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How Far Can a Kia Sportage Go with the Gas Light On?

How Far Can a Kia Sportage Go with the Gas Light On?

Kia Sportage has a low gas light warning mechanism installed on the dashboard to draw your attention to the condition that you are running out of fuel. However, you can still cover some distance with a few gallons of gasoline left in the tank.

How Far Can a Kia Sportage Go with the Gas Light On? Kia Sportage can go up to 15-40 miles with the gas light On. 15-25 miles for 1994-2000 models, while the 2004-2015 model can cover an estimated distance of 20-30 miles. Moreover, the 2016-2022 model of the SUV has an effective range of 30-40 miles on reserve fuel.

This article will guide Kia Sportage owners regarding the estimated distance it can cover when they see low fuel light illuminated on the dashboard.

In addition, we will cover different factors affecting this range and how we can enhance it by adopting a few fuel conservation measures to reach the nearest gas station safely.

Tank Size and range of Kia Sportage on a full tank

Kia Sportage is an SUV available in different variants and model years from 1994 to 2023. Fuel tank capacity and the maximum driving range of the vehicle vary across the generations.

For example, the 1994-2000 model years have a tank size of 60 liters (15.85 gallons) and a maximum driving range of 300-320 miles based on the combined city and highway average.

On the other hand, 2004-2015 models of the SUV have a fuel capacity of 58 liters (15.32 gallons).

It can cover a distance of 340-385 miles on a tank full of gasoline. Later models have better fuel economy in city and highway areas.

Therefore, they can go for more miles with the same amount of fuel. The next generation from 2016-2022 has a fuel tank of size 62 liters (16.40 gallons) with an enhanced driving range of 330-430 miles according to the trim level, driving conditions, and engine type.

Distance covered by Kia Sportage with gas light On

Kia Sportage can cover some distance when the low fuel warning light comes on the dashboard due to fuel remaining in the tank.

However, the actual range can vary depending on several factors and available circumstances at that instant.

Therefore, you should try to refuel it as soon as the warning turns ON. 1994-2000 models have a reserve fuel capacity of 1.5-2.5 gallons, and you can cover a distance of 15-25 miles before coming to a complete engine halt.

While later models from 2004-2015 had 1.5-2.0 gallons of fuel remaining with the low gas warning light.

Depending on the mentioned factors, you can cover an estimated distance of 20-30 miles with this remaining fuel.

2016-2022 models have improved fuel economy and can cover a relatively more distance of 30-40 miles on the remaining gasoline of 1.5-2 gallons in the tank.

These are all average values based on actual data collected from several drivers, as they can vary according to the prevailing driving conditions and engine performance.

Factors affecting the number of miles a Kia Sportage can travel with the gas light on

No single figure can represent the maximum distance you can cover with the gas light ON as it is highly dependent on several factors.

Therefore, I always recommend not relying on the dashboard’s Distance to Empty (DTE) estimates.

They are based on average values and can vary quickly with a change in your driving style and conditions. 

Fuel efficiency of the SUV

A fuel-efficient SUV will cover more distance than one with poor fuel economy. Therefore, if you have the latest model of the

Kia Sportage, it will have an improved EPA rating and will cover more distance with low gas light. It also depends on other factors like trim level, the carried load, and fuel quality.

Using a recommended grade of gasoline will also improve the engine performance and go farther with the same reserve fuel.

Driving habits

Your driving style is one of the key factors affecting the maximum distance you can cover on an SUV with the gas light ON.

Rapid acceleration and hard braking can decrease fuel efficiency and reduce the maximum mileage a vehicle can cover.

Driving at optimum speed will improve fuel economy and decrease wind resistance resulting in a longer distance.

You can also turn OFF the power-consuming accessories like the stereo system and air conditioning to reduce the load on the engine. Excessive idling also wastes fuel and can reduce the range of SUVs with the low gas warning light.

Road conditions

Driving on smooth surfaces like highways with constant speeds can increase Kia Sportage’s range with gas light ON.

While in urban areas with busy roads, you have to apply frequent braking, decreasing the effective fuel economy.

Similarly, Driving on hilly, rough, or uneven roads can increase the resistance to the vehicle’s movement, reducing fuel efficiency and the maximum distance.

Moreover, driving Kia Sportage in adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow, can increase wind resistance and difficulty in traction, leading to a decrease in fuel efficiency and a shorter maximum distance.

Engine size

Engine size can also affect the distance you can cover with a gas light ON.

A larger engine, like a 2.0-liter, typically requires more fuel and will reduce the maximum distance it can cover compared to a smaller motor, like a 1.6-liter.

Moreover, a turbocharger can also have a slight effect in terms of fuel efficiency and an increase in the distance on the remaining fuel.

Maintenance of the vehicle

By performing regular maintenance and keeping the SUV in good working order, you can help improve its fuel efficiency and increase the maximum distance your Kia Sportage can cover with the empty tank.

In addition, some scheduled maintenance tasks, including regular oil changes, engine tuning, and changing air filters, can improve engine performance.

Therefore, you can expect more distance with the reserve fuel than a vehicle without proper maintenance. 

Tips to extend the distance a Kia Sportage can travel with gas light on

When a low gas light turns on, it can be a panic situation for somebody traveling in a remote area with his family. However, keeping his head straight allows him to travel the maximum distance until he reaches the gas station.

Proper air pressure of the tire

Kia recommends an air pressure of 33-38 psi for front and rear tires according to the loading condition.

With this pressure, you will achieve maximum efficiency and reduced road friction.

Therefore, you should check it before the start of every journey to improve fuel economy and increase the distance with the remaining gasoline in the tank.

Avoid excessive idling

Idling is a condition when the engine of the Kia Sportage is ON while it is not moving. When there is a low fuel warning on the dashboard, it is simply a waste of gasoline.

Therefore, if you have to stay at some point, like a red light, for more than 20-30 seconds, a better way to save fuel is to turn OFF the engine. It will help you extend the distance to empty to some extent.

Turn off the accessories

Accessories like air conditioning, power windows, and audio systems consume power from the battery and alternator, putting the load on the engine.

You can turn OFF these accessories to use less energy and conserve fuel, which can help increase the distance to empty.

This way, you can extend the range a Kia Sportage can cover with the low fuel indicator.

Avoid excessive speed changes

Each vehicle has an optimum speed that gives the best fuel efficiency and efficient engine performance.

Frequent speed changes, such as rapid acceleration and sudden braking, can decrease the range of Kia Sportage on the reserve fuel.

Therefore, you should drive carefully in Eco mode when the low gas light comes on at a steady speed with gradual acceleration and braking to enhance the distance to empty.

Reduce the air drag

Reducing air drag or wind resistance can result in improved fuel economy and an increase in the distance you can go with low fuel warning.

You can do it by keeping the sunroof and windows closed, removing racks or other accessories on the rooftop, and keeping the SUV clean of any dirt or debris on the windscreen.

Moreover, you can also improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics by driving at a steady speed. 

By collectively following these tips, you can significantly increase the distance you can cover on the remaining 1.5-2.0 gallons in the tank.

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