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Can a Kia Sportage Tow a Travel Trailer or Popup Camper?

The maximum braked tow capacity of the Sportage is 2000 lbs. However, if the load is unbraked, the ability drops slightly with the Sportage being able to tow 1650 lbs of unbraked load.

The Sportage is more than capable of towing an ultra-lightweight trailer class as they usually weigh less than 2000 lbs.

Engine Options Available for Sportage

The Kia Sportage has two petrol engines available for its models:

  • 2.4L Theta II GDI I4: The engine available on the base LX and slightly upgraded EX, the 2.4L Theta II is a naturally aspirated, straight four-cylinder engine with a gasoline direct injection fuel system. This engine produces 185 hp at 6000 rpm and 178 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm.

  • 2.0L Theta II T-GDI I4: The engine available exclusively on the high-end SX, the 2.0L Theta II is a turbocharged, inline four-cylinder engine with a gasoline direct injection fuel system. This engine generates 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

As power and torque are one of the factors determining how well a vehicle can tow a load, the turbocharged 2.0L Theta II would fare better in towing over the naturally aspirated 2.4L Theta II due to its higher power generation and torque. Nevertheless, the towing capacity in both engines is the same.

Towing with the Kia Sportage

The Sportage doesn’t come equipped for towing. Upon purchasing and installing a towing hitch with a towing harness, the vehicle would be ready for towing. The car would require holes to be drilled in on the body before a hitch can be installed. Safety chains between the vehicle and the load during towing are recommended.

The manufacturer recommends to refrain from towing with the Sportage during the first 1200 miles to allow the engine to wear in properly. Failure to do so might result in severe engine or transmission damage.

Once the engine is worn in properly and, the vehicle operating speed should not exceed 100 km/h on straight roads and 70 km/h on a long uphill grade. Moreover, it is strictly advised to turn off the A/C when traversing uphill while pulling a trailer to prevent overheating of the engine as the vehicle has to work extra hard when it is on an incline.

It is worth mentioning that if you are regularly towing with the Sportage, the vehicle would require more servicing as towing is quite taxing towards different load-pulling components of the vehicle such as the engine, transmission, and wheel assemblies.

Kia Sportage is a compact crossover SUV built by Kia, a South Korean car manufacturer. First released in 1993, the vehicle is now in its fourth generation, which started in 2015. The Kia Sportage is available in three different trim levels: the LX, EX, and SX.

In conclusion, the Sportage is a vehicle that is capable of some light towing once properly equipped with a towing hitch and harness. The Sportage has a maximum braked towing capacity of 2000 lbs, dropping to 1650 if the load is unbraked. Compare to other  vehicles.