Kia For 1999
By Carey Russ
A soft-top two-door version of the Sportage sport-utility is new from Kia for 1999. It joins the existing four-door Sportage and the Sephia sedan.
Sportage Two-Door Convertible
Kia's Sportage line has been extended with a two-door soft-top version. Like the four-door Sportage on which it is based, the Convertible is made with body-on-frame construction for off-road ruggedness. It is a foot shorter than the four-door Sportage for more nimble handling. The 1999 Kia Sportage Two-Door Convertible is offered in two versions. Both have a 2.0-liter, 130-hp twin-cam four- cylinder engine. One, in rear-wheel-drive configuration with a four- speed automatic transmission, is meant for street use. The other is a four-wheel-drive machine with a five-speed manual transmission and two-speed transfer case designed for off-road use. Nearly eight inches of ground clearance and good approach and departure angles should help its capabilities.
The four-door Kia Sportage features compact exterior size but interior space for five people. It was extensively redesigned last year, and enters 1999 with few changes.
The second generation of Kia's Sephia sedan made its debut last year. Powered by a 125-hp, 1.8-liter twin-cam, 16-valve engine, and featuring a fully-independent suspension developed with the assistance of British sports car maker Lotus, the Sephia is offered in two trim levels.