I had a 2000 Kia Sportage base automatic 4x4 (there is no option for that exact car on Edmunds form here so I picked the closest.
I drove this car from about 15,000 miles to 100,000, cross country and back. There are nicer SUVs out there obviously but this one was reliable and inexpensive.
It's also kind of fun to drive. The 4x4 is great in snow. Also if you live in the city and park on the street you will love it. At 156 inches long, it's very easy to parallel park. I was always amazed at the spots I could fit in. Easier than a Honda Civic.
Pretty roomy inside, 4x4 was great.
The engine could definitely use more power. However, it was very inexpensive so you know that going in.
I have owned my Kia for 3 years its my first car. I have had to put A LOT of work into it. The original owner ran her hard. First some wires rusted and fell apart, a wire on my brakes got twisted, my rear axle rusted over and broke, (that was scary), one of my back doors wont open from the outside, I recently had a problem that is I go through gas way too fast and when I go to fill up it makes a really weird hissing sound! I had this part removed from the gas tank to prevent it from rusting so its not that. But when I get the money to get it fixed it will be perfectly fine. I love it!
Great on gas, front passenger seat is roomy, the trunk space is great, surprisingly good on the highway! There's a jack in the trunk.
What is up with those cup holders? Easily rusts, shakes a bit, windows are slow, and the radio isn't the best.
I purchased mine used 6 years ago to get me through the snowy mountains of Virginia, and it has never let me down. I drive it about 3500 miles per month and so far these are the only repairs: brakes, tires, 02 sensor (at 150k miles), batteries (gone through several of these), power window switch. Cloth seats feel cheap, but otherwise the interior is well planned and accessories are convenient. Exterior, for me, is pretty rough--it sort of looks like a beefy go-cart. I would recommend one for a new driver who will have to deal with inclement weather conditions. Easy to maneuver in snow/rain, easy to park, and there is plenty of glass all the way around so drivers can see surroundings
Extremely reliable. Incredible use of interior space (plenty of room for a family and large dog). On the fly 4wd, very good ground clearance for snow and obstacles, and all the glass makes it very easy to parallel park.
NA. But for prospective used buyers: Engine is reliable but weak under load (you won't make a lot of passes on the interstate if you're full with passengers, or if they AC is on). You can't pull much more than a teardrop trailer with it.
Love my Sportage, fun to drive, decent power for 4 cylinder, enjoy standard shift, mechanically sound. Gas milage around 19-20 city, 26 mpg highway. Do not like cup holder location, AM/FM cassette radio could be better. Overall pleased with vehicle, plan on keeping for another 100,000 miles. Changing timing belt and water pump at 103,000 miles as preventative maintenance.
Comfortable Seats, Good AC
Move cup holder, improve radio, dark tint windows should be standard equipment.
We bought it as an extra vehicle for short trips (also have a suburban we love). It is fun to drive. Easy to park. Mine is an automatic. If you really get on the throttle the motor is sufficient but definitely not high performance. I have Michelin Harmony tires. It does a bit better than a 2wd on snow and ice. Forget it off road. Its definitely not a true 4x4. Maybe mine has a mechanical problem??? The ds front and rear slip. The other side seldom spins. If I can't get this resolved I'm going to try a Toyota truck. I need something that will go in all road, terrain and weather conditions.
Size and handling. Always starts cold or hot weahter.