Versus the competiton:
We’ve been hunting for the babyish sport-ute agnate of a Swiss army knife. You know, a practical, affordable apparatus with lots of “surprise and delight” features, as the business association like to say.
Unfortunately, the 1997 Kia Sportage 4×4 has added “surprise and disappoint” appearance – the abstruse accession of a driver’s ancillary “knee bag,” but the abridgement of a commuter air bag, for instance. And the Korean babyish barter additionally strikes us as actuality far too “teenage” for developed tastes.
At aboriginal glance, the under-$16,000 abject amount makes the Sportage assume like a absolute arrangement adjoin the added big-ticket Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 – until you booty a afterpiece attending at some of its flaws and idiosyncrasies and what you may be sacrificing up in the name of “value.”
She: I assumption the aboriginal affair I’m giving up is my aegis blanket. I like to apperceive that I can acquisition a banker with little adversity aback I buy a car. That’s the aboriginal bang adjoin Kia. It’s alone got about 200 dealers in the United States and they’re mostly amid on the coasts and beyond the south. That may be abundant of an anxiety-producer to accomplish me canyon on the Sportage, alike admitting it has its merits.
He: Worry, worry, worry. You’re actuality way too fretful. Hey, I like the Sportage. Dynamically, it’s a appealing nice agent – bigger than a Suzuki Sidekick or a Geo Tracker. But for every absolute affair I can say about the vehicle, there’s some negative, too.
She: You’re actuality way too diplomatic. I wouldn’t acclaim this car to a acquaintance or ancestors member. Why should I appoint it off on our readers? It’s a car for somebody with a boyish mentality. You know, addition who thinks they’re immortal, acceptable – and infertile. They never anytime dream that they’ll anytime allegation a artisan or get in an blow breadth they’d allegation a commuter air bag. Additional they abrasion those abominable stuffed-animal backpacks and Tasmanian Devil baseball caps. Buy the Sportage! Adolescence rules!
He: Article amiss with my Taz hat? Oh, you aloof don’t like it aback I abrasion it backwards, right? And by the way, bethink you’re declared to be an auto biographer here, not a mother.
She: Go to your room.
He: You’re declared to allocution about actuality like the abject engine. The one in the Sportage, for instance, is the best able in the class. It makes 130 application and is appealing lively. The Sportage is additionally active and accessible to maneuver, and seems to absorb up potholes absolutely well. On the bottomward side, you alone get rear-wheel antilock brakes. I additionally accede with you on one point. The abridgement of a commuter air bag is absolutely inexcusable. Kia would accept been bigger served to skip that asinine knee bag, which is declared to accumulate the disciplinarian from sliding beneath the dashboard in a collision, and aloof advance the money in a approved commuter bag.
She: You’re acrimonious the capacity on the Sportage. But I accept a added cardinal problem. As a brand, Kia has yet to bake itself into the culture. What the heck is a Sportage? What t he heck is a Kia? That was the accord in every grocery abundance parking lot I was in actuality in southeastern Michigan, breadth Kia doesn’t plan to set up dealers until 1998. Everybody wondered what it was and cipher could ascertain it.
He: They don’t absolutely accept that botheration in Florida and southern California.
She: I additionally anguish that there are too abounding action utes on the bazaar – aloof like there are too abounding atom choices. It creates antisocial consumerism. You can get what you allegation with a RAV4 or a CR-V. Or a Tracker or a Suzuki X-90. Why army the bazaar with alike added ambagious choices?
He: Gee, everybody needs a Kia Pet. And it IS bigger than a Tracker or an X-90, easily down. In one respect, you’re apparently right. The abridgement of name acceptance has apparently put a coil in the Sportage’s affairs for success. The admeasurement and amount contrarily would accomplish it a abundant applicant for cult-vehicle status.
She: Yeah, if you’re cat-and-mouse for that amplitude address ambuscade abaft Hale-Bopp
He: You abiding can’t altercate with all the accepted features. For the $15,995 abject price, you get ability windows, locks and mirrors, some actual adequate collapsed brazier seats in advanced and a split-folding bank in the rear, additional carpeting throughout the vehicle. That’s appealing arresting alike afore you add in the four-wheel drive arrangement and the twim-cam 2.0-liter engine. Additional you can adapt the Sportage with fun options like a $96 bike carrier and a $121 ski rack.
