Just the typical things that go wrong with this particular model.
#1. The brakes have needed adjustment (not replacement) more often than other makes and models. About every 15 - 20,000 miles.
#2. The timing belt went out at about 90,000 miles, which was my fault because it is scheduled maintenance to have it replaced at 60,000 miles.
#3. Unreliable and non-functioning 4 wheel drive due to the 'automatic' locking hubs which generally don't work well.
#4. Heat shield came loose and made noise until dealer fixed it.
#5. Miscellaneous electronic components went out for the windows.
This is the best vehicle I've ever owned. I bought this car from an auction with 22,500 miles on it and still under warranty. I just now passed 120,000.
I must say that the dealership and warranty were unbelievable. I didn't have a lot of problems with this SUV, but when I did, the warranty covered it completely, regardless of what it was.
As with other Sportages, I had the typical problems such as the 4x4 not working correctly or at all. The dealer replaced the entire 4 wheel drive system repeatedly under warranty, but it still wouldn't function. This simply comes down to the automatic locking hubs being worthless. I've replaced them with manual locking hubs from Warn and it now works great.
This vehicle has been my daily driver and hunting/outdoor trip vehicle since 2002. It has been through a ton of different environments and has actually performed flawlessly. It consistently gets 22-23 miles per gallon and can tow small trailers with no problem, which I do on a regular basis. I am now married and this vehicle serves my family of 4 well, but is a little short on space for longer trips.
The timing belt went out on me at an inopportune time at about 90,000 miles, but that was technically my fault for not having it replaced as stated in the manual at 60,000 miles. It was expensive to get it repaired after it went out, but has been worth it so far.
The vehicle handles like a bigger older truck and the steering seems like it doesn't have power steering, but actually does.
The brakes need adjustment more often than other cars, but nothing excessive. Many people are having their dealer put new brake pads on this model, when all they need is a simple adjustment.
Overall, I like this vehicle for it's ruggedness and reliability. I would buy this little truck again in a heartbeat.