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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering a first-gen Sportage as a second vehicle and for exploring old mining and logging roads. I've had Suzuki Sidekicks previously and have been quite happy with them, but am thinking about going to Kia due to the decreasing presence of Suzuki in the U.S. market. (Worried about parts since they look like they're about to give up on this country.)

I like the Sportage for its size, fuel economy, and ladder-frame construction - it reminds me very much of the Sidekick. However, the reviews of the Sportage on the various auto review sites are nearly universally bad. In contrast, the reviews for my Sidekicks are generally pretty good.

Is the Sportage really as unreliable as the reviews indicate? If not, what's the explanation for the negativity?

Thanks!

-=[ Grant ]=-
 

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2009 Sportage, 98 Sportage, 2012 Tata Xenon, 1944 Jeep
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The Sportage is really no better or worse than most Japanese brands. However IF you service it regularly and properly it will be mostly reliable. However unlike a similar Toyota or Nissan it won't tolerate missing services as well as these cars. Kia saved money by building less tolerance into them.
A lot of the poor press came from dealers that equated low purchase price to low margins and poor service. Since they didn't make muich money on them, they didn't want to fix stuff under warranty properly, or even at all.

We've had a 98 model auto 4x4 in out family, since 2001, when we bought it secondhand with 80,000 Km it has now travelled 250,000 Km. It has been largely a good and reliable car with very few repairs in that time. BUT I service it my self.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There may be something to that. Many years ago, a buddy of mine was in the market for a new compact pickup. He considered a Ford Ranger, but found out that the Mazda B2000 was the same truck at a lower price point. He did his due diligence, studying the repair records and vehicle satisfaction surveys, and found something interesting: the Ranger had great reviews, and the identical Mazda had incredibly bad reviews. He finally figured out that the Mazda dealers, who were few and far between, were simply really bad at service. He performed all of his own service work, and took the thing past 300k miles before trading it in on a new truck. I do not remember him having any of the problems that were said to plague the B2000.
 

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2000 Sportage EX 4x4 A/T, 2008 Harley Davidson Nightrain
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I bought my 2000 Sporty almost 6 months ago with 137K miles and has been perfect except for an intermittant starting problem I'm currently tracking down. Once I do finally find the culprit, I'm pretty willing to bet it'll be something that wasn't serviced/replaced when it should have.

It was also the only small SUV I looked at under $5K that didn't have any front differential or other 4x4 issues.
 

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Frame Rust

Just bought this 2002 sporty limited in Dec.for $1500 nice little truck,5speed warn lockouts,has some body rust and a tranny leak,but the biggest thing i noticed after a car wash is the frame rot after the rear shocks....did not not see that before i purchased it:mad:So i guess this a problem with these model years,the rust is not too bad yet,maybe i can get a welder to "patch" her up? Just wondering what other owners have done?
 

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Greetings,

Welcome to the forum.

Sorry to hear your Sporty has rear frame rot, it's a common issue w/ the 1st Gen Sporty's..

You will have to have a professional welder do some patch work - if the frame rails are not too badly damaged, else they would have to find a 'donor' section of rear frame rail, to have a replacement piece of frame rail / metal stock sectioned in..

* If either of the the rear cross-members ( #5, above the rear axle, #6, at the back bumper ) are at all impaired (badly rusted / rusted through), those will have to be replaced as well, ** the vehicle will not pass inspection if those cross-members are not in good condition. **

--
Best is to have a professional welder look at the frame section in question: if the frame rail is too badly rusted / damaged, the welder may have to cut further back to good metal to weld: so it's best to have frame evaluated & repair estimated by the welder (what may appear to be "good", may in-fact be too damaged to accept & hold weld..)

I recently went through a #5 cross-member replacement and rear frame patch repair on the '00 Sporty daily driver - I was quoted a rough 'ballpark' estimate of $800-$1000 by a local shop, for just the cross-member replacement and frame patch, the pricing was subject to adjust, based on additional parts & labor needed.

A very kind neighbor who is a professional welder / has her own equipment offered to do the welding, if I cleared the rear axle / gas tank / lines, etc. so she could do the welding, unabated by any components in-place.

This repair was difficult, close to the limits of my ability, even with shop (air) tools, and I ended up replacing many additional rear suspension / fuel system parts, in addition to the rear cross-member. I only write this so you have an ideal of the potential work & expense ($$$) involved if you are considering attempting this repair yourself..

Kia Car Parts has the Largest Inventory of Kia Parts in the USA!

Has the cross-member parts you need, if you decide to tackle this project or want to price components to save some $$$,

I wish you well with the repair,
GottaCruise
 

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Caribou, Otter, Buffalo
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My daughter and her daughter have both made these repairs on their vehicles, both used my equipment with success.... Philip
 

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If I had a Female welder living next to me Id be over there a lot. :cool: :lol:
(Laughing).. Well, 'Mrs. GottaCruise' might have something to say about that - I'd be afraid of the 'frame repair' she'd be performing on my chassis.. :D
 

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Frame rust

Hello,GottaCruise and others, thanks for your input on the frame issue,i'll have to get a hold of local welders here in W.Mass....probably weld a few patches in place,i do work at machine shop so material is easy to come by...thanks,we did have a messy storm today,Jan.28....sporty had no problem....:lol:
 

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1997 Sportage 4X4 & Saab Turbo
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I'm a newb with a '97 Sportage. A lot of little dents all over it, but it only had 80K, miles. I said I'd offer $2K if it were inspected, & he called my bluff.
Darn forums: (I had to check for frame rust/All OK.) It's nothing but fun to drive as a winter beater. My only complaints are gas mileage and the dark blue paint shows all the dings & road salt makes it look dirty.


Edit on Mileage:

It's pretty darn quick. If I didn't look under the hood, I'd swear it was a V6. It also handles fairly well both dry road cornering & light snow. (I'm actually looking forward to a little deep stuff.)
;)
 
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