You might not have noticed, but the crude, trucklike little slinked out of the U.S. market with its tail between its legs in 2002. The nameplate now reappears on a completely new small sport-ute, one that uses unit-body construction and a four-wheel independent suspension, and offers a choice of front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Like nearly all Kias, the Sportage uses a platform from corporate parent Hyundai, in this case that of the Tucson. Larger than before, but still compact, the Sportage will offer U.S. buyers a 140-hp four or a 173-hp V-6. Europeans also can opt for a 2.0-liter common-rail direct-injection diesel. Among the notable safety equipment are side and side-curtain air bags and stability control.