Fantastic bargain. Not for the power hungry
This is a real truck built with body on frame construction. Most other mini SUVs are uni-body construction. This along with the low gear ratio gives it the highest tow rating of the mini SUVs.
The in-line cast iron block four cylinder engine is actually very powerful in its own right, the problem is that the truck is just a little too heavy for it. It certainly accelerates quickly enough to merge with traffic and has no trouble maintaining speed on highway grades.
I bought the Kia because of its extremely low price compared to other vehicles in its class. The 100,000 mile warranty put my mind at ease on the reliability front. I think that Kia has worked out a lot of their problems with this vehicle from previous models or they would not stand behind it like this.
The engine is not as quiet as many other 4 cylinders. I have a lot of experience with engines however and know the difference between nuisance noises and problem noises. These engines are just a little noisy.
I would recommend a late model Sportage to anyone. Stay away from anything earlier though.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 12th February, 2002