1996 Kia Sportage SUV - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 11 Total Reviews
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Bought in 1997 and still going strong
By mjtooley on 03/08/10 06:17 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Kia Sportage SUV 4dr SUV 4WD

Review

We bought this car new in 1997. It was a closeout on a 1996 model. For the money it has been great. It had a few little interior rattles over the years that separate it from the better built Japanese cars at the time, but nothing to serious. The car seems to like to eat O2 sensors. It needs a new one every 3 years. Same with the muffler. But other than that, a good car with the expected maintenance. The car looks like new in our garage.
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This car won't leave you stranded
By Lena LaFaye on 11/29/08 07:37 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Kia Sportage SUV 4dr SUV 4WD

Review

I have owned this car for six years now. It has never once left me stranded. If you treat this car well it will run. Repairs I have done were normal considering the age. Timing belt, front wheel bearings, harmonic balancer, starter, fan clutch, brake drums and other scheduled maintenance. This car has lasted multiple cross country road trips and does exceptional on the highway. Even now, with it being 12 years old I get 23mpg city and 30mpg hwy. The new model sportage is put to shame by this. People mention to me my car doesn't accelerate fast. I don't mind this because I'm not a fast driver. I like that it's high enough that you can step into it not stand up or stoop down.
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Pros and Cons
By Troy on 06/02/08 17:19 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Kia Sportage SUV 4dr SUV 4WD

Review

I have a 96 Kia Sportage and The Kia is good in most cases until it breaks down. For the do it your self mechanic there is NO shop manual avalable, Because KIA wants you to bring the car to them. I am currently having to replace water pump, timing, and work on lifters without a shop manual. Hoping i can find all the timing and torque specs i need. I hope in the future Kia allows a shop manual and more after market parts for the do it yourself mechanic. Hopefully after i am done i can get better fuel mileage.
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Surprising quality for price
By phil on 08/30/07 15:54 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Kia Sportage SUV EX 4dr SUV 4WD

Review

It's been a great car. Reliable, tough and just keeps running. Even after 11 years, there hasn't been a reason to get rid of it. At this point in its life we are replacing parts and such but it's still far cheaper than a new car. The interior has worn like iron. Even parked in the sun all the time, the dash hasn't cracked. You won't set any speed records in it and the acceleration isn't as good as it was earlier in its life but that's to be expected from a heavy 4WD pulled by a 2 liter 4 cylinder engine.
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Little blue Devil
By bulldog on 05/09/05 13:32 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Kia Sportage SUV 4dr SUV

Review

This car has been a fun drive over the last 9 years. Withonly the waterpump (warranty failure), EGR (again warranty failure) and replacing the timing belt at 80000 miles, this car has been perfect. It attacks the mountain roads around Arizona and can get around town just as well. Holds a full load of groceries in the back and add more room with the folding seats. Limits to this car are thelack of leg room for the back-seat passengers if they are over 6 ft. tall. This may seem trivial but there are also no drink holders in the back. We've taken this car on long trips across country, but you have to stop more often for the people in the back to let them stretch.
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Be very careful
By Bill C on 03/07/03 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Kia Sportage SUV EX 4dr SUV 4WD

Review

My largest complaint comes from the failure of a timing belt. The engines on these vehicles are referred to as an "interfearence" motor which means that if the timing belt breaks, there is a great chance that the motor will destruct via valves and pistons hitting eachother in a furious, mistimed, catastrophic event. Here is the biggest kicker- The water pump is driven by the timing belt which means as in my case, the water pump failed causing the timing belt to fail prematurely ultimately causing a catastrophic disolving of the internal motor parts. IMHO, not a good engineering design.
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best for the price.
By red on 01/08/03 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Kia Sportage SUV 4dr SUV

Review

I have barely had any problems since I bought it. I tore the boot on the ball joint. Window channel problems. Which I have heard is not un-common on Japanese cars. Rust in the radiator after 85000 miles. And the only thing that might become a problem after time is the cluch slave which began to leak after 145000 thouuusand miles of use. I think this speaks for itself.
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best for the price.
By RED on 01/08/03 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Kia Sportage SUV 4dr SUV

Review

I have barely had any problems since I bought it. I tore the boot on the ball joint. Window channel problems. Which I have heard is not un-common on Japanese cars. Rust in the radiator after 85000 miles. And the only thing that might become a problem after time is the cluch slave which began to leak after 145000 thouuusand miles of use. I think this speaks for itself.
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Great small SUV
By ree on 09/08/02 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Kia Sportage SUV 4dr SUV

Review

This is a great car for anyone who wants to graduate to an SUV, but doesn't want the expense or very low fuel economy of a bigger SUV. This is a comfortable, reliable vehicle. With scheduled maintanence (oil changes, tire rotation, belts, hoses and filters), this car needs nothing but gas!
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Love my Sportage!
By toki on 06/05/02 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Kia Sportage SUV 4dr SUV 4WD

Review

I saw this SUV in Korea when they first came out in '95 and I've liked them ever since. I take it up in the mountains and out to the desert and it's never let me down. It's very sure- footed in Utah snow. Plus it's cute and sporty yet easy to get in and out of.
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