When it comes to small, truck-based SUVs, this primitive model is among the worst of an unimpressive lot. With its body-on-frame construction, it isn't nearly as sophisticated as competitors like the Toyota RAV4. The Sportage's ride is stiff and jittery, and its handling is clumsy, with slow steering and lots of body lean. The overtaxed 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is crude, weak, and noisy.
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Kia Sportage Road Test

When it comes to small, truck-based SUVs, this primitive model is among the worst of an unimpressive lot. With its body-on-frame construction, it isn't nearly as sophisticated as competitors like the Toyota RAV4. The Sportage's ride is stiff and jittery, and its handling is clumsy, with slow steering and lots of body lean. The overtaxed 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is crude, weak, and noisy. The Sportage is available in two- and four-wheel-drive versions, but the part-time 4WD system can't be used on dry pavement. The interior feels cheap, and the rear gate is a nuisance to open. Reasonable off-road ability and Kia's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty are among the Sportage's few noteworthy features. Depreciation is high.

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