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The Kia Sportage is a compact crossover SUV that is great for comfortable driving with the whole family in a safe, powerful vehicle. But is it powerful enough to take your camper trailer out on a grand outdoor adventure? We’ve taken a closer look at Sportage towing options to get the answer for you.
A Kia Sportage equipped with trailer brakes can tow 2,000 lbs, enough to tow many lightweight campers. These include:
- Safari Condos R and F17 series
- TAXA Outdoors Cricket
- KZ RV Sportsmen Classic
Without trailer brakes, it can tow 1,653 lbs. This is sufficient for some ultra-lightweight campers and many pop-up campers, including:
- The Happier Camper HC1
- Polydrops P17
- SylvanSport Go
We’ve put together all the information you need about these campers, towing in your Kia Sportage, and more. Keep reading to get the full story.
Is a Kia Sportage good for towing?
The answer to this question all depends on your towing needs. A Kia Sportage that has been properly outfitted with trailer brakes can haul a literal ton at 2,000 pounds. That’s plenty if you’re towing a small camper trailer or pop-up camper. Furthermore, this is a good tow load for a crossover SUV that still features a family-friendly design and comfort.
The Kia Sportage holds up well in side-by-side comparisons with other similar crossover SUVs. For instance, the Honda CR-V has a towing capacity of 1,500 lbs. Much like the Sportage, the Hyundai Tucson can tow 1,650 lbs without trailer brakes and 2,000 lbs with them equipped.
That being said, there are compact crossover SUVs that can tow more than the Sportage. For example, the Ford Escape has a tow package that, in combination with an upgrade to the 2.0 liter EcoBoost Engine, increases its towing capacity from 2,000 to 3,500 lbs.
If you’re hoping to pull a larger camper or other trailers north of 2,000 lbs, be sure to check out our article “What’s the Best SUV for Towing a Travel Trailer.”
Does the Kia Sportage come with a tow package?
We’ve seen the difference that getting the trailer breaks for your Kia Sportage can make. Unfortunately, there isn’t a tow package for the Sportage like that available for the Ford Escape.
However, there are more options to customize your Sportage to get the most out of it. Dealerships often offer a wide range of accessories, including tow hitches with harnesses or bike racks, roof racks for bikes and kayaks, and more.
Don’t worry if you already have an unequipped Sportage or your dealership doesn’t offer all the features you want. Most of your local auto and repair shops can install tow hitches and other accessories for you, and often for a much lower price than dealerships.
You can check the shops in your area for ones that carry the appropriate hitch and handle the installation. Of course, you can always get it on your own from online retailers, such as Amazon.
We recommend hiring professionals for these purposes. However, if you have some experience and are feeling especially inspired, it is possible to install a tow hitch yourself. Learn how in the video below:
Camper trailers for Kia Sportage Without trailer brakes
If your Kia Sportage isn’t equipped with trailer brakes, there’s no need to fret. While its towing capacity of 1,653 lbs may limit your options, there are plenty of great camper trailers that fall beneath this limit. Many of these are pop-up campers. If you prefer more traditional campers, there are still some lightweight options that fit the bill.
The Happier Camper HC1
If the intersection of retro aesthetics with modern ingenuity sounds up your alley, you should check out the Happier Camper HC1. At only 1,100 lbs, your Kia Sportage will be able to tow it easily even if you don’t have trailer breaks. The modern modular design allows you to customize the interior to your liking. The retro fun, and funky style will let you live out your mid-century modern fantasy on the road.
The P17 by Polydrops is a customizable trailer that weighs between 800 and 1,100 lbs depending on the options you choose. These trailers are sleek and modern, and the company emphasizes that they are not campers; they are full-fledged living spaces. They are insulated, there are options to outfit the roof with solar panels, and the P17A All-Electric adds even more modern conveniences.
Even if you’re not ready to go completely off-grid, the P17 is a great option for those looking for a modern, lightweight option.
