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With 2023 Kia SUVs making a splash, there may be a run at dealer lots. But instead of paying for a new vehicle, you could consider a pre-owned crossover like the Sportage, especially the 2017 model. What does a 2017 Kia Sportage offer, how reliable is it, and what other excellent used SUVs can you get for less than $20,000?

What do you get with a 2017 Kia Sportage?

2017 Kia Sportage: used Kia SUV, reliable Kia Sportage
2017 Kia Sportage | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Expect to find used 2017 Kia Sportage models in one of three trim levels. The LX and the EX have a 2.4-liter four-cylinder producing 181 hp, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and standard front-wheel drive. It also offered the option to upgrade to all-wheel drive. The base-model LX has a backup camera, steering wheel controls, keyless entry, power steering, and cloth seats. 

The EX has a rear spoiler, fog lamps, keyless start, satellite radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and leather seats. This version gets about 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. 

The range-topping SX Turbo boasts a sunroof, power liftgate, privacy glass, heated steering wheel/mirrors, heated front seats, and a driver’s seat with a cooling option. Unlike the LX and EX, the SX Turbo packs a 2.0-liter turbo Inline-four engine producing 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. 

Expect to pay around $16,058 to $20,518 for a used 2017 Sportage, depending on the trim level, options, mileage, and other factors.

How reliable is the 2017 Kia Sportage?

The 2017 Kia Sportage received 4.5 out of 5 in reliability from J.D. Power. This model year passed Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests with several “Good” ratings, the highest the IIHS awards. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave this used Sportage four out of five stars in the frontal and rollover crash tests and five stars in the side crash evaluation. 

As for safety recalls, the 2017 model has four. The first concerns the trailer brake lights, which could remain lit even when the brakes aren’t activated. Then there’s a possible high-pressure fuel pipe leak, which could be serious if the leak occurred near an ignition source. 

Also, in March 2021, Kia issued a recall for a short circuit that could occur in the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit, which could ignite a fire in the engine compartment. The last recall came when an issue arose with the towing hitch harness. Moisture and debris could collect on the control circuit board and cause a fire.

Other excellent used SUVs on a $20,000 budget

The 2017 Kia Sportage landed second on the U.S. News list, tied with the 2018 Hyundai Tucson, 2017 Tucson, and the 2017 Mazda CX-5. All four received an 8.6 overall score. 

According to U.S. News, the number-one model is the 2018 Mazda CX-5, with an overall score of 8.7. You can find a used model for as little as $19,642, barely under the $20,000 mark. However, reliability ratings from J.D. Power put this model at 3.5 out of 5, lower than the 2017 Kia Sportage. 

U.S. News places the 2018 Ford Escape In the sixth spot with an 8.5 overall score. You can find this model for around $16,703 to $21,348. This used SUV has three safety recalls. One concerns the side curtain airbags. A piece could break off when the airbag is deployed, risking injury. In addition, some models could have the wrong brake hoses on the front brakes, causing them to chafe against other components. Last, the Escape has a bushing that can come loose on the gear shifter cable, preventing the vehicle from shifting. 

If you want a good used SUV for under $20,000, the 2017 Kia Sportage is a solid pick. It offers a near-perfect reliability score, excellent safety ratings, and many features. 


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