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Average User Score
3.8 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 5 reviews
2002 Kia Sportage Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 5 reviews
This is the last year for the Kia Sportage, to make room for the upcoming mid-size Sorento SUV. The Sportage will return in 2005 with an all-new design, but the 2002 Sportage has gone through few structural changes since its 1995 debut. The compact SUV with two rows of seats for four passengers drops the EX and EX Limited trims this year, coming in only one base trim in either a four-door wagon or two-door convertible. The convertible features a hard top over the front passengers and a removable soft top in the back seat. Both are available in part-time 4WD or rear-wheel drive and feature a 2.0-liter, 130-hp I4 engine. A 5-speed manual is standard on all but the 2WD convertible, which comes with a 4-speed automatic (optional on the 4-door models).
The 4WD features low-range gearing and can be taken off-road, with a truck-like suspension that helps smooth out the ride when off the pavement. The 2002 Sportage gets new standard features to go with the full power accessories and dual front and driver's knee airbag (a Kia innovation). Air conditioning and alloy wheels are now standard on four-door models (optional on the convertible), as are privacy glass, an improved audio system, and an exterior trunk release, which was previously accessed only by a key. The leather option is 86ed. A new Two-Tone package adds two-tone paint for the body cladding, roof rack, bumpers, and spare tire cover. 4-wheel ABS is also optional, as is a CD player, cruise control, and keyless entry -- all previously found on the EX.
Rear seats are cramped in both two and four-door models, but they are elevated to give riders better visibility. Front leg and headroom is generous in the four-door, and drivers like the high ride height. Handling and suspension is a highlight, and owners like the road grip of the 4WD. The biggest attraction to the 2002 Sportage is the low price for a sporty personal SUV. Drawbacks include low gas mileage, cupholders that block the climate control buttons, a need for more horsepower, and labored uphill performance. There have also been a lot of repair issues with this first generation of Sportages and problems with dealers not honoring the warranty.
What's your take on the 2002 Kia Sportage?
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