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You Get What You Pay For by DSHornet from Alabama on 10/09/2005. Trim: 1996 Kia Sportage EX 4WD, Owned 2 years.
Pros: Good fuel mileage if driven carefully; fair highway performance; very capable off-road with 4WD; not too hard to work on; with Mazda engine, Hyundai transmission, and Toyota (I think) axles and transfer case, chassis reliability and design is good. Brakes are excellent and overall handling is good for a compact SUV. Front end alignment is still set right after two years, 25,000 miles, and several off-road excursions. A good buy FOR THE MONEY.
Cons: Lack of low-speed torque (below about 3000 RPM), but what is there is easy to control with throttle; very noisy, especially on highway (road noise, wind noise around top corners of back doors); body quality poor (various rattles, spare tire latch cable refuses to work properly), air conditioner evaporator freezes after about an hour on the highway. Body design and assembly quality are not so great.
Overall review: I needed wheels and the price was right, but I wish I hadn't wrecked my previous car, a Suzuki Sidekick. The Kia has a serious lack of low speed pull. I replaced the stock exhaust with a Flowmaster Series 40 and got more power, but also more noise (resonates at 2200 RPM), which is a problem with these cars. Adding fiberglass insulation in the body panels, roof, and floor helped, but nothing can help the rattles in the front bumper, the spare tire mount, and around the fuel tank (I've tried). Paint quality is only fair. This car is okay for a commuter, but not well suited for long trips. It will be paid for in 14 months!
Review ID: #479350 Is this review offensive?
Nice affordable mini-SUV by Alexis in Tucson, AZ on 02/28/2003. Trim: 1996 Kia Sportage 2WD, Owned 7 years.
Pros: Body rounded--doesn't catch the wind like my old more square suv. PRICE! PRICE! Drives beautifully, economical, confortable, lots of head and leg room f & b, good cargo capacity. Sits high enough off the road to see around most traffic.
Cons: A little noisy at high speed--windows seem to be leaking or something.
Overall review: Would buy another one in a flash.
Review ID: #347320 Is this review offensive?
Thrifty Mom's Dream Car by Lyndi on 09/10/2002. Trim: 1996 Kia Sportage EX 4WD, Owned 3 years.
Pros: Mileage, looks, stable in snow, good cargo area, ground clearance, cushy ride
Cons: Auto windows died. A bit noisy. More power would be nice... but I'm still able to tow a little trailer w/mini bikes.
Overall review: I love my Kia. Very dependable- all I've replaced is my battery. Tough little 4WD in the Utah snow. Stadium seating in the back makes it easy to get kids in and out of car seats- easy on the back and the kids have a better view. Good headroom for tall people.
Review ID: #309735 Is this review offensive?
Planned obsolesence by A CarPoint Consumer on 03/08/2002. Trim: 1996 Kia Sportage 2WD, Owned 4 years.
Pros: If you had asked me 6 months ago, I would have said "Great car, never given me any problems." Once it hit 80k, however, things began to fall apart. The car handles well and rides comfortably.
Cons: I've had the car in the shop 4 times in the last 6 months to the tune of $1500. Seems like this is a throwaway vehicle, not intended to have a long life span.
Overall review: Good car if you're on a budget and can ditch it before 80k. Even with regular maintenance, I've experienced many problems. Watch out for ignition coil, "fake water pump" (serves only as a pully for the alt belt but is a costly part), and catalytic converter. Also leaks oil at this point. Check oil very frequently, I'm losing over 2 qts a month at this time and engine is wearing as a result.
Review ID: #256520 Is this review offensive?
excellent economical SUV by Al from Hesperia, CA. on 07/10/2001. Trim: 1996 Kia Sportage 2WD, Owned 5 years.
Pros: My 1996 KIA has 56,000 miles on it and the only failure was the battery, it went out after 4 years. It still has the orignal tires. All the options still work.
Cons: The speedometer and odometer is about 10% to fast. I felt that I was cheated out of 3600 miles of warrenty coverage.
Overall review: An excellent SUV for the price. One of few SUV's left with rear wheel drive and a box frame.
Review ID: #180112 Is this review offensive?
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