Korean car maker Kia brings us the Sportage as a unibody mini-ute. Kia is sister company to Hyundai, and so the two firms share platforms and drivetrains, but details differ much as a Chevy differs from a Buick. (The Hyundai version of a Sportage is the Tucson.)
If you haven't been paying too much attention to the Korean automakers, you may have missed the fact that Kia now offers nearly 3 times as many vehicles for sale as Buick. But don't feel too bad; you're in good company. Kia has kind of snuck up on everyone. Everyone except frugal buyers looking for a new vehicle that won't break the bank. Unfortunately, only Sportage fits our definition of an AWD vehicle, since it is built on a unibody chassis. Its bigger brothers, Borrego and Sorrento are both built on full frames. While the Kia web site rates only a 4 on the AAWDWR scale (the world famous Arbitrary All Wheel Drive Web Rating) their media site is clearly a 10 based on the writer's style alone.
Kia AWD Choices
||The 2009 Sportage builds off of the award-winning 2008 Sportage, named Cars.com’s “Best Bang for the Buck.” The Sportage LX with AWD is equipped with the base 140hp 2.0 liter 4 banger and only comes with a 5 speed manual gearbox. The EX trim level requires the optional V6 engine, while the LX can be had with either the base four banger or the 2.7 liter V6. The 173 hp V6 offers only an automatic transmission, and adds a premium audio system and power sunroof. It also has power windows, door locks and air conditioning. Unlike some of the more dainty SUV Crossovers, Sportage is built with occasional off-roading in mind. The prices for the 2.0 Sportage LX with AWD start at