1998 Kia Sportage 2.0L 3 cylinder 4W from North America
The 1998 Kia Sportage was a cute, reliable & fun compact SUV
70K - Installed new brushes in the starter.
90K - Replaced the transfer case (don't tow the car with the case in gear).
100K - New timing belt and water pump (standard maintenance).
110K - Replaced the catalytic converter, air filter & spark plugs.
135K - Replaced the brakes. New tires.
145K - Had the front end aligned & they replaced some parts.
140K - New heater core, thermostat & replaced antifreeze. Fixed heater blower & recharged the A/C.
150K - Fixed a few dings, repainted the bumpers & trim and detailed the car.
160K - New clutch, pressure plate, flywheel, shocks, starter & ignition switch. New tires & changed oil in the transmission & transfer case.
Irregular oil changes every 3-5K miles. The car used a little bit of oil @ 160K, maybe 1/2 qt/mo. It looks like possibly a small leak around the valve gasket. I did most of the maintenance on the car myself. Not the easiest car to work on, but I didn't need to work on it that much. All in all, it was very dependable.
My wife drove this car for 17 years with very little mechanical drama. Other than a few minor electrical problems (the horn didn't work, in spite of my tinkering), I don't recall ever leaving her stranded anywhere. The gas mileage wasn't great but not too bad (20-25 mi/gal). The car made a great tow vehicle behind an RV and had enough power to tow a small trailer. There was more than enough room, in the back for her grocery shopping and easily carried 4 adults or 3 or 4 kids plus her.
The bottom line was, it was a great friend and was well loved until its untimely death at the hands of a drunk driver at 3 in the morning on a Saturday/Sunday night, just after Christmas 2019. The little red Kia had a little over 160,000 miles on it when it died and as I had just done a complete clutch job on it, along with a bunch of other standard maintenance items, I expect that it would have gone at least another 50-60K miles before it was done. Parts were a bit expensive when I first bought it but prices dropped dramatically as it got older and I used eBay, Rockauto, etc. If I had it to do all over again, I would still have bought the car and I think my wife would heartily agree with me.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 31st December, 2019