The community thinks...
Dependable, affordable ride by Jeremy from Southern Illinois on 07/30/2010. Trim: 2000 Kia Sportage EX 4WD, Owned 2 years.
Pros: Dependable transportation, vehicle is 10 years old and has maintained its reliability. 4WD with low range and a truck based frame / platform make for good off road capability. Very cold A/C, good steering feel and response. Styling is pretty impressive on the EX model. Chrome trimmed windows, tint, alloy wheels, two tone color, all things I wouldn't expect for the price I paid.
Cons: 2.0L engine gets disappointing gas mileage, I average about 21-22. 5 speed transmission is too low geared, and the engine still doesn't have enough power. A couple design issues plague this model, namely the 4wd hubs, but that's a cheap fix. Handling is okay, but this is no sportster in the corners. The high ground clearance can make sudden maneuvers a roll hazard. The cupholder is annoying-- It blocks the A/C and defroster controls and one side of the middle vent.
Overall review: Most of the powertrain was developed by Mazda (for their vehicles) and licensed to Kia. This gives me some reassurance and overall I find the "truck" solidly built and dependable. Hop in, turn the key, drive off. That's all I want out of it and it hasn't let me down. Everything works which is a plus. I find the engine power barely adequate with the A/C on, but I can live with it. Some materials used could be of higher quality, but who can complain at this price. Overall I'd consider buying again.
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