2002 Kia Sportage 2.0L from North America


I believe this vehicle is the best combination of comfort and true 4X4 ability


When traveling in cross winds we had trouble getting the windows to roll up the last inch. Air pressure would hold the window out and it would miss the slot. Dealer added plastic guide to door rubber. Problem solved.

The front windshield glass chips easily. Even the sand chips will leave a crack. I wish I had taken out glass insurance as it does not stand up like other vehicles.

General Comments:

This vehicle is over built on the drive line and frame. The extra weight leaves it a bit weak on "get up and go".

Steering could have been a bit lighter, but is acceptable.

Vehicle roll on cornering is a bit more than expected, but is a fair trade off for comfort of ride.

So far this vehicle has been as good as my daughters Rav for 2/3 the price. The vehicle is built for hard use. No problem motoring in to town down the ditch when the road was too muddy to stay on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th February, 2003

2002 Kia Sportage 4X4 2.0 DOHC from North America


Steal of a deal



General Comments:

Vehicle listed for $20,500.00 and bought for $15,500.00 with dealer discounts and rebate.

Bought new fully loaded except for ABS, two tone package and leather interior.

Absolutely no problems as of 4,000 miles.

I use the 4X4 drive intermittently for pulling my bass boat in and out of unimproved boat ramps or lakes throughout Florida that are sand.

The vehicle has MORE than sufficient power for off road use, and has a REAL truck chassis under it too.

The Sportage is rated for a 2,000 lb. trailer load, and my boat and trailer weigh about 1,200 lbs. Except for slight degradation of acceleration, I can hardly tell my boat is behind the Sportage.

Off road approach and departure angles are good, and ground clearance is VERY good with the stock suspension and tires. The live rear axle without all the independent rear suspension junk hanging down like all the other mini SUV’s is big plus. Front suspension is a MASSIVE lower A arm and upper McPherson strut.

Driving is a pleasure, and very quiet for this class of vehicle and price range. Slight telegraphing of bumps is very mild considering that this is a REAL off road vehicle with a REAL truck chassis.

Acceleration is sufficient, and quite peppy once 50 feet or so out of the starting hole. The engine produces the best power above 3,000 RPM, and the vehicle can cruise comfortably all day at 80 MPH. Top speed was tested at 110 MPH.

I have detected no discernible bad handling habits as far as roll and wind effects, and the vehicle handles corners like a car almost.

Gas mileage has been improving with time, at about 1 mile per gallon every two or three tanks or so of gas. Originally I got 15 miles per gallon, and it's now up to 20 miles per gallon as the engine and drive line seat in.

The break in oil and filter was changed at 700 miles, and 10W-40W Castrol GTX was added for the first 5,000 miles till full break in is completed. At 5,000 miles, Castrol full synthetic 5W-50W will be added with a new filter, at which time the gas mileage should go up at least 2 miles per gallon as a result of the synthetic oil alone.

I am 5’11” and my brother is 6’1”, and we both fit comfortably in the front seats and rear seats with plenty of headroom.

All controls on the dash are ergonomically placed and easy to operate without having to take your eyes off of the road.

The ten speaker sound system is fantastic for a factory setup.

Problems with the electrical system that centered around the B+ wire and the ignition key switch have been resolved with a newer larger heavy duty key switch, as also were the problems with loose heat shields or cracked exhaust manifolds in the newer model.

Dusting of the front alloy wheels is well within the normal limits, considering that the brakes are semi-metallic. This “appearance“ problem can be resolved with organic pads, but that will severely inhibit braking quality.

Overall fit and finish is very good and the interior is also very good for this class of vehicle.

The decision on the choice of this vehicle was made based on my sister in-law owning a 1999 Sportage EX 2 wheel drive that has been totally abused since the day she picked it up at the dealer in Homestead Florida. It has over 100,000 miles on it, and has been used on a rural farm, pot holed, mud pie roads daily to ferry field workers and run errands, and never parked in a garage. The clear coat still shines, and other than the ignition key problem and muffler shroud, she has had NO problems.

In addition, the vehicle was slightly damaged in an accident, in which my father in-law ran into a concrete traffic wall and spun out in 180, tore the front bumper off and was never replaced. The front end was never aligned and the tires show no wear patterns… THAT’S TUFF!!! The interior shows signs of use, but little or no wear.

I’ve owned many different trucks, and this Sportage is my favorite… I wish I could buy another new one to put away for later…

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2002

22nd Jun 2006, 12:50

Review is very hard to read. ONLY ONE paragraph? Wud be nice if poster re wrote it to make it much easier to read.

20th Jan 2009, 19:30

I have a 2002 KIA Sportage and it is the worst vehicle ever. I have a "book" of problems and repairs and repaired again. It has been an absolute nightmare. I'm sinking a ton of money into the vehicle and still have payments.

I bought it primarily for the 4X4 living so close to the Canadian border in New York, and winters here can be long and very rough. We this year have had record snow totals and I have been out of a vehicle 90% of the time.

WARNING... DO NOT BUY ONE. It is a headache and I'm basically paying for a dead horse.