Kia got a toehold in the growing small-SUV segment when it introduced its trucklike Sportage in 1995.
The Sportage is made in the mold of the Geo Tracker and Suzuki Sidekick, with a body-on-frame chassis instead of the carlike unibody construction that's become common on small SUVs.
A shorter-wheelbase, two-door soft-top model expanded the model range in 1998.
The Sportage has an uncomfortable ride, clumsy handling, and a noisy, unrefined powertrain.
It offers only a part-time 4WD system that can't be used on dry roads.
Overall, it's not nearly as good as the Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V.
Discontinued after the 2002 model year, the Sportage was revived for 2005.