In nearly 2 years of ownership, really liked this SUV. My biggest complaint is the hassle of the spare tire holder being mounted on the rear hatch. You must have two hands available to open and close the rear - what a pain! Otherwise, it was roomy, the 4WD worked great, the fuel economy was as expected for the class and I had few issues. I suspected a head gasket leak at around 80,000 mi but despite the smell and liquid on the garage floor every day, no one could identify the leak source. Now that I can get another car, I'm looking for a convertible Sportage 4WD - best of all worlds!
I have a convertable 2002 Kia Sportage, I love this car and I am sad to say in a few weeks I will be selling it to a buddy at work. My Sportage has 119,000 miles on it now, I bought it with 9,000! So far I have had to replace the roof (vinyl top) that was because for the first 4 years of ownership I did not have a garage!! The air-conditioner compressor locked up at about 60,000, but being a convertable, why do you need A/C? The 4 wheel drive went out about the same time, somthing about the seals rotting?? And just recently had the Master Brake Cylinder replaced. You might say, how can this guy still love this car?? I have had it for 8 years now, and it never quit on me!! A faithful friend
Bought this suv only for the fuel mileage. My job required traveling and I live on the road. This car has surpassed my expectations on fuel savings and other than changing the oil & routine servicing, it hasn't cost me one penny! When I purchased it, it had 22k miles & now I'm just over 113k miles. This is a lightweight suv and I found it odd to be rear-wheel drive. It isn't a luxury vehicle but I didn't buy it thinking it was. It's been a great vehicle and has saved me lots in gas and was easy to own. Low auto insurance, maintenance and property taxes. Not a great ride for long trips but if gas consumption is your concern - look no further!
My only complaints were 'cosmetic' interior, such as: cup holder is above and so blocking radio, clock and climate control. My grand daughter loved it because with the stadium back seat she could see out easily. One thing I wish I had checked before buying is how back seats fold up to enlarge cargo space. Since they fold up against the front seats at least 8 possible inches are lost. I bought it to be my ridge runner when living in Big Sur, which it was 'excellent' for size-wise and 4x4, and its safety features, structurally better than other baby SUVs of the period, as it is a small truck frame and drives like a small truck; has cross beams in the doors and an extra air bag for driver's knees. I never had to do anything except regular maintenance, as the only major thing that ever went wrong was shortly after I bought it and warrantee totally covered it. It has been rear ended 3 times, progressively worse each time, and fully repaired the first 2 times. This last time hit and run while it was parked, at a speed high enough to throw it about 20 feet forward, frame was bent in back, but was still totally drivable and seemed structurally sound except for the smashed rear lift door and spare tire. I let it go so its heart could be transplanted into another, but I miss it terribly. I was the only owner and was quite happy with it, regardless of the cosmetic interior complaints. I would highly recommend this car, especially if you have a need to run ridges.
I absolutely love my Kia. It was my first car. I chose it because it could fit everything I owned inside of it. Not only did it haul me down to Georgia from Ohio but then moved all of my stuff to Florida a few months later. It also made the move to Dallas and back wonderfully. I consistently take it on long trips and it has never given me any trouble. It's a comfortable ride and gets great mileage on the highway. Of the 2 problems I have had the 1st (cracked master cylinder) was under warranty and the 2nd (fluid in the brakes) was my fault. I didn't use the 4WD enough in the florida climate and hoses disintegrated. The dealer told me, but I decided not to fix it and it caused the brakes.