The Kia Sportage is a compact crossover SUV built by the Korean automaker Kia Motors since July 1993. The first generation Kia Sportage was developed with a Mazda Bongo engineering base platform. It shares many mechanical components such as the engine, transmissions (early versions), and differentials with the Mazda line of vehicles. This was during Kia's alliance with Ford and Mazda, which involved Ford/Mazda providing technology and Kia providing cheap manufacturing facilities for Ford. From 1995 to 1998, the Sportage was built by Karmann in Germany; thus, European buyers received German-built versions between these years, while the rest of the world received South Korean-built versions. Sportage was sold in either a five-door wagon or a two-door soft-top convertible. Kia initially developed the wagon in standard length form, but in circa 1996, the company released an extended length version.
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