Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

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Vehicle

2008 Kia Sportage Vehicle Overview

I didn’t know that the Kia Sportage was on the road in the US before Honda’s CR-V and Toyota’s RAV4 until I did a bit of research when reviewing the Sportage this week. The Sportage may have been here first but it’s success has not been similar to that of its two Japanese neighbors. Underpowered, too small are two reasons offered, though I found it cozy, not small and the power was there when I wanted/needed it. Perhaps this is because the six-cylinder version I drove felt like my wife’s four-cylinder CR-V.

The 2008 Kia Sportage I reviewed was an EX. The EX adds the V6 engine, a sunroof, foglamps, heated outside mirrors, a trip computer, MP3 capability for the CD player and keyless entry to 16-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, tinted glass, and a rear windshield wiper. Air-conditioning is also standard

Standard equipment also include antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.

The Sportage has a roomy, practical and  good looking interior. The rear-seat design makes hauling baby gear (We have an 11-month old) – toys, stroller, and golf clubs (mine) a breeze. The rear strap for the infant car seat went over the back seat and down to the floor as opposed to an unsightly strap extending overhead to a hook in the ceiling. Getting the baby car seat in and out was no hassle.

Impressions

I don’t know now how many cars I have reviewed, but, the Sportage was the first where I felt right at home from the get-go. I didn’t need the manual to figure out how to work the buttons. Everything was very intuitive. The Sportage felt small and had a sporty handling to it – very responsive. I found it more fun to drive than my wife’s CR-V, better looking, too. The V6 did not have much more power than a four-cylinder, so I was disappointed that I didn’t have more umph for what I was sacrificing in mileage – 17mph in the city and 21 on the highway. Still, I went away thinking there is another car maker in the Far East, though not the same quality…yet, besides the Japanese.

Warranty – 10 years/100,000 miles limited powertrain warranty and 5 years/60,000 miles full warranty (24-hour roadside assistance)

Price as Driven – $24,820

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

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Bill Belew

Bill Belew

Daddy and Christian.

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