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2013 Kia Sorento

Overview
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2013 Kia Sorento Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

The 2013 Kia Sorento is one of the best examples of a "right-sized" SUV – big enough to fit seven passengers in three rows of seats, yet small enough to easily maneuver through traffic and tight spaces. The Sorento's Goldilocks nature doesn't end there. This mid-size crossover offers three engine choices, and perhaps most impressive is the one in the middle, a direct-injection 4-cylinder that offers both power and fuel economy. With its good looks, host of amenities and premium options such as ventilated leather seats, the U.S.-built Kia Sorento is a seriously pleasing family vehicle. Throw in Kia's value pricing and its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and the Sorento becomes an even more attractive alternative to rivals like the Chevrolet Equinox and Toyota Highlander.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a capable and family-friendly crossover SUV that won't break the bank yet still has plenty of features, put the Kia Sorento on your shopping list.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you regularly need to carry seven passengers and still need room for their gear, the Sorento might be too small. In that case, look to a larger 3-row SUV like the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer or Honda Pilot.

What's New for 2013

For 2013 the Sorento receives a new Kia badge up front, leather seating becomes standard for the mid-tier EX trim, and the 3rd-row seats are now standard on LX V6 models and optional on EX V6 and SX trims.

Driving the Sorento

Driving Impressions Around town or on the open road, the Sorento is a fine travel mate. The SUV is well-mannered, easy to maneuver, and relatively comfortable. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, with...

all-wheel drive (AWD) optional on all trim levels. In a nice surprise, all-wheel-drive versions have a switch that locks the center differential for better traction on slippery surfaces and for when things get rough on occasional off-pavement excursions. With the base engine, acceleration is adequate, but there isn't much power in reserve for passing. More welcome is the newer direct-injection 4-cylinder engine that is optional in LX models and standard in EX versions. For those wanting the most power and towing capability (up to 3,500 pounds), a V6 is offered across the line. The Sorento's sole transmission is a smooth, refined 6-speed automatic. Seating position is good and interior controls are a cinch to locate and use.

2.4-LITER DIRECT-INJECTION ENGINE
Though it's the same size as the base 4-cylinder, this engine benefits from direct-injection technology, which makes more efficient use of fuel to boost both fuel economy and power.

LOCKABLE CENTER DIFFERENTIAL
Rare on a crossover SUV, this feature on all-wheel-drive Sorentos helps the SUV gain better traction in slippery and off-pavement environments.

2013 Kia Sorento Details
2013 Kia Sorento photo Interior

Peek inside a well-equipped Kia Sorento and you might think you're looking at a car from a premium brand. Details abound on the dash and door panels, and soft-touch surfaces are easy on the eyes and hands. Numerous cloth patterns and leather combinations help the Sorento to further distance itself from the plebeian models of its past. Legroom is good in the 3-passenger second row, but expectedly tight in the 2-seat third row. That last row is best for children, and folds flat when not in use. With both rows folded, cargo capacity swells to 72.5 cubic feet.

Exterior

The Sorento has a boxy, angular profile of classic SUVs versus the rotund shape of competitors such as the Nissan Murano. In addition to endowing it with looks that will likely hold up well in the future, they also help make the most of the Sorento's passenger and cargo space. Up front is the new Kia badging surrounded by a honeycomb grille, which itself sits between menacing headlights. Exterior bits vary by model, with higher trims receiving items like silver roof rails and a rear spoiler. LX models ride on 17-inch wheels, and EX and SX trims ride on 18-inch wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2013 Kia Sorento comes with a 175-horsepower 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic transmission, black wood trim, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and AM/FM/CD/satellite audio system with USB and auxiliary inputs. Higher trim levels bring bigger and more power engine choices and features like leather seating, automatic climate control with rear compartment air conditioning, push-button start/stop, and the voice-activated UVO telematics system. Top-line SX models are stuffed with features like heated front seats, a 10-speaker Infinity premium audio system, and auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

Optional Equipment

Availability of extras depends on trim levels, but Kia has clustered popular options into packages. The Convenience Package on all-wheel-drive base models, for example, includes roof rails, backup warning system, UVO telematics system, and fog lights. EX and SX models include premium packages that include amenities like a navigation system, panoramic sunroof, air-cooled driver's seat, illuminated scuff plate, and heated steering wheel. Note that the packages can cost thousands extra, and are your only way of getting particular options such as a built-in nav system.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Kia Sorento offers a choice of three gasoline engines. Its port-injected 2.4-liter 4-cylinder makes 175 horsepower and 169 lb-ft of torque, while the 3.5-liter V6 turns out a far more energetic 276 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. The GDI (gasoline direct-injection) 2.4-liter 4-cylinder may be the perfect choice, with 191 horsepower and an EPA estimated 30 mpg on the highway. All versions feature a Kia-designed 6-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic manual shift mode. Towing capacity is rated at 1,650 pounds maximum for models with the 4-cylinder engines and 3,500 pounds for those with the V6.

2.4-liter inline-4
175 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
169 lb-ft of torque @ 3,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 mpg (FWD), 21/27 mpg (AWD)

2.4-liter inline-4 (gasoline direct-injection)
191 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
181 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg (FWD), 20/26 mpg (AWD)

3.5-liter V6
276 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
248 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 mpg (FWD), 18/24 mpg (AWD)

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2013 Kia Sorento Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 248 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Well pleased

By on Wednesday, December 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good value for the money"

Cons: "Rearward vision"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Empty nesters. Tried to make do with a compact car for travel and after our last trip vowed we would never take a trip in that car again. Purchased the 2013 KIA Sorento, used with low miles, and have been very satisfied with the vehicle. Good size for light hauling (since I had to give up my pickup truck). Rides smoothly on the interstate. Rearward vision can be a problem if you aren't comfortable with mirrors. The backup camera is very helpful in overcoming the rearward vision problem in parking lots."

10 people out of 16 found this review helpful

love this car...great car for the value

By on Wednesday, December 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,100

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great price & warranty, comfortable to drive"

Cons: "gas mileage is ok"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I love this car. I got it new and loved it on site. After the test drive I was sold...plus it was over $10,000 less then other cars with same features, which was awesome!!! I wouldn't hesitate to get another one"

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best value for your money

By on Friday, November 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"All in all, I love my Kia even more than I loved my Lincoln Navigator. Low mileage, easy maintenance, reliable and comfortable. We took the Kia from MN down to Fort Lauderdale, FL and all through out the south before returning home....it was a great trip!"

18 people out of 30 found this review helpful

It's been a great car

By on Sunday, November 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is very roomy and comfortable. It has required no extra work or repairs. Regular oil changes and maintenance has kept the card running well. I would recommend it and would buy another of these. Great gas mileage on the road."

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Disappointment in car

By on Sunday, November 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,200

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Good looking car"

Cons: "unsafe due to visibility problems with speedometer"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"The electronic speedometer needle is very difficult to see in sunlight. Kia refuses to address the issue. They claim there is no sensor but I question that. It would seem a software fix could be done. My 2012 was excellent but will not keep this car much longer and will never buy a Kia product again because of their lack of response. Their last comment to me was "Kia cannot help you""

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Love this car!

By on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,250

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good value, very comfortable, fun car, looks great"

Cons: "Tires that came on vehicle weren't the best."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Purchased this car slightly used, & was very skeptical about it's value, but needed a larger car ASAP. Wow, was I impressed! Vehicle has not needed anything beyond basic maintenance. Great in the snow, super reliable. If I hit the lottery, I'd still return to buy another Kia, based on this vehicles performance!"

17 people out of 29 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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