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.

General Comments:

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

5th Jan 2020, 04:25

Hope everyone was OK after the DUI encounter.

1998 Kia Sportage 4x4 2.0 from North America


Big mistake, not the deal I thought it was


Vacuum line blew on the 4 wheel drive twice. And still don't know why the engine jumps to 2500 rpms at an idle.

All the brake lines have been replaced, and the power steering lines have also.

Something is wrong with the A/C.

General Comments:

Terrible ride; it rides like a 1 ton truck on a 5 foot wheelbase.

Everything rattles, inside and outside the car.

Has very little power compared to other 4 cylinders.

Four wheel drive failed while off road, and got stuck.

The engine revs to high speeds at idle, and then you have no power when you take off.

No mechanic can figure out what's wrong with it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th June, 2011

1998 Kia Sportage Base 2.0 from North America


Kia should've made sure all the kinks were worked out before letting consumers drive this vehicle


Blown head gasket.

Replaced rotors and calipers.

Major problem occurred when driveshaft bearing literally falling off the vehicle while driving on the highway, leading to a near collision. Upon inspection, noticed the u-joint was broken in three places and was only held in place by lots of heavy grease (cheap fix by someone who found the problem before I did).

Heat decided to call it quits one cold morning... had to replace heater core.

This all occurred within 6k miles.

Vehicle has now has developed a problem with stalling out when gas gauge goes below a quarter of a tank. This is dangerous, as the car will stall out at inopportune times... I have had to one time quickly maneuver the car off the road to avoid collision due to this. Waiting on new fuel pump to be overnighted as we speak to remedy this... Hopefully.

The engine is wholly undersized for a vehicle of this weight, and the transmission has to work hard to get it up to speed. This also explains the so so gas mileage... I usually average 18 miles a gallon on the road.

General Comments:

If you know nothing about fixing cars... I would recommend avoiding this vehicle like the plague. The costs in keeping the vehicle going are ridiculous. New driveshaft bearing cost me 180 bucks brand new... was able to cut costs by taking heater core from a wrecked Sportage. Fuel pump is costing me 320 bucks. If you were to leave the labor to a mechanic or dealer.. be prepared to be taken to the cleaners as these parts are difficult to replace, due to way they are situated in the vehicle.

Nice looking car and good seats.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th November, 2010