I have a 2011 Sportage base model and it does not have an engine immobilizer system in it. I wanted to get a spare key for my wallet in case I locked the regular keys in it and did not want the large plastic handle key. I went to an Ace Hardware store to see about getting a flat key. They had a device to check for the encoded chip in my key and did not detect one. I ended up getting a key blank from the Kia dealership and having it cut to match my key. I cut the plastic off the key and can keep it in my wallet.
all Canadian KIA's have immobilizers in as standard and have been for many years.
Falconflyer - please fill out your location and drives profile when asking questions like this, it makes things a lot easier, when as you found out in your search you are getting conflicting comments and that is because vehicles are not equipped the same worldwide.
Considering the number of cars in the USA...We have a very low problem with theft.
Of course "if" you live in the inner cities here...that's another story...
I have lived in my home for 35 years...Never had to lock my doors... and other than kids doing stupid stuff (egging houses and toilet papering trees).. No problems!
Problems can be found anywhere in "areas" all over the world.
Like Moscow...I would NOT want to do the above in the Washington DC area. Lots of crime in the "wrong" areas.