Remember when 20 grand was a lot of money? All right, it still is, but if you're 4x4 shopping, you know there's not much under that amount. Then comes the '98 Kia Sportage.?>
Surely we jest, you must be thinking. But we mean it-this is a sport/ute for near-nada. With air conditioning? Check. A CD player? Check. A theft-deterrent system, four-wheel drive, a roof rack, and power everything? Check, check, check, and check. That's a whole new kind of sticker shock, ain't it?
The Kia Sportage 4x4 may be one of the best-kept secrets around. Introduced in 1995, it has since been racking up oodles of best-buy awards as well as winning a Class 3 championship in the SCORE Desert Championship Series in 1997.
New for this year is an updated body style for both the interior and exterior; dual airbags; and upgrades to existing features, including the drivetrain and the engine. The Sportage comes in two trim levels: The Sportage and the Sportage EX. The Sportage carries a list price of $16,395, and the base price of the EX is $18,495. The optioned Sportage we road-tested had an MSRP of $18,529.