2002 Kia Sportage 2.0L DOHC from North America


Only to be owned by the mechanically inclined


I have a folder of receipts from the previous owner that's 2" thick with everything that's been repaired on the vehicle since 2003.

- Vacuum leaks.

- Multiple valve cover gaskets.

- Multiple ignition coils.

- Multiple broken door handles.

- Leaking transmission cooler due to rust.

- High pressure power steering line.

- 4x4 hubs (prone to failure, yet to purchase manual hubs).

- O2 sensors.

- Exhaust leak.

Basic maintenance with many brake and rotor replacements, differential fluid changes, and the basics. There are several small repairs from auto repair shops that total over $20,000. All the repairs were minor engine related things, yet shops nickeled and dimed the previous owner.

General Comments:

It is not a bad vehicle. I would say that these vehicles should be owned by someone who is mechanically inclined. The metal in this vehicle primarily underneath is prone to rusting, although the body is in good condition. I have not driven the vehicle much, as I prefer to have it completely fixed before I consider it a daily driver. An 02 sensor went bad the other day, and the vehicle is running very badly because of that, which I thought was rather strange as most vehicles show little to no signs of a failed O2 sensor. The tranny was leaking from a cooler line when I purchased this vehicle, but the price was right.

I find the vehicle amusing because it has a tiny 2.0L I4 engine sitting in the RWD position (as it is RWD) and it has a full size chassis. I plan to put in fresh gaskets and give it a complete tune up and exhaust system that is free of rust holes. The 4x4 system is disappointing due to failure prone vacuum actuated hubs. This is a simple fix by replacing the hubs with manual units. I currently have the hub springs flipped into the top of the hub so I don't get stuck in 2" of mud in the yard. It took me 30 minutes to remove the hubs, disassemble, and reinstall the hubs in the rain. I am a bit leery of driving the vehicle until I have time to give it a fresh tune up and new gaskets. Underneath the hood does not look appealing, as if the repair shops rushed the repairs and left hoses and such in disarray. I can only drive the vehicle for 45 minutes or less before I have a sore back. The suspension is very tight on this vehicle along with the steering. I have not driven this vehicle in snow yet. I imagine that it would not be the best in the snow. 4x4 only helps to get you out of the ditch, not keep you out.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st November, 2015

2002 Kia Sportage from North America


Should be recalled


Radiator fan broke off and destroyed the radiator at 3200km.

Brakes left powder residue on the tire rim.

Check Engine light was continuously on. (No explanation from any shop I took it to)

Differential was shot after 90000km (regular maintenance)

Exhaust system had to be completely replaced after 70000km

Transfer case completely destroyed at 128568.

Spare tire holder rusted shut.

Hood pop cord broke

Driver side lock had to be replaced due to built in alarm system.

General Comments:

This vehicle when running properly is fun to drive and comfortable. However there was always something wrong, or going wrong with it. The interior is very nice, comfortable and roomy for both front and back seat passengers. But there seems to be a problem with the mechanics of the vehicle. As soon as you fix something on it, 2 weeks later it's back in the shop. I wrote and contacted KIA several times and they said there was nothing they could do after my warranty had run out. In my opinion the vehicle should have been recalled. It wasn't safe or reliable. It was and will be the last KIA I will ever own.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th March, 2008

22nd Jan 2009, 14:36

I agree - the Kia Sportage is a big pile of feces. To anyone out there who is considering buying one of these, don't do it. RUN AWAY, as fast as you can!!

9th May 2014, 11:46

Every car in the world leaves brake dust on the rims. Most people fight the problem by washing their car.