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Paul Gover opened his road test report on the new KM Kia Sportage in 2005 by saying that Korea is starting to produce some surprisingly good cars. It was a profound observation, and a particularly apt one for Kia, which has lifted its game amazingly in the last five years with new models like the KM Sportage. Kia was throwing off the baggage that came with being a producer of cheap and cheerful cars when it launched the KM Sportage and it showed in the new SUV. The original Sportage was a tough old nail that won a lot of supporters who appreciated its ruggedness when they went bush, but the KM was aimed at towns folk who wanted a more refined ride and couldn't care less about leaving the black top.
With Kia safely tucked up in bed with Hyundai it shouldn't have come as a surprise to anybody that the KM Sportage was a kissin' cousin of the Hyundai Tucson. Gone were the boring, bland lines and boxy shape of the old Sportage, the new model had softer, more curvy lines that made it a much more appealing proposition for city slickers.
Kia was also able to claim class leadership when it came to cabin space, definite plus for those with a tribe to transport.
Mechanically, the KM Sportage was powered by a 2.7-litre double overhead camshaft V6 that pumped out 129 kW at 6000 revs and 241 Nm at 4000 revs and was hooked up to a four-speed automatic transmission with drive delivered through all four wheels as traction determined.
For the majority of the time the drive goes through the front wheels, but when conditions demand the system could send up to 50 per cent of the drive to the rear wheels.
Inside, there was plenty of usable space, the seats were comfortable and there was heaps of standard gear, including air, cruise, six-speaker CD sound, remote central locking, immobiliser, power windows and mirrors, fog lamps and alloy wheels. While it was clear that Kia had made great strides the Sportage was still a little short of the mark when it came to the drive experience.
The improved build quality that was evident in the KM has translated into reliability in service. Our reader rates his as the most reliable car of the many he's owned over the years, and the general lack of complaints to Cars Guide suggests other owners are also satisfied with their Sportages. Make a general tour of the outside, looking for mismatching paint and sloppy panel fit that are the giveaways to a metal crunching crash, and check the alloy wheels for evidence of being driven into kerbs. Being an all-wheel drive SUV with a claim of being an off-roader it's worth checking underneath for damage caused off the beaten track. With dual front airbags and seat belt pretensioners the KM Sportage was equipped with the basic secondary safety net. Brian McDonald is pleased with the Sportage he bought new in 2005, which he says it is the most reliable vehicle he has ever owned.
Toyota RAV4 05-07: Like a mini Prado, the four-cylinder RAV4 offers practical economical motoring with the backing of Toyota quality. Subaru Forester 05-07: A practical wagon and with decent off-roading capability, but it drives and feels like the car it's based on. Nissan X-Trail 05-07: Basic, reasonably priced and will do everything demanded of it reasonably well.
A step up in quality and refinement, but still lagged behind its rivals when it comes to the drive. Review: 2014 kia sorento (video) - car reviews, To say the sorento’s transformation from rugged body-on-frame suv to car-based softroader has been a sales success is putting it mildly. 2016 kia sorento drive – review – car driver, Kia invited us up to lake tahoe to sample its new sorento in what they feel is the cuv’s ideal playground. Kia sorento - new and used kia sorento vehicle pricing, The 2017 kia sorento midsize suv packs value, good looks, a load of amenities and one of the best warranties in the business. The kia sorento is fully redesigned for 2016 and ranks in the middle among midsize suvs based on the professional reviews and data that drive our rankings..
Copyright © 2012 Autos Weblog, All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners. Nowadays, with job cuts, pay cuts and a rise in food and gas prices, people are having a rethink, and those who can still afford a new car are looking more and more towards smaller, more fuel-efficient models.
Spend some extra dollars and you can get an upgraded sound system with satellite radio, rearview camera, power folding mirrors, rain sensing wipers, a push button start, heated seats and even a heated steering wheel. From a styling point of view, it might not be a clear winner in its segment, but it certainly is pretty enough for people to notice.
Powering the new Rio is a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder unit that benefits from direct fuel-injection (they like to call it GDI).

