We decided to move down to a smaller vehicle, being tired of the minivan scene........traded in on an evergreen 4-door 4x4 2000 Kia Sportage, and it is the best vehicle I've ever owned. We shopped the entire mini-SUV market before deciding on the Kia, and we decided we liked the following features the best:
1-Looks--this is a sharp-looking vehicle. We weren't too fond of the looks of the convertibles, but the hardtop models really catch the eye. The interior is very tastefully done and comfortable looking.
2-Price--I helped myself out a little bit on this one with some hardnosed negotiating, but the Kia is by far the most affordable of this model of vehicle.
3-Handling--this vehicle handles incredibly smoothly--I expected it to be a bit of a bumpy ride, and I was wrong. The suspension is rugged and easy on the behind, if you know what I mean.
4-Space--the Kia has more legroom than the other models we looked at, and a larger cargo space in the rear, without making the vehicle have a boxy outside appearance.
Our only complaints are minor--you have to close the doors very hard to get them to shut all the way, and it's difficult to shift gears with a manual transmission when your wife keeps trying to change the radio stations at the same time!
The Kia Sportage is perfect for a small family--we have two young children and it works great for us. I wouldn't recommend it if you are planning to do a lot of longer trips or highway driving--although it gets great gas mileage, it only has a 4-cylinder engine without very much punch.