An ultra-lightweight pop-up camper, the SylvanSport Go weighs just 840 lbs! This diminutive weight means you can add more outdoor toys to the gear deck and equipment rack. It’s an ideal choice for those who want to include some extra toys, like kayaks, mountain bikes, or even a couple of dirt bikes for their outdoor adventures.
This lightweight comes at the cost of having more comfort and frills. The SylvanSport Go is definitely better suited for those who like a bit of roughing it in the outdoors. For a little more comfort, you can choose the Go Big or Go All Out packages. The Go All Out package even includes a solar kit and camp kitchen to help you stay off-grid longer.
Camper trailers for Kia Sportage Equipped with trailer brakes
If your Kia Sportage is equipped with trailer brakes, it can, of course, tow any of the campers from the previous list. The increased towing capacity of 2,000 lbs opens up even more options as well. Here are just a few:
Safari Condo Alto R and F17 Series
Safari Condo produces trailer campers that offer lots of luxury in lightweight packages. The F17 and R series weigh between 1,765-1,867 lbs, the perfect weight for a properly outfitted Kia Sportage.
These include multiple sleeping areas, convertible dining areas, flush toilets with blackwater tanks, and several models include interior showers as well. You can get all the benefits of staying in the outdoors with many of the comforts of home with this proper glamping lightweight camper.
KZ RV Sportsmen Classic
Two floorplans for the Sportsmen Classic by KZ Recreation Vehicles, the 100RK and 100SB, come in under 2,000 lbs, at 17,70 lbs and 1,780 lbs, respectively. These models save on interior space and weight by having the kitchen facing outdoors. Because of this, you’ll have more room to lounge inside these campers despite their size.
TAXA Outdoors Cricket
Promising everything you need and nothing you don’t, the Cricket prioritizes functionality over frills. Because of this, it achieves a lot in just 1,800 lbs. It features a two-burner stovetop with ample counter space, a full-size bed with 25 cubic feet of under-bed storage that transforms into a dinette, and enough room for two adults and up to two children for the family on an outing.
For more information on these and other lightweight trailers, check out our article “Which Travel Trailers are the Lightest?”
Is Kia Sportage FWD or AWD?
The standard Kia Sportage uses front-wheel drive (FWD). However, Kia’s Dynamax all-wheel drive (AWD) is available for all Sportage trims and models.
This AWD system detects when wheels are losing traction and activates the rear wheels as necessary to improve traction and prevent wheelspin. This system improves stability and cornering in the vehicle and increases safety and handling in inclement weather. Furthermore, it can help with acceleration when towing your camper or other trailers.
Can Kia Sportage go off-road?
The Kia Sportage can handle moderate off-road conditions. If your Sportage is equipped with the Dynamax AWD system, it will be able to handle dirt roads and trails better than the FWD Sportage.
In particular, the Dynamax AWD system comes with an AWD LOCK mode. This increases the drive power of the vehicle and is useful for steep inclines and off-roading. When AWD LOCK is activated, it will switch to “auto” mode at speeds over 38 mph but switch back into “AWD lock” if the speed falls below 38 mph again.
Both FWD and AWD versions also feature a downhill brake control system. You can activate this system while off-roading to make the vehicle handle better on dirt hills and other slippery surfaces. The 6.4″ ground clearance is also high enough to handle some off-road obstacles too.
If your offroading is limited to some basic dirt trails, the Kia Sportage is a good choice. For those interested in more extreme offroading, a vehicle with four-wheel drive and a ground clearance of at least 8.5″ might be better suited for your needs.
Check out our article “7 Crucial Pickup Truck Off-road Tips You Need to Know.” Though the article focuses on pickup trucks, the information is valuable for those looking at offroading in SUVs and other vehicles too.
The Kia Sportage combines power, practicality, and comfort in a great crossover SUV. While you might not be able to pull a 20′ Airstream, there are a lot of great camper options for you. Though the list of campers we’ve covered is far from exhaustive, we’ve looked at several great options for campers to pair with the Sportage.
Find the right setup for you and properly equip your Sportage, and you’ll be more than ready to haul your camper and get yourself on the road to adventure.