Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
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Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
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By Rick Popely
December 1, 1999
Vehicle Overview This Korean-made, pint-size sport utility vehicle comes in two-door convertible and four-door wagon body styles. Kia boasts that, unlike most small sport utes, the Sportage is designed for rugged off-road service. The company backs up this claim by pointing to the body-on-frame construction and 7.9 inches of ground clearance.
Interior With 11.5 inches more wheelbase than the convertible, the four-door Sportage has a longer interior that provides more leg and cargo room. The wagon seats five; the convertible four. In addition to federally required front airbags designed to protect the head and upper body, a driver-side knee airbag is standard. Power door locks, windows and mirrors are standard on all models. The top-of-the-line EX model comes with a standard CD player, with leather seats optional.
Exterior The convertible has a hardtop over the front seats and a folding canvas top over the rear seats, an arrangement akin to the Toyota RAV4's. The wagon is all hardtop and about 14 inches longer. Both mount a full-size spare tire on the tailgate.
Under the Hood All models use a 130-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that teams with manual or automatic transmissions. Both body styles come with 2WD or a part-time 4WD system that can be used on slippery surfaces.