I purchased my Sportage two years used- it had 39,000 miles-high. Owned the car 9 years and have only put 52,000 miles on. The dealer services do little to take care of the car-better to find a good independent. At 60,000 miles, it needed front wheel bearings packed,new timing belt,drive belts,& new battery. At 78,000 miles, the radiator overheated; I had replaced the radiator,thermostat,fan clutch,and a cooling system power flush-cost $1200. Car has always had poor, vibrating brakes that I've had repaired numerous times to no avail. The engine leaks oil - I've had this partially fixed twice for $$$ but still leaks. The 4 WD failed some time back but the indicator light says its working.
Fun to drive The exterior/interior has held up well.
Better quality, better service checks that include flushes.
I have maintained the car's engine with oil changes and any recalls. Kia is good about informing owners for recalled parts. I never worry about getting home even with over a foot of snow on my long upward driveway. 4x4 is excellent. Torque for a 4 cylinder is ok and sustaining speed is excellent. I really like it and may drive it another two years unless offered at least 4K.
The seats are so comfortable and the four wheel drive is something I will never be without again.
Little things that they already took care of in the newer models.
When I bought this car I knew I didn't spend $45,000 for a Lexus, $30,000 for an Explorer or even $24,000 for an Escape. When I keep that in perspective, I believe I got a very good car for the money. Has been very reliable, is awesome in 4WD for the bad CT winter weather, has decent ground clearance for off-roading, and gets me from point A to B with minimal fuss every day. Those who complain of a bumpy ride must have thought they were buying a car. This is not a car, this is a small truck, and is built like a truck. I bought this car new to the ridicule of my friends, but would buy another again. You get what you pay for, and I paid for what I needed and have been pleased with this decision.
Low-range 4WD which is very uncommon in a vehicle in this class. Having a high range 4WD is also much better in deep snow and mud than AWD despite what any salesperson might say.
Had an electrical problem early on which took the dealer 3 tries to fix (under warranty). Annoying, but I have to assume this problem was fixed in newer models.
I've driven my '98 Sportage from day 1. 7 years now. It's had a few problems. Most annoying was that I had to replace the starter about 4 times. $300 bucks a pop. It's a cheap, little car. You didn't spend $50K on a BMW. You spent $12K on a Kia. It's been a great car for me. If it died today, I got my money worth. Repairs and all. Most people don't post things on this site unless they are REALLY happy or REALLY upset with a car. I was tired of listening to people moan about this particular car that has been good to me.
Cheap. High ground clearance. 4WD.
Kia already took care of it with the new models. The motor was very undersized and noisy. But, it got you from a to b.