"I've had 45+ cars over the 25 years I have been driving and I've only had the two that were identical: "Type 1" Kia Sportage 4x4s. These jewels get no respect, but if you keep the oil changed in them they will easily conquer 170,000+ mi. with no major service. The first Sportage 4x4 I had was a 1995, and I sold it with 175,000 mi. on it two years ago. I still see it going down the road. My 2001 Sportage 4x4 now has 167,000 on it and it is still tough. They were both used and I paid less than $5000 each when purchased.
Summary: Simply an awesome vehicle for the budget conscience who live with inclement weather. Two of the best cars of of all the ones I've had."
"I bought this car used about ten years ago for $8500. It had been owned new for about two years and had about 30k miles on it. For a true 4X4 with leather seats and low miles, it was a good value. It has never had a major mechanical incident in the 10 years I've owned it. There have been three low-cost repairs needed in all this time.
The vacuum system to engage the hubs went out early in its life, so I had it replaced with manual hubs-- cheap and effective.
It developed an oil leak around year six or seven. The cause was an oil filter adapter (apparently used to accommodate different countries). So, no big deal, replace and reseal. About $250.
The rear axle began seeping grease into the rear drum brakes, resulting in the rear tire(s) locking after releasing the brake pedal. The grease would leak in, and due to friction and heat it would become very gummy/sticky. Then when you applied the brakes the shoes would stick. On slippery Montana roads this was dangerous. $400 repair.
Under $1000 in repairs in 10 years of ownership is a good value. A 4X4 where I live is nice.
It's small, so it's not the best car for my family of five. It drives a little rough like a jeep, but goes just fine over the Interstate at 70mph.
If you're looking at an older one, I would feel confident about the engine and drivetrain. Due to the age of the vehicle it's likely you'll have some repairs, but they probably won't break the bank."
"My Sportage was my third Kia I owned and it was the greatest. I have owned Kia's since 1997. I was one of the first buyers when they first were offered in the US and I would not buy any other vehichle they are great on gas, confort and the most dependable vehichle I ever owned."
Cons: "don't make this mdl with small body like '97"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"i purchased my kia used in '03. never broke down on me. still gets 28 mpg. they don't make this size suv any longer. convenient, compact, good gas mileage, comfortable. would purchase another sportage if they had this body shape. like a small suv."
Pros: "price, reliability, looks, value for dollar"
Cons: "cup holder position, spare on back"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought new in 2002. previously owned a 2002 Dodge Caravan which we both HATED, bought this Kia because my wife thought it was cute. After 10 years with only normal maintenance I'm beginning to like it too. In 118000 mi. I've only replaced front brakes, timing belt, drive belts, tailpipe(warranty). Easily the most reliable car I've owned in 46 yrs of driving."