A unique feature for Kia on this engine is the Idle, Stop and Go (ISG) system, which in theory would shut the engine off at traffic lights to conserve fuel.
This engine might produce a decent enough amount of grunt, but it does not sound happy being worked. Compared side by side, the two are quite similar on paper, but when driven, the two feel entirely different. Surprisingly similar in some aspects, yet still completely different in others, these two hatches take different approaches to a common goal.
Despite how similar the Kia and Nissan may appear on paper, they are very different in execution.
Watch our Short List video to learn about the top 10 most unreliable cars on sale right now, according to our friends at Consumer Reports. ODDS OF WINNING:Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.
CONDITIONS:By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants’ names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Given the improvement in quality and refinement, in fact in all areas, that Hyundai was making in double quick time that relationship could only be good.
The lift in quality was obvious, the panels met with a precision that wasn't there before, the cheap old plastic smell was gone and the interior was cleaner and more pleasant all round.
The suspension was independent all round with disc brakes overseen by ABS electronics, and the power steering was rack-and-pinion.
The V6 engine was adequate, but the wide ratios of the auto somewhat dulled the performance. With that as the background, Sportage shoppers are encouraged to check for a service record that shows their potential purchase has had proper maintenance. Alloy wheels are quite susceptible to damage by hitting kerbs, they can easily be bent out of shape, cracked, even broken, by a careless driver. For primary safety it boasted ABS antilock brakes and traction control, again it had the basics expected at the time it was released. Carsguide reader Brian McDonald says the fuel consumption of his 2005 Sportage is higher than he would like. Models equipped with Kia’s Idle, Stop and Go (ISG) start-stop system will get a 1-mpg improvement in city driving. However, going small does not mean you have to sacrifice on luxuries, at least not anymore. But to find out what it’s really like, we attended its launch in Seattle, WA., to get a real sense of what this model has to offer and if it poses a real threat to its competition. Designed by the talented Peter Schreyer, the Rio does seem to mimic the work he did while he was designing Seats, a subsidiary of Volkswagen.
It’s excellently designed, the interior looks clean and high-tech, and the quality of the fit and finish is easily well above average. You can have a reversing camera, a UVO infotainment system (think of a newer and better version of the Ford SYNC system) developed specifically for Kia by Microsoft to play your music through any medium you like, and power folding rearview mirrors (an industry first in this segment for North America). The Rio sports decent seats with good head and legroom both front and back, plus the trunk is huge. It is not going set the road on fire nor will it make your heart beat faster, but then cars in this category aren’t meant to be aimed at enthusiast buyers anyway. It is the same unit as found in a Hyundai Accent and makes an identical 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque – which is plenty. This feature is engaged by pressing a button located on the left side of the dash, behind the steering wheel.
For most, it is a non-issue, but enthusiasts will be hoping and praying for an optional engine, hopefully one with a turbo. The active eco system really helps with the fuel economy and with gas prices flirting with $4.00 gallon in my area every little bit of savings helps. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor’s or Prize Supplier’s control (collectively, “Force Majeure Event”). Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize.

The handling was safe and secure, but the ride was a little too firm and was affected too much by small bumps and changes in the road surface.
The four-speed auto with its wide ratios is largely to blame for the higher fuel consumption, more gears would have seen better economy. Over all it’s well above what anyone expects from this category of car and we applaud Kia for raising the bar.
However, the feature most people will truly welcome are the heated seats, and a heated steering wheel, which is also a first for this segment. We spent a very long day driving around in this car and came out of it feeling fresher than we imagined. ISG is an optional feature on the Rio, and sadly all the test cars at the launch did not have this system for us to test.
Once activated, the active ECO cuts down on revs and shifts gears earlier to conserve fuel. Its style is alluring enough to bring people into the showrooms, and once they sit inside, most will be won over by its truly excellent interior.
Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. His only issues are with the fuel consumption, which he feels is high, and the auto, which he believes is crying out for another gear or two. The manual also comes with hill assist, which holds the car in place for two seconds either on hills to prevent rolling. EPA rates the Rio’s fuel economy at 30-mpg in the city and 40-mpg on the highway – 31-mpg with the ISG system. You don’t get much of a sense what the front wheels are doing and how much grip is available. Its drivetrain and driving dynamics might not be ahead of the game, but it certainly competes head on with its competition – especially in regards to fuel economy. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. We averaged around 37 mpg on our run, which means these figures are quite honest.On the hilly roads around Mount Rainier, the active ECO system was quite obvious.
There is an EX model that sits in the middle of the range on equipment and pricing as well. If you’re in the market for a sub-compact, you owe it to your income to check this one out. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. The car takes on a calmer demeanor, and since we were on a twisty mountain road, we quickly got out of the eco-mode and tried to have some fun.
Kia’s pricing puts the Rio in direct firing line of the Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris and the new Chevrolet Sonic, its arch nemesis. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received.
Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

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