More than 18,000 new car buyers were surveyed as part of the JD Power-What Car? owner satisfaction survey, with the Korean 4x4 SUV topping the list.
The Sportage fought off fierce competition from the Jaguar XF, the Toyota Prius, the Skoda Superb and the Mercedes Benz E-Class to score a top ranked 83.8% among owners.
The survey judged vehicles on quality and reliability, appeal, dealer service satisfaction and ownership costs, but only vehicles registered between January 2009 and December 2010 were allowed to be considered.
"The Sportage was the only car in the survey to score five stars across all the categories," said a What Car? spokesperson.
"Thoughtful design, excellent reliability and sheer value for money helped Kia's SUV to an historic double win as it is the first SUV ever to take the overall title, in its first year in the survey!"
Satisfied owners added to the praise by saying "it is better looking than other SUVs and less expensive than most"; "this is one of the best looking cars ever!"; and "am I going to trade mine in? I think not; friends, family, passers-by - they all love it".
Copyright Press Association 2012