2013 Kia Sportage EX 2.4 from North America

Summary:

A great combination of comfort, ride, style and affordability!

Faults:

Nothing yet. Bought from a dealer that gets fixer upper kind of cars at the auctions.

In this one the heating element of the passenger seat caught on fire and burned down the seat! So everything damaged inside got replaced.

So I was lucky to pick up a 35k vehicle for 19k after only one year of use!

The dealer replaced all the seats with leather... and the connectors on the driver's side seat did not fit... so I have to take it to a shop that will take off the leather and put it on the original seat (so that the heating option can work).

Other than this, nothing so far.

General Comments:

Nice ride. Before getting this one, I'd spent hours watching car reviews online of many different compact SUV crossovers. And went to test drive a few candidates...

Realized that online reviews are nice, but you never know anything until you personally get into the car and drive it... I've test drove a Hyundai Tuscon, a VW Tiguan, Toyota Venza, Mazda CX-5, and Mitsubishi RVR.

To my huge surprise, the VW was a disappointment. It felt small, cheap and uncomfortable.

The Venza had a pleasing styling and luxury feel interior, but a boring station wagon/minivan ride.

The Tuscon was bigger and nicer than the Tiguan overall, but still short of the Sportage's refinement; it still felt like a cheaper vehicle.

The RVR almost gained my heart, with its low price, small 2.0 economical engine and peppy feel (test drove a 5 speed manual).

I've been a Mazda ride zoom zoom lover, and was expecting a well-advertized "fun-machine" CX-5 to be some kind of super car, but was disappointed... the car felt "heavy" with nothing peppy about it. And the ride was just rough. The interior was not cheap, but the styling felt way too plain.

The Sportage on the other hand had it all: style in and out, a strong and peppy engine, comfort, and the most pleasant sporty handling to my taste, with no body lean.

I also tested that legendary Subaru Forester, which felt like an old boat about to turn over on any turn!!! What the heck? I thought that's what Subaru owners were paying for!!! Expecting some kind of good ride!?? The inside looks so cheap!!! I don't get Subaru at all. It's a 4x4 cheap tractor.

This Kia feels like a BMW class car... for less $. Hopefully the reliability will also be its attribute!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th December, 2014