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SAFETY | 7 out of 10
Four stars, front-drive models; five stars overall, all-wheel-drive models
Five stars, frontal impact; five stars, side impact
'Good,' frontal, side, and rear impact; 'good,' roof strength; Top Safety Pick
'Poor,' small overlap frontal impact
We don't really expect to have a great view out the back in crossover SUVs anymore. Lacking rear-quarter windows, the 2011 Kia Sportage is no exception in this regard.
The large A- and C-pillars reduce visibility somewhat, but it's pretty easy to get used to.
The 2014 Kia Sportage has a very strong list fo safety features; but its crash-test ratings aren't all top-notch.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives front-drive Sportages an overall score of four stars, while all-wheel-drive models earn a five-star score. The Sportage earns mostly top 'good' ratings across the board from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). And it's earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick nod.
Yet one glaring exception is that the Sportage flunked the IIHS small overlap frontal test, with 'poor' results.
We recommend the rear parking sensors and rearview camera here, as the Sportage does have some significant blind spots and difficult rearview visibility.
Dual front, side and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; and stability control are standard in all Sportage models. In addition, they have standard hill-start assist and downhill brake assist, which aid and abet all-traction capability.
Safety scores aren't all top-notch, but the 2014 Sportage has a good set of safety credentials.