Buying a 2000 Sportage
Stumbled onto this forum by accident while doing some online research on Sportages. My husband and I found a 2000 model for sale in our town, previously owned by an auto mechanic's daughter and in excellent condition other than a side panel dent where she hit something. We had been looking for a Tracker, but this came along and I really like it.
Equipped with CD player, A/C, automatic transmission, 4WD. Everything in good working order and well-maintained by her mechanic father. Looks like it had the exhaust replaced at some point. Has 100,000 miles. It's a sweetheart. Interior looks great; exterior is solid white. Looks like it was kept in a garage, as there is zero body damage other than the ding (it's a pretty good ding, but I think it can be pounded out).
The owner is asking $4,000 for it; we were thinking of making a counter-offer of $3,800 due to the slight body damage AND the recommendation by our mechanic to get the timing belt replaced right away if we buy it.
Here's the thing. We have had the same mechanic for 10 years now, and trust him 100%. He's not too enthusiastic about the Sportage. Our town doesn't have a source for Kia parts, so they would have to be ordered from the next town (50 miles from here), and he is concerned that even minor repairs are going to cost us $$$. We're on a tight budget, and he knows this. Other than routine things like an oil change, he hasn't really worked on a Sportage enough to have a good feel for what would be involved. His comment was "Well, this isn't exactly a car I would put on my black list [meaning, avoid altogether]...more of a gray list."
Not exactly the glowing recommendation I was hoping for.
Can anyone here comment on repair costs on this car? Or labor involved to, say, replace a timing belt? Or comment on the 2000 model in general? Are there any online sources our mechanic could refer to for more information on making repairs to a Sportage?