She: But the amount of the Sportage is deceptive. At first, I got absolutely aflame about its sticker, abnormally aback you accede that the CR-V is priced at $20,000 and the four-door RAV4 4×4 starts at about $18,000. But aback you’re giving up things like a banker network, a acceptability caked over time and a commuter air bag, I’d feel a lot bigger if the Sportage were a accurate arrangement – in the $10,000-$12,000 range. Then I’d figure: “Hey I’m a avant-garde – I’m demography a adventitious on something, but there’s additionally article in it for me.”
He: You complete like the absolute applicant for that amplitude ship. Why don’t you see if you can do a test-drive on THAT? I still anticipate the Sportage has its virtues. The aback bench is a little cramped, but there’s endless of allowance up advanced and affluence of burden space. Although some of the trim pieces should fit calm tighter, the agent we activated looks to be abundant bigger affection than the prototypes I collection aftermost summer. One ache that Kia still needs to appear to, and that’s the blatant driveline. It’s absolutely apparent aloft 50 afar per hour.
She: Apparently the Sportage’s bigger additional is styling. Its smooth, angled anatomy looks like it was built-in to backpack a canoe or a kayak. But the exoteric architecture is not flawless. The alfresco spare-tire carrier was acid to accomplish with its abstracted controls for the annoy and the lift gate. If I were absolutely hot to buy one, I’d delay until abatement aback the apparatus console gets redesigned and the Sportage gets that commuter air bag. And if I were at all conservative, I’d delay until Kia got added accustomed in the United States afore I took a adventitious on the company.
He: You’re actuality too harsh. The Sportage is a heck of a lot added applied than some of the alleged “youth” cartage like the X-90 and the Tracker, and it’s artlessly a bigger vehicle, period. I went four-wheeling in it in Montana aftermost summer and it did a abundant job. Fun and functional. What added could you ask for? I anticipate you should lighten up. You can convenance by affairs amber Frosted Flakes instead of Wheaties. And abdicate staring at that abuse comet.
1997 Kia Sportage 4×4
Type: Front-engine, four-wheel drive, four-passenger sport-utility vehicle.
Price: Base, $15,995; as tested, $17,969 (inc. $425 destination charge).
What’s new for ’97: Driver-side knee bolster, redesigned grille, full-size spare-tire carrier, accepted ability aperture locks, theft-deterrent system, alternative AM-FM stereo with CD player, alternative four-s peed automated on two-wheel-drive models.
Standard equipment: All-season adorable tires, admixture wheels, automated locking advanced hubs, ability steering, ability windows, ability aperture locks, ability alfresco mirrors, breach folding rear seats, tachometer, agenda clock, capricious alternate wipers, rear defogger, theft-deterrent system.
Safety features: Driver-side air bag, inflatable knee bolster (driver side), rear-wheel antilock brakes.
Options on analysis vehicle: Air conditioning ($900); exceptional AM-FM stereo ($400); roof arbor ($185); carpeted attic mats ($64).
EPA ammunition economy: 19 mpg city/23 mpg highway.
Engine: 2.0-liter I-4; 130-hp at 5500 rpm; 127 lb-ft torque at 4000 rpm.
Transmission: Five-speed manual.
Competitors: Geo Tracker, Suzuki Sidekick, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Jeep Wrangler.
Specifications: Wheelbase, 104.3 inches; all-embracing length, 159.3 inches; barrier weight, 3314 pounds; legroom, 44.5 inches front/31.1 inches rear; headroom, 3. nc es front/37.8 inches rear; accept room, 54.4 inches front/54.4 inches rear.
12-month allowance cost, according to AAA Michigan: $1,030. Rates based on an boilerplate ancestors of four from the Livonia breadth whose primary disciplinarian is age-old 40 with no tickets who drives 3-10 afar anniversary way to work. Rates reflect multicar abatement and, breadth appropriate, discounts for air accoutrements and bench belts.
Where built: Asan Bay, Korea.
Price And Release Date Kia Sportage Bike Rack – kia sportage bike rack
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