DRIVING

You know what? It drives pretty well. On winding and hilly roads, the car’s comparatively wide stance makes it feel solid, with little body roll. I drove the “+”, “!”, and “sport” trims — both automatics and a manual — and though quiet at steady speeds, passing prompted the ancient 4-speed transmission-equipped models to “Weeee” into third to make a pass. A five-speed automatic would work wonders for the car’s overall performance in hilly terrain.

The “sport” model I drove had “sport-tuned” suspension, 18-inch wheels, fog lights, a premium stereo with a subwoofer, a sunroof and the infamous “mood lamp” that beats in tune with the music. Why the mood lighting and not a 5-speed automatic? Or a telescoping steering column for shorter drivers? And why 18-inch wheels on a compact car that are expensive to fit winter tires to in colder climates — especially since many first-time buyers will gravitate toward this car.

    See also:

    Rear differential (4WD)
    Checking or changing rear differential fluid Have rear differential fluid checked or changed by an Authorized Kia Dealer according to the Maintenance Schedule at the beginning of this section. ...

    Air cleaner
    Element cleaning This element may be air cleaned or replaced, depending on its condition. Unless it is very dirty, merely shake it to remove foreign particles. Each time this filter is inspecte ...

    Safety
    Antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are all standard equipment. In government crash tests, the 2008 Kia Sportage ...