1997 Kia Sportage SUV Review | Edmunds.com

1997 Kia Sportage SUV


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Kia Sportage Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power Info is not yet available.
  • Fuel Economy 17/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1997 Kia Sportage

  • Info is not yet available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Slick styling, cheap price, spunky DOHC engine

  • Cons

    Build quality, cargo room, cheap interior materials

  • What's New for 1997

    An automatic transmission is offered on 2WD models, and the EX trim level is available in 2WD for the first time. Power door locks, a…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (11 total reviews)

Bought in 1997 and still

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Kia Sportage

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.

This car won't leave you

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Kia Sportage

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.

Pros and cons

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Kia Sportage

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.

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 1997 Kia Sportage Review

What's New for 1997

An automatic transmission is offered on 2WD models, and the EX trim level is available in 2WD for the first time. Power door locks, a theft-deterrent system and a spare tire carrier are all standard on all Sportages for 1997. A new option is a CD player. Sportage gets a new grille. A tan interior can be combined with black paint for the first time. Base 2WD models lose their standard alloy wheels.

Talk About The 1997 Sportage

1997 Kia Sportage Discussions See all Started By

how do you get the number plate lights of from the rear bumper off a 1997 kia sportage??? I need to replace them due to MOT failure...

this is an award from within South Korea for the new Sportage for 2005. The Sportage is the only vehicle to be selected for this year’s awards. Kia expects 104,000 units to be sold overseas i...

I have owned a Kia Sportage since 1997, and it has always had a rather sloppy shifter as well. I took it back to the dealer a couple times, but there were no changes so I just got used to it. That is ...