Before buying this suv do your research , mostly into weather or not the crankshaft roll pin has or is close to shearing off , the repairs will include the crankshaft gear, harmonic damper crankshaft bolt and timing belt, the repairs will exceed 1000 dollars, this part has failed on mine 3 times in less then 20000 miles, the dealer will not warranty the repairs post 6 months, its extreamly frustrating that there is no update,recall or recourse other then pony up over a grand every 8000 miles because of the same failure, poor design, poor warranty, poor reliability
Model years 2002-09 contain a defective engine crank sprocket that when the bolt breaks, causes you to loss your power steering and the engine is JUNK. The bolt broke while I was on the highway doing 65 MPH. When I went to steer on to the on ramp, I had NO power steering and almost went off the road. I had the car towed to the dealer and they told me the crank shaft bolt broke and I needed a new engine to the tune of $5000.00 I purchased the car used 6 months before for $8900.00 and there was less than 91,000 miles on it. I ended up losing my shirt on this piece of junk that Kia KNEW was defective. They don't seem to care that someone can get killed when this happens.
Bought new Michelin tires (new) wore out after only 27K miles, probably hot, rough roads to blame. First time on a very steep mountain downhill brakes became very hot, nearly failed. Otherwise, good MPG at first, 89 octane best for freeway speeds. Went to a dealer in another state for 30K maint., less zip but better MPG. Local Dealer (no Charge) replaced some power steering hoses and pesky doorjamb lock dented by dangling seat belt. A high-end shop did the 60K service, after 4K miles, loud noises. So, i parked it for 4 years, changed mechanic & did some routine re-work, no major issues! Great handling, good turning radius, smooth solid feel. Has been an awesome snow vehicle. Versatile storage, car-camper. Check service records and have a mechanic verify. Totaled by a careless driver 12/17. Darn! 84K miles Insurance settled for $8K but I lost 4 new tires in the repo.
Overall, a comfortable (I'm 6'3") solid vehicle, but poor fuel economy and many electrical problems. Dome light diode (whoever heard of such a thing), door lock actuator (never had one fail even in the GM garbage of the 70's and 80's), heater blend door actuator, and crankshaft angle sensor ($900 repair to replace shitty magnetic pick up, but buried in engine). The sunroof plastic guide rail broke at 5 years with little use, so roof will slide but won't tilt. Temperature gauge has never worked reliably, even after 3 trips to dealer when new. I finally gave up as it wasn't important. Factory replacement windshield wiper blades last only 18 mos! Most of the problems are just annoying, but the crankshaft sensor problem is way too frequent...should have been a recall. Also, seat belt retraction springs are going bad.
The build quality on the new models looks worse, so it will be a Honda, Nissan, or Toyota next time. I also have an 18 year old Infiniti with 70,000 miles, and have had less than one- fourth the problems!
Update 8-22-16: Valve lifter (tappet) now ticks if the car sits more than a day or two without being driven. Not burning any appreciable amount of oil. Gas mileage down to 15 mpg using the E10 fuel now sold here (was 16 mpg with 0-5% ethanol). Have had to replace another failed electrical part, the A/C & heat temperature door actuator. Got the Kia brand part on the internet for about $70, replaced myself so no labor cost. Still driving the vehicle because it is much more comfortable to sit in (excellent leg room) than most others, and property tax is very low. Overall impression of an average quality SUV remains the same.
Update 2-23-17: Replaced brakes and turned rotors at 58,000 miles. No more vibration when stopping. Have not experienced the crankshaft bolt/pulley failure but received notice of class action settlement regarding this frequent problem. Tailgate lift struts no longer work. Vehicle remains what I would term "average" quality, on par with most of the American products. I keep driving it because the seating position and comfort remain excellent and the overall cost of ownership, even with some problems, remains low.
Update 8-24-18: No new issues in last year. As I get older and have to deal with many increasingly obscure and complicated electronic gizmos (and no standardization of anything!), I appreciate the relative simplicity of this vehicle. Comfort remains good and performance remains sluggish, but it has been reliable except for the aforementioned crankshaft sensor that most definitely should have been covered under a recall and/or fixed at no cost. It is heavy (full frame), more durable, and safer than most of the similar new vehicles, resulting in a generous appetite for fuel! Still, it's a keeper.