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  • Kia Sportage – any experiences of older ones?
  • Premier Icon the-muffin-man

    Hi all!

    We need a cheap 4×4 that can tow a trailer with a pony in (so not massive weight). I keep coming accross Kia Sportages, and you can get very nice looking ones for about 4k. And their towing capacity (diesel) seems good.

    Just wondered if anyone had any experience of running one and likely expenses.

    Failing this there are loads of Freelanders for this sort of money – but reliability scares put me of somewhat.

    It can’t be a massive 4×4 as we have to park on the street (although a Disco is only 300mm longer than my current CMax).

    Premier Icon jonnyboi

    I nearly bought one but ended up spending a bit more for a yeti. But apart from the average mpg my research didn’t find any real flaws. Seems a well appointed, reliable car

    Premier Icon stumpy01

    Bloke I liftshare with has got a 2004 Kia Sorrento, which I think is the next size up.

    It’s a bit of a barge and a bit agricultural, but seems to do him fine and I’m not aware of any reliability issues in the couple of years he’s had it.

    MPG is a bit less than he was expecting – mid 30s I think. It’s a diesel, but dunno the spec.

    Feels like one of those cars that is rough around the edges but will just keep soldiering on.

    Premier Icon P-Jay

    Bloke in work had one, thirsty was the only compliant. 30mpg ave and he drives like he’s driving Miss Daisy, but I guess that’s the norm for big 4x4s

    Premier Icon andy4d

    Had a 2015 one for 3 years and really enjoyed it, no issues. Agree it is a bit thirsty and maybe not the most refined drive, but great value. Nearly got another this year but got a better deal on a seat ateca…..wish i had got the sportage again.


    Had a 2012 (1.6 iirc) diesel for a couple of years. Nice enough card to drive about in and do motorway miles, if not a little under powered Was typically getting just under 40 mpg. Bit plasticity inside but solid enough. Handling wasn’t great and had a tendency to wallow when cornering. Lots of space and practical. Blue tooth and hands free we’re near unusable. Wouldn’t have that iteration again. Having said that my mum has one of the new ones and loves it. Not driven it, but as a passenger the ride feels better and the interior has been upgraded

    Premier Icon finishthat

    subframes rust and they get scrapped for it – so if you can get one before it is scrapped and stump up the 3-400 plus labour or diy they can be quite cheap.

    Premier Icon Stoner

    My neighbour has been driving a ’55 for at least the 9 years Ive known him and he has a small holding: stock and feed trailers etc.

    He rarely complains about it. Perhaps one electrical fault in that time. It keeps on going and doesnt look completely knackered either.

    I cant really recommend a freelander – used to have one. The four-wheel drive system is awful. It uses a viscous coupling unit which only delivers drive to the rear axle after the silicone matrix has heated up enough to bind the drive input (Front axle linked) and rear output (i.e. after sufficient differential speeds/time between the two axles) which is usually far too late to be of use. Then over time the matrix degrades and permanently binds the two axles with no differential so you get rear axle drag and tramping on road which knackers the shaft mount bearings on the rear output shafts.

    However, fitting good AT tyres and removing the coupling unit (which I did for the last few years I had it) actually turns it into an excellent two wheel drive “off roader”, but that still falls short of a proper 4×4. I cant say I know what kind of diff/4×4 system the Sportage users though.

    EDIT: Sportage appears to have locking hubs which I think is probably a better solution as long as they dont seize.

    “WARN vacuum-operated front wheel hubs, similar to Ford Explorer and Ranger. Rear corporate solid axle with a clutch-type limited slip differential.”

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man

    Thanks Stoner – I’m looking at ’58, ’59, ’10 plates so that’s useful to know.

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