Will the Kia Sportage do the job?

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 18:29
ThreadID: 29980 Views:5444 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
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Hi all
I've got a 2002 Kia Sportage and thinking of doing a trip along the Oodnadatta trk , Uluru, Kings Canyon, ,Finke Gorge, Alice, Tanami Tk. Bungles, Broome, Cape Leveque, the Gibb River rd Derby to Kununurra,Mornington Wilderness camp, also into the Mitchell Falls, Cobourg Peninsula (Arnhem Land) permit required in advance. Then Darwin and across to Camooweal, to Lawn Hill NP and then Mt Isa, Birdsville down the track to Flinders Rangers, back to Bris. Starting Apr till August/Sept. Tenting all the way. Do you think I'll be able to do all that in the Sportage? Been doing a bit of research on the destinations so hope the vehicle can make it through ok.
Any feed back would be great.
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Reply By: Member - David 0- Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 18:49

Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 18:49
You will have no problems doing that in the Kia. Just make sure you have good tyres, at least 70% tread and as aminimum "all terrain" tyres not highway tyres. Have a good time.
AnswerID: 150176

Reply By: Mike Harding - Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 19:05

Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 19:05
In 1999 I bought the last of the Mk 1 Sportages new for about $24K. Since then I have done 167,000km in it, a very large proportion of those off road. I have had very little trouble with it other than a couple of problems dues to poor quality control in the factory which were fixed within the first 30km of the 120km 3 year warranty and have not resurfaced. Other than those the only issue was the clutch slave cylinder at about 100km.

The Sportage is one of the most under-rated 4WDs of recent years because of snob value - the "You get what you pay for" brigade. I have been through quite a bit of the areas you mention (I envy you going into Arnhem Land) and the Sportage will walk it - even in standard form as mine still is, I keep on meaning to lift it but just never get around to it - those bash plates have taken a beating :) It is a bit on the low side as standard but it still gets me all over the High Country without any issues. I guess it's current resale value (and I've given it one hell of a beating :) is $10k so it's cost me a bit less than $2.5k depreciation per year and nothing in maintenance, other than regular services. I can handle that :) And at it's current value there doesn't seem much point in selling it?

As yours is a 2002 model it is a Mk 2 and will have vacuum locking front hubs which are crap and probably don't work on your vehicle - I _STRONGLY_ suggest you change those to Warn manual hubs before you go. Only other point I can think of is that the fuel capacity is not good – about 400km – so you'll need to carry additional fuel in the areas you're going to. I have carried it inside the vehicle but I _really_ don't like doing that so you may wish to organise an external jerry can carrier.

I'm sure Gary will pop up in due course and agree with the gist of my comments and add his considerable knowledge of this vehicle too.

Enjoy your trip :)

Mike Harding

AnswerID: 150179

Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 08:26

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 08:26
1. As stated, ditch the vacuum hubs (but don't throw them away, you can mod them so they "always engaged" even without vacuum. good for spares if the Warns pack it in) Warn part number for the manual hubs 60247.

2. You can go for 235/75R15 tyres on original rims without any mods. Original Military version of the chassis carried this size as normal.

I would recommend taking an extra spare wheel if you have the alloy rims, as you can't bash an alloy back straight if you dent the bead on a rock, you've only got to do it twice....

3. The 2002 has a 60 litre tank that gets about 450-500 km in normal high speed work. (10.5-12l/100km).

This site is good for all things Kia Sportage Tech

FollowupID: 403684

Reply By: Kiwi Kia - Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 19:41

Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 19:41
Yep, I agree. Very under rated vehicle. As you have already been told - hubs can be a problem (as they get older) and range needs to be kept in mind but otherwise they are as strong as a tank.
AnswerID: 150185

Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 21:26

Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 21:26
Almost any 4by should be able to complete that route, probably just comes down how many scrapes & dings you're prepared to take. Just pack light & drive a bit slower. Have a look at your tyres, shockers & wheel bearings as they seem to be the key problem areas when travelling for long days over rough tracks with heavy loads. No car is exempt from breakdown so some thought should be given to how you may be able to sourse parts. I doubt Kia distributers have many outlets up there. Not totally familiar with your model but you should check the fording depth, if diff breathers are fitted & the air filter type (very dusty).
Sounds like a great trip.......Have fun xx
Cheers Craig.........
AnswerID: 150197

Follow Up By: Kiwi Kia - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 07:08

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 07:08
I have had water over the bonnet (bow wave) many times on my Kia (but not through choice !) My biggest problem has been mud and debris clogging the bottom of the radiator and causing over heating but the brown water I was driving through was really sloppy mud. I just had to pull the radiator and slowly pick out fine plant material from the fins. Speed is no problem as they handle as well as the bigger vehicles but with far better turning circle. (I have a fair amount of experience with Toy 100's, old LR's and I also have a Pajero).
FollowupID: 403674

Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 08:12

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 08:12
Fording depth stated as 700 mm.

Better than most "larger" 4WDs........

FollowupID: 403681

Reply By: Greiglin - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 17:54

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 17:54
Thanks everyone for all your good advice and feedback. Good to hear from other Sportage owners. Yes we are pleased with our "K". We are looking forward to our camping trip for six months. Can't wait to see the Mitchell Falls.......
AnswerID: 150352

Reply By: J.T. - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 18:13

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 18:13
Met 2 blokes 2 years ago on the Gibb River Road and had traveled much of where your going Only dramas they had was from tyres.Otherwise they were happy.Have a good trip.
AnswerID: 150357

Reply By: outbackmob - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 01:31

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 01:31
We live out on the Tanami - I recommend a 2nd spare tyre as the road conditions(constantly changing) can play havoc on your tyres!
Have Fun
AnswerID: 151388

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