1998 Kia Sportage 2L from Australia and New Zealand


Cheap and Nasty


The 'check engine' light came on within a few days of buying it. It was the 02 sensor.

The rear door started rattling.

The power windows worked intermittently.

The car would stutter/backfire within 2 min of being started.

The car stuttered/stalled if given a little gas.

Cooler fluid leaked into the ventilation, stunk like crazy and leaked on passenger side.

The wipers would lock up sometimes and made a crappy knocking noise.

General Comments:

Avoid, spare parts are hard to get and expensive.

Poorly made and just all round crap.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th October, 2005

1998 Kia Sportage EX 2.0 from North America


Love my Kia, been very reliable


Put a starter in it at 98,400.

Have to clean out the drain hose for the A/C average twice yearly.

Last week the release cable for the spare tire mount broke, took whole cable to M/C shop had new one made for $12.

General Comments:

I must be the luckiest Sportage owner on record! I purchased my 98 Sportage EX (using a 95 Sportage as trade-in) In over 113K miles the only thing other than regular maintenance items (beltsm hoses, filter, etc) that I have replaced was the starter. The 95 sportage had the cruise control module go out about 3 months before I traded it in.. I believe the key is the fact that I do all the maintenance myself, I have had experience in the past with mechanics who break something else while they repair what you have it in the shop for.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd August, 2005

3rd Aug 2005, 10:28

I agree with your comment regarding doing your own repairs. When I did my own maintenance/ repairs on my old Civic I got 350K miles out of that car. But, now it seems every time I get my car back from a mechanic it's worse than before. Can't anyone fix cars anymore?

27th Apr 2009, 19:21

I just purchased a 1998 Kia Sportage and I love it. The engine is really clean, so is the inside, the paint still looks great. The care sounds new and I am going to learn how to do my own tune-ups and oil changes as mechanics are not the same. Your right about fixing your own car. I use to do my own Suzuki Sidekick tune-ups, even changed gaskets and cleaned up a leak from the gasket. It took a while but I did a great job, it was fun and my car ran superbly. The less I patronize most mechanics (not all) the better my vehicles run.

1998 Kia Sportage GLX SE 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Nice car, but feels cheap


Fuel line separated from engine after 4 weeks.

General Comments:

Very practical car, we've had a washing machine AND a dishwasher in the back together with the seats down.

Handles well the few times we go off road.

Great in the snow.

Uncomfortable cabin.

Quite high mpg.

Rough ride.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th May, 2005

1998 Kia Sportage Extended warranty from North America


A poorly-built car, even for the low price tag


For starters, the dealer's paint protection plan doesn't cover the trim, which has actually started to melt off of the car. I pay an extra $15 a month for it. Every time I tried to approach them about this, they talked in circles and volleyed me around through representatives to no avail of the problem being corrected.

The car is now on it's third completely new exhaust system. The last two rusted out and in one case, the muffler fell off while driving.

The interior overhead light broke within the first two years of owning the vehicle.

The check engine light is possessed by some kind of evil being that turns it on before I attempt any long distance trips. Every time I take it in to be diagnosed, the mechanic can't find anything wrong with it.

The rear view mirror actually fell off and had to be replaced.

The A/C leaks onto the passenger side floor and can form puddles of coolant on longer trips.

The vehicle is on it's fourth set of brakes in three years.

The spark plug wires had to be replaced at 85000 miles.

The catalytic converter was replaced twice, once at 30000 miles and once at 70000 miles.

The wiper motors barely work and can freeze up in heavier rain.

The timing belt has been replaced numerous times along with the radiator belt.

The external wheel mount located on the back of the SUV has begun to rust and has trouble staying locked.

3 of the 4 hubs on the car have gone out. This means that the four wheel drive vehicle I bought only gets power to two wheels. One of those two will only spin if the other gets traction.

The four wheel drive is useless!!! It never seemed to work right and the SUV would get stuck in as little as 3" of snow.

And the final (and most recent) problem. The fuel tank has rusted out to the point that a hole has developed. I could only smell the gas at first, but it started leaking through the chassis panel, so I had to take it into the shop. I was told by the mechanic that IF they could track down the correct fuel tank, it would cost more than the car is probably worth. I don't think I'm going to get it fixed. I'd be doing the world a favor by getting one of these poorly built things off of the road.

General Comments:

The Kia Sportage looked like a great, reliable SUV at the dealer. It was backed by a warranty that couldn't be beat and was an amazing bargain at only $10,000 for a one year old vehicle.

The warranty, however, proved to be useless. Everything that was covered worked just fine right up until the warranty expired. On top of that, the largest problems aren't covered by and warranties.

As far as performance, don't expect much. The Sportage has problems accelerating when you turn on the A/C and the power/economy button makes no real difference. The steering on it, however, is incredibly good. In fact, that's the only part of the car I really like.

Brake pedal is a little too sensitive and can result in some awkward stops. This also may be due to the lack of anti-lock brakes, which usually come standard with almost any car.

The interior was another part that I liked. The seats were very plush and felt great on longer trips. There isn't much storage space, though. Even with the back seats folded down, there was barely enough room to put a small lawnmower.

The exterior of the car looks like a throwback to the early 90's SUVs. It's like a cross between a Jeep Cherokee and a station wagon. The body design is also very awkward, which leads to problems such as doors not sealing tight enough to keep out the rain.

To sum it up, this car was manufactured from Mazda and Ford parts. Anyone who has ever owned a '93 Ford Probe knows how well a Ford/Mazda built car runs. Or doesn't, in this case.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st July, 2004

4th Jun 2005, 08:04

I own two Sportage's and love them. I have had them for 6 years. I have never had to replace the timing belt and have not had any problems with maintenance. I do agree that the brakes need to be replace every 30 thousand miles. My hubs have always worked and the economy power button works great when driving in mountainous terrain. I love this car and know that they are a Hyundai company and have been built out of Korea since the beginning. I would love to get a new one because they have improved the stereo and interior room I like the looks of the new one and they come with sun roofs. I get great gas mileage. 300 miles or more per tank of gas. I used to be a Ford owner and love this car more than any Ford I have ever owned. Maintenance cost and frequency is very low. This has been a great investment!

6th Nov 2005, 10:38

My husband and I just purchased a 98 Kia Sportage. I really like the little SUV a lot. We noticed the other day that it made kind of a short loud noise when we stared it. My husband seems to think it's the oil pump. Has anyone out there ever experienced this and if so, what was the problem.