1999 Kia Sportage EX 2.0 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Kia Sportage is rubbish


Battery failed when 2 days old, new battery required, batteries are not covered by warranty.

Rear differential, total failure at 3500k's, new diff required, fixed under warranty, but off the road for about 5 weeks.

Transfer case, total failure at 36000k's, complete rebuild required, cost me a fortune.

Oxygen sensor failed at 40000k's, more expense.

Rear diff failed again at about 45000k's, another big repair bill.

Fuel tank always leaked when full, never did figure out why, I just hoped it would catch fire.

The idle valve constantly needed servicing every 3000k's, otherwise the engine would rev its brains out if it wasn't kept clean.

General Comments:

First new car I'd ever bought, but absolutely the worst thing I ever owned and I've had over 50 vehicles to date. Some of then were dogs, but even the worst of them was still heaps better than the Sportage, I'd rank it worse than a Lada Niva.

In the first 3 years (the warranty period) it did about 30000k's and only the rear diff failed, but after this the real fun started.

Over the next couple of years I spent so much on repairing the thing that it made my local mechanic wealthy.

My experience with Kia was so bad it has soured me from all Korean vehicles; forever and ever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th October, 2005

7th Nov 2005, 18:45

My KIA Sportage ran into problems which were found to be due to a rusty petrol tank. This necessitated replacement of the tank, the fuel filler neck, the fuel gauge sender unit, spark plugs and the fuel filter. Also the injectors had to be removed and cleaned. The car was 40 months old so not covered by warranty. BUT was the problem the tank or faulty fuel. KIA Australia were no help when approached. Shell is looking into it.

Malcolm Hughes 9 Bertha St Hill Top 2575 or 02 4998 8661.

5th Jun 2009, 06:45

I agree - Kias in general are total rubbish. Don't despair however, if you want a korean 4wd that actually works, buy a Ssangyong Musso - I have one and it is a brilliant machine, thanks to it's Mercedes DNA.

1999 Kia Sportage EX 2.0 from North America


It's reliable, but I won't buy another


Overall, the Kia is reliable, but I have had a few repairs in the first 2 yrs. Nothing major, and everything, but the spare tire lock was covered under warranty.

I've kept the interior clean and it's still like new.

General Comments:

My Kia doesn't have any power, and it's unlikely I'll buy another small vehicle.

I am on 66,500 miles and I doubt it will last past 100,000.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st July, 2005

1999 Kia Sportage Standard Model 2.0 Litre from Australia and New Zealand


Very disapointed with my KIA Sportage


Rear differential failed at 3000 Ks.

Dealer fixed under warranty, but the breakdown left my wife and myself stranded in a remote location.

Exhaust system (muffler) rattle. Was like it from new. Dealer wouldn't fix during warranty period, in fact the dealer's service-man said to me "what did you expect, you got what you paid for".

Oxygen Sensor failed at 27000 Ks. Vehicle just out of warranty (just over 3 years old) when this happened. Cost me $450 to fix.

Rattle in front suspension. Like it from new. Reported to Dealer on various occasions, but it was never repaired.

Transfer case, complete failure, at 45000 Ks. Stranded me in a remote location (middle of winter) in the Snowy Mountains. Cost me over $1000 to fix.

Engine idle valve constantly required servicing/cleaning. Engine would often rev-up uncontrollably. Dealer wouldn't replace valve under warranty, just kept cleaning it.

It got to the stage where I would remove it, clean it and replace it (on the side of the road if need-be) to keep the thing going. I got very good at doing this.

Replaced hubcaps and hubcap retainers on a regular basis. Forever breaking off.

Many of the plastic items on the vehicle were very poor quality and would simply crack or powder-up.

General Comments:

Vehicle had low use, only had 52000 Ks when sold after 5 years and was regulary serviced and maintained.

By far the worst vehicle I've ever owned.

Very unreliable.

Very serious, expensive things went wrong.

Often had to wait for shipment of spare parts to arrive, forcing the vehicle off the road for weeks as a result.

Poor service relations, regardless of dealership. In fact some dealers often made negative comments about the product.

It got to the stage where the thing couldn't be trusted, hence toward the end I wasn't game to venture far from my mechanic.

I will never own another KIA or Korean product.

Finally, the last word from the guy who repaired the transfer case (a respected gearbox & differential specialist) who stated ~ "I love Korean vehicles especially KIA's, because we make a very good living from them. Its not so much the design of the things, its the rubbish components they use that keeps letting them down. If they would adopted better quality bearings I'd be out of business. My advice to you is get rid of it before something else fails and be assured it will".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th December, 2004

9th Jan 2005, 18:34

My 1999 kia sportage 4x4 gave me problems on the 1st. day of purchase. while driving it home my r.p.m. gauge started running up to 40k. at 55m.p.h. I thought the engine would explode, come to find out the transmission isn't shifting into 3rd gear. upon calling a kia dealer I was told that they were known to do such things and that I should change the transmission fluid. upon reading all the bad reviews I refuse to put myself through the headache's. so a for sale sign is the most I'm going to put in it.