Great Commuter Vehicle!
We've owned our '99 Sportage for just over 10 years now. Super little car for commuting with tight turning radius for easy parking. Good on gas, and had no problems with Salt Lake City ice and snow driving. For $$ invested she's been a real trouper. The only down side (as is true with most small cars) long trips can be uncomfortable due to the smaller cabin. You don't have much room to shift or adjust to ease your sitting position. But for anything under 200 miles, I highly recommend this vehicle.
My Favorite Car Ever
It's funny how Kia gets so underrated. My Sportage was the best car I ever owned. I bought it used and had it for 6 awesome years. During that time, it required only routine maintenance and I think twice I had repairs that cost around $300. One was suspension related and one was a new starter, I think. Otherwise, that car was a honey. It fit in any parking space, cut flip a u-turn on any street, had plenty of nooks to store my stuff, cushy seats with great lumbar support. The AC worked great. My only complaint was that weird back hatch design with the tire rail that swung across... that was a pain since you always had to make sure you had clearance behind you to open the back, if needed. But otherwise, it was such an awesome little car, and I so wish some company would style something similar now, as the design has totally changed and now it's really bad, squatty windows, too large a vehicle. So sad.
I bought this car used 3 years ago and after a year i started having a lot of problems. the whole front end is messed up. i've had to replace the brakes twice since i've had it. this car has no power going up hills. this car is only good for around town- not for long trips or for someone who travels a lot. i hate going on the highway with it- it tops off at like 60 before it starts shaking. The only thing i did like is the 4WD in the winter- it worked great. i only have 70,000 miles on it and i'm getting rid of it- it should have lasted a little longer.