1997 Kia Sportage EX 2wd 2 liter from North America


If you had your choice of Kia or a horrible disease, choose the disease


Everything!!! I bought the car brand new in early Jan '97. By the end of Feb. it started going into the shop. The check engine light is now my best friend, because it is always there for me with its warm amber glow. They have replaced sensors, wiring harnesses, belts, yet no problem ever goes away.

The car jerks so much I think I am prepared for rodeo bull riding. The air bag control unit went out at 45,000 miles - it cost 1800 big ones if you want to fix it.

There is an awful vibration noise due to a heat shield and poor exhaust system. The A/C has been worked on numerous times. My RPM's will climb to 4000 while I am at a stop light.

Boy do the jobs like it when they pull up next to you and they think you are gunning your engine, but really the car is doing by itself.

I have probably had the car in the shop 20 times. Oh yeah, my driver seatbelt will unfasten all the time. Combine that with the defected airbag and I am sure my family will be millionares when I die.

The quality of the interior material is awful. The seats get stains mysteriously from the air. The paint quality on joints and other hidden places is crap. My clutch went out at 50,000 miles.


General Comments:

There are numerous sexually transmitted diseases that I would rather have than owning my Sportage. But, when it is worth nothing you cannot sell it and end up with another vehicle. When it was under warranty nothing ever got fixed. Now that my warranty is gone, I do have an extended warranty, but it seems to cover one or two bolts in the car, because they have yet to pay for any of the 3000 bucks of repairs. If the CEO ever came to my home town, I would chain myself to my bed to keep me from doing anything I would regret!

By the way... I own a 96 Toyota Camry that has yet to be in the shop. I am now Toyota for life.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th February, 2001

4th Sep 2006, 21:33

A friend of mine just gave me her 98 Sportage and for twenty four hours before I accepted ownership I was feeling great. Now I'm not sure where I'm headed except that all this stuff I hear about the Kia Sportage being pretty much a piece of junk seems to be coming true. I've started with the engine light always seeming to be on, and the doors locks are almost comical as they seem to have a mind of their own. Up, down, and that happens when the heater is turned on. Seems like it's a great car if you're looking for a few laughs and maybe some just around town transportation.

My plan is to pretend that it is ninety-ninety eight and that the car is pretty much new. I'm able to do this because the first thing that my friend handed me was a rather large pile of neatly stacked papers that constituted the Sportage's repair history. With the exception of replacing the engine and the tranny, most everything else has been and seems to be working great except for the check engine light, the door locks, and the right passengers side seat belt, which sometimes does not lock, along with the rear hatch, which does not seem to be able to close easily.

Other than these oddities, the car is generally pretty nice, though I am in a sense truly amazed. I did not know that cars like this were made, much less allowed to be distributed to the car buying public. Owning one of these is really something, and at the end of my first day of Kia ownership, I can at least say that it is in a sense an honor to join this community of enthusiastic and not so enthusiastic Kia Sportage owners and those considering to be.