2008 Kia Sportage

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$2,616 - $3,780 $16,050 - $22,895

2008 Kia Sportage Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Kia Sportage was new.

The Sportage looks, feels and drives like a more upscale SUV, making it a good bargain that ranks in the top half of its class. Along with quality materials, driving dynamics and styling that rival the class-leading SUVs, the Sportage has a base price that is thousands less, making it a great value.




Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 6.6
Interior: 7.2
Safety: 9.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Responsive steering and handling
  • Stylish interior, roomier than most compact SUVs
  • Great bargain in its class
  • Lackluster performance from the base four-cylinder

2008 Kia Sportage Overview

Similar to Hyundai, Kia has surprised auto experts with its quality improvements in recent years. "It's not quite in the same league as the Honda CR-V, the Toyota RAV4, and the Ford Escape, but the Sportage has a nicely packaged interior and lots of standard features for the money," says Automobile Magazine. "While the same can be said for nearly every product from Hyundai and Kia, what distinguishes the Sportage is the fact that it is one of the few Korean cars to add competitive driving dynamics to the equation." However, several reviewers still cite lackluster performance as one of the Sportage's low points. Consequently, the Sportage gets a middle-of-the-pack ranking when compared to other affordable crossovers.

Fuel efficiency is also not a highlight for the Sportage.  It measures in the middle of the compact SUV pact on fuel economy, an increasingly important consideration for many buyers in 2008.

The new Sportage is virtually unchanged since the 2007 model. The base LX comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, with optional four-wheel drive. Higher-end versions come with a 2.7-liter V6 engine.

  • "While the Sportage sets no new benchmarks in performance or handling, it's hard to ignore the fit, finish, and amenities it offers -- for $1000 to $2000 less than other entry-level SUVs on the market." -- Motor Trend
  • "Sportage is a huge and mainly pleasant surprise from Kia." -- USA Today
  • "Overall the Sportage gets good marks for a clean and functional exterior look that will not offend anyone and yet has a beguiling look that belies its low cost. The all-new Kia Sportage is a welcome addition to the segment as it offers a comprehensive set of safety features, excellent versatility, and tremendous value, costing thousands less than other small SUVs." -- New Car Test Drive

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