Looking for a second-hand family hauler crossover?
The second-generation Kia Sportage is worth a check.
It’s a five-seat compact ute that was available with four or six-cylinder power.
Sizing was in roughly the same ballpark as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape.
The second-generation Sportage’s lifespan on our shores ran from model years 2005 to 2009, with a mandatory makeover and refresh part way through.
Look for a two-litre, 140-horsepower four-cylinder or a 2.7-litre V-6 with 173. Automatic or manual transmissions and front or four-wheel drive were available.
What owners like
Sportage owners enjoy a sturdy ride, compact handling and parking dynamics, confidence on slippery roads and plenty of real-world versatility. Overall interior and exterior styling are also rated highly, as is fuel efficiency with the four-cylinder engine.
What owners dislike
Complaints tend to centre mainly around poor engine performance, bare-bones equipment levels on low-end models, and excessive wind-noise at higher speeds.
Ensure the cruise control and air conditioning work properly.
If the engine seems to “sputter” or deliver power in a “lumpy” fashion, the culprit could be a clogged fuel filter or a bad engine control sensor. Note that a mechanic can scan the engine computer for potential engine sensor issues.
Models with the automatic transmission that shift harshly or abruptly could be suffering from a computer-related problem as well.
Where reliability is concerned, the Sportage looks like a solid second-hand bet. Thanks to relatively low resale values, one won’t be required to sever an appendage when it comes time to pay.