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2013 Kia Sorento

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2013 Kia Sorento Review

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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
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 279 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

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

Great vehicle for the money

By on Thursday, July 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

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
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "All the options"

Cons: "ride on rough roads"

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

"Have been very satisfied with the Sorento. Wish it had a smoother ride, but for the price I have gotten my money's worth. No problems with the vehicle for the first 110,000 miles. Finally was able to get my hands on after market struts so hopefully ride will improve. Kia struts are ridiculously priced so KYB's are the only way to go."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Update to earlier post

By on Thursday, July 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"Brought my car in for service and discussed poor performance. I was told to try mid-grade 89 octane gas. What a difference! It's like driving a totally different car. Much more responsive with increased power. It's also much quieter. Mileage however hasn't changed much."

16 people out of 25 found this review helpful

GREAT VEHICLE. I HAVE 9,500 MILES ON IT

By on Wednesday, July 08, 2015

I don't own this car

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "SPACIOUS, LOVE THE HIDDEN CARGO SPACE"

Cons: "RADIO IS VERY POOR BELOW 20 DEGREES,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"OVERALL THIS IS A GREAT VEHICLE. I HAVE THE 4CYL WITHOUT THE THIRD ROW SEATING. THE ONLY THING IS IF THE BACK SEAT WAS MORE CAR SEAT FRIENDLY. WHEN I SWITCHED MY CHILD FROM INFANT SEAT TO AN ALL IN ONE SEAT AND SHE IS STILL REAR FACING, THERE IS NO PLACE TO ANCHOR THE CAR SEAT TO SO ITS NOT MOVING AROUND, AND I HAD TO PROP UP THE CAR SEAT SO THAT IT WAS LEVEL. THE OTHER ISSUE IS THE RADIO. LIVING IN VT WE GO THRU ALL KINDS SO WHEN IT IS BELOW 20 DEGREES THE QUALITY IS VERY POOR. SOUNDS LIKE EVERY STATION, EVERY GENRE IS ACOUSTIC AND VERY FAINT. NEVER HAD THIS IN ANYTHING ELSE IVE EVER DRIVEN AND IVE LIVED HERE 28 YEARS. ANOTHER THING IS IT FEELS LIKE IT SHOULD BE A 6CYL."

2 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great aesthetics, poor performance.

By on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Aesthetics, features, overall value"

Cons: "Performance. A/C, Engine noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Traded in a 2013 Sorento SX V6 because of mileage (113K)and bought this 2014 Sorento SXL V6. It had 28K miles on it. While the exterior & interior aesthetics were nicely upgraded & quite pleasing, I immediately noticed that the smaller V6 left a lot to be desired. First, the engine performance lagged tremendously compared to the car I traded in, definitely underpowered even though more HP was an advertised feature. It seems to wheeze off a start getting up to speed, and if you step on it to pass, the engine noise gets so loud you feel like it's about to break apart. Engage the ECO switch and everything gets worse. I drive over 60K miles per year, much of it highway. My 2013 regularly posted 26-27 MPG on the highway while driving city alone I'd get at minimum 20-22 regularly. These are higher than what's posted on the sticker, but it's what I got. With the 2014, I'm getting 24-25 MPG highway and 18-20 in the city. Again, this is what's on the sticker but everything considered, the numbers are less. Also, the A/C in my 2013 was cold from the start and stayed that way. The A/C in the 2014 doesn't get nearly as cold. If you didn't own one before, or know any better, these issues might not bother you. But as much as I still like the care, I found it frustrating that I'd taken a step down in key areas when replacing my 2013. In retrospect, I would've likely kept the 2013."

23 people out of 39 found this review helpful

2011 Kia Sorento - Great Car

By on Saturday, June 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Bells and Whistles. MP3, Voice Everything, & Room."

Cons: "It Gets around 20 to 24 MPG. City/HWY - 3.5 Liter"

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

2011 Kia Sorento - 3.5 Liter 276 HP Engine (FWD) Seats 7, USB MP3 Player 4GB Flash Drive Holds 1,000 Songs (Highly Recommend)

"I was looking for a Ford Escape when I came across this Vehicle. I wanted to spend around $15,000. I Test Drove MANY Ford Escape Cars and Every Time I liked what I drove except Once. But for Laughs I stopped at a Kia Dealer and Test Drove a 2011 Kia Sorento (Because My Wife said I wouldn't buy anything But a FORD..) But Let Me Tell you that after you drive a Ford Escape then go and Test Drive the Kia Sorento. The difference between a Nice Escape and a LX Sorento (base Model). Is that the LX Sorento is Much Nicer and More Powerful. I was shocked at the Quality of the Kia Sorento. The Base Model has All the Bells and Whistles that you WILL pay ALOT more for if you choose the Escape. The USB MP3 Player that comes standard on ALL Kia Sorento's allows you to plug in a 4GB Flash Drive with 1,000 Songs. Or the Hands Free Phone Use (again Standard on the Kia). Along with the 276 HP allows for No problem when passing Other Vehicles. I really couldn't get over the difference. So take it from a Man that has Bought Ford's ALL His life (Age 42). Before you buy a SUV, You MUST Test drive a Kia Sorento BEFORE you make your final Decision. I Promise you, that you won't be disappointed."

6 people out of 19 found this review helpful

2011 Kia Sorento - 3.5 Liter 276 HP Engine (FWD) Seats 7, USB MP3 Player 4GB Flash Drive Holds 1,000 Songs (Highly Recommend)

I am very happy with my KIA Sorrento

By on Sunday, June 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "affordable"

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

"I am a petite person and I am very comfortable in my car however my grandson is almost 6' and over 200lbs and he finds the driver seat a LITTLE uncomfortable because of the way the side of the seat wraps around a little. I am very happy with that."

16 people out of 27 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

Buying this car?