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For smooth handling and torsional stiffness, the Sportage has a ladder frame design with six crossmembers, a double-wishbone front suspension, and four-link rear suspension. New for the '98 models are vacuum-operated Warn front hubs, larger front disc-brake calipers, and larger rear drum brakes (which have increased from 9.84 inches to 10.23 inches). We found that the Kia drove well on-road and had good traction off-road, although the limited ground clearance and suspension travel hurt its off-road performance.