Used 1996 Kia Sportage

1996 Kia Sportage
List price range
1996 Kia Sportage

Pros - Not Available

Cons - Not Available

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Many residents of the Midwest and along the East Coast don't know what the heck a Kia is. Kia's are built near Seoul, South Korea, and are currently sold in western and southeastern U.S. markets. The company builds an inexpensive compact sedan, called the Sephia, and a wonderfully affordable sport utility called the Sportage.

Part-owned by Ford and Mazda, Kia relies heavily on resources from both companies as it struggles to its feet in a tough marketplace. The Sportage, currently available only in four-door style but soon to be joined by a two-door model with a removable roof, is the product of a collaboration between Kia, Ford, Mazda and suspension-tuning guru Lotus. Designed from the start as a sport utility, the Sportage sports tough ladder frame construction, shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive, and a Mazda-based powerplant.

Two trim levels are available: base and EX. Base models are well-trimmed, including power windows, alloy wheels, tinted glass, split-folding seats, a remote fuel door release, power mirrors and a rear defroster. The EX adds power door locks, cruise control, rear wiper and a remote liftgate release. Optional are a roof rack, a spare tire carrier, air conditioning, premium stereo, an automatic transmission and a limited slip differential.

A wide variety of colors are available on the Sportage's smoothly styled flanks; few of which appear to have originated from the minds of the folks currently in charge of painting Hot Wheels cars. The look is rugged yet cute; perfect for family duty in the burbs. Off-road, we found the Sportage confidence-inspiring, but it didn't feel as tight as a Suzuki Sidekick four-door we recently drove.

For most owners, that won't matter. Few SUV's actually leave the pavement, and on the pavement is where the Sportage shines. Lotus engineers worked wonders here, and the Sportage is stable and comfortable. The seating position is high and upright, visibility is outstanding, and the layout of the dashboard and controls is top-notch. Rear seat riders enjoy lots of room and support, afforded by "stadium style" elevated seating. From the driver's seat, the Sportage looks and feels much more substantial than its low price would lead you to believe. Our only quibble with the Sportage's interior was the lack of storage space. Without the optional spare tire carrier, the cargo area is downright tiny.

Kia hopes the younger families and active singles that will be buying the Sportage will find its affordability a welcome trade for some cargo room. With a loaded EX topping out at around $20,000, we think they've got little to worry about.

1996 Highlights

The world's first knee airbag arrives in conjunction with a driver airbag, and a two-wheel-drive edition is available this year. A spirited twin-cam engine arrived late in 1995, and cured Sportage's power ills.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Kia Sportage.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

This car won't leave you stranded
Lena LaFaye,11/29/2008
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
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.
Bought in 1997 and still going strong
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.
Great small SUV
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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Features & Specs

16 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
130 hp @ 5500 rpm
16 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
130 hp @ 5500 rpm
17 city / 22 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
94 hp @ 5000 rpm
17 city / 22 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
94 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all Used 1996 Kia Sportage features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Kia Sportage
Used 1996 Kia Sportage Overview

The Used 1996 Kia Sportage is offered in the following submodels: Sportage SUV. Available styles include EX 4dr SUV, 4dr SUV, EX 4dr SUV 4WD, and 4dr SUV 4WD.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Kia Sportage?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Kia Sportages are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Kia Sportage for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Kia Sportage.

Can't find a used 1996 Kia Sportages you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Kia Sportage for sale - 9 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $25,564.

Find a used Kia for sale - 3 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $15,513.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia Sportage for sale - 6 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $15,962.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia for sale - 11 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $18,631.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Kia Sportage?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Kia lease specials
Check out Kia Sportage lease specials