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:

    Special driving conditions
    Hazardous driving conditions When hazardous driving conditions are encountered such as water, snow, ice, mud, sand, or similar hazards, follow these suggestions: • Drive cautiously and allow ex ...

    Driving Impressions
    The 2006 Kia Sportage provides a carlike ride while returning relatively sporty handling on par with that of most peers. Should you push too hard through a corner, the standard stability and tract ...

    Towing
    If emergency towing is necessary, we recommend having it done by an authorized Kia dealer or a commercial tow-truck service. Proper lifting and towing procedures are necessary to prevent damage ...