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2000 Kia Sportage

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2000 Kia Sportage Review

Fun but still an anemic four-wheel-drive SUV.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The Kia Sportage has been known as a sport utility vehicle for consumers looking for a ride that offers a lot of room, has a four-wheel-drive system, and sells for a very reasonable price. The architecture of the Sportage makes use of a body-on-frame build making it different from the usual car-like chassis. The Sportage is a result of the collaboration between Mazda, Ford, Lotus, and Kia.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Kia Sportage, Kia Sportage EX

What's New

The 2000 Kia Sportage gets additional equipment, new colors, dual airbags, and an improved sound system.


The Kia Sportage is a small SUV that often gets the ""cute"" comment. It is usual reaction when one first sees the Sportage although the owner might not want to project that image. This ride has its own rugged attitude blending well with its contemporary and sleek lines. The design also is very functional. It has short overhangs on both front and rear ends, so it can perform better off-road compared to its competitors.


The 2000 Kia Sportage boasts of generous room for its occupants in front. The legroom is pegged at 44.5 inches while the headroom is measured at 39.6 inches. The Korean SUV is even roomier than bigger SUVs in the market. The backseat is a bit tighter but still comfortable for tall passengers. The rear has a leg room of 31.3 inches, and its headroom is still quite generous at 37.8 inches. This small SUV also can hold a decent amount of cargo. It offers 25.8 cubic feet when the backseat is up, while can double this when the rear seats are folded.

Aside from the roomy interior, the Sportage designers also did well with some other elements. The top portion of the center console can be slid forward to act as an armrest. The bucket seats in front also can recline, plus the driver’s seat's lumbar support can be adjusted. There is an option for a leather package, which gives consumers leather seat covers and not just inserts. Power windows, mirrors, and locks come as standard. The good proportion of the vehicle helps with good visibility in all directions. The buttons and controls also are well-placed and easily can be operated. Its instruments are very easy to glance at while driving. Its air-conditioning can easily cool the interior even in warm weather conditions.

Performance & Handling

The 2000 Kia Sportage is ideal for bringing the whole family to a quick getaway or for daily functions like bringing the kids to school or maybe going to the grocery store. Consumers can easily open the rear door to load up their baggage without having to worry about the heavy carrier. All models of this SUV depend on a four-cylinder vehicle with a two-liter displacement. This engine outputs 130 horses. The power plant was actually developed by Mazda and later on adapted by Kia. It has no problem pushing the vehicle on level road, but it may lack some attitude when they go up moderate grades.

Consumers of the 2000 Kia Sportage have two options when it comes to transmission: a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual gearbox. The convertible variants only come with manual transmission. The ride is quite stable even on high speeds due to the rigid body-on-frame build. Its ladder frame is also supported with six cross members to boost its rigidity. Driving it around town also is very easy given its small size. Slipping through traffic comes with ease comparing it with bigger SUVs. Overtaking though is quite a challenge, so drivers need to plan your maneuvers ahead of time and step on the throttle sooner.

The 2000 Kia Sportage's handling and feel basically is raw and drivers cannot expect the technology implemented by more expensive rides. The ride is truck-like with a four-wheel-drive system that can easily conquer muddy terrains. It also has a transfer case, which transfers the much needed torque to the wheels when the going gets tough. This capability puts the Sportage on the advantage compared to the other vehicles in its segment.


Aside from the 2000 Kia Sportage's usual airbags, smaller airbag are also deployed to protect the left leg and knee of the driver. Anti-lock brake system is an option and is available for all models. The vehicle's traction on wet days might be questionable, but turning on the four-wheel-drive system gives drivers the much needed grip.

EPA Fuel Economy

Kia Sportage: 20/22 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Affordability
  • Fun factor
  • Great suspension

You Won't Like

  • Engine can be better
  • Limited room for back seat passengers
  • Cheap materials for the interior

Sum Up

Fun but still an anemic four-wheel-drive SUV.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Ford Escape
  • Honda CR-V
  • Mazda Tribute

See the New 2015 Sportage.


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