need to check the towing rules in your state to ensure that you are doing towing according to the rules and that you are safe. Even if you have a light trailer with no more than a day’s supplies, you still need to install the trailer brakes for your safety and the safety of other passengers in your Sportage. 

You also need trailer lights, which are a requirement in most states. The trailer lights show other motorists when you brake, and they keep you visible at night and on days when the fog falls. 

If you are alert on the road, you will be safe. Kia Sportage offers a host of safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and forward collision alert to help you stay safe. Even with these features, you still need to keep an eye on your surroundings to ensure that nothing catches you by surprise.

The Kia Sportage is only 14 feet long. When you attach a trailer, the length of the vehicle increases and so does the weight. You will need to adjust your driving accordingly so that you are safe on the road. 

The vehicle is ready for adventure, and it offers you the comfort features that you need to be on or off the road. If you are carrying several passengers, or you have so much cargo to carry at the back of the car, the towing capacity may slightly be affected.

If you plan to bring many passengers on the trip, you might need to go for the smallest and lightest trailer so as not to overload the SUV. Overloading makes your car challenging to control. 

Closing Thoughts

Kia produced the Sportage to between their large three row models, the Sorento and the Telluride, and the smaller Seltos. When you need more power than the Seltos can offer, but you still need the maneuverability of a smaller car, the Sportage is a great choice. It offers sufficient cargo space for a small SUV, and it also packs enough power for adventure. 

There are so many features you will enjoy on the Sportage, especially because it comes as an affordable package. The current generation of the Sportage has been in production since 2017, and it has seen several updates to make it better as an adventure car. 

You cannot use it to tow large campers, but you can pull a pop-up camper to accommodate a few people. Further, the interior is comfortable and there are several convenience features to keep you comfortable. Start towing today.

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

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