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2013 Kia Sorento

Overview
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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 270 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
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

First ever crossover

By on Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,030

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I have owned my Sorento for 3 years. It was purchased used, and that is how I discovered that the 10 year 100,000 mile warranty does not hold true. Only if the car is purchased new does this warranty exist. At 65,000 miles things have seemed to fall apart. First it was a seized up brake caliper, now it's a pinion bearing in the rear differential. My previous car (Dodge Intrepid) never had these issues....even with 140,000 miles. Another draw back with this vehicle is the interior. I have the beige seats and they show absolutely everything! I spilled water and thought, "no big deal". I was wrong....even water leaves a stain like you wouldn't believe. Even so, it isn't all bad with this car. I live in an area that has brutal winters and this has been hands down the best vehicle I've ever had for winter driving. The fuel mileage for the V-6 isn't too bad either. The Sorento rides and handles very well, and has plenty of room for my family."

13 people out of 18 found this review helpful

For a vehicle this size, it turns on a dime.

By on Monday, April 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great handling"

Cons: "Heater fan motor makes a little noise"

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

"tight turns. V-6 uses more gas, but has all the pep and pickup that you could want in an SUV. I don't get the gas mileage that was on the window sticker, but get about 24.5 on Hwy."

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Thank you, Kia!

By on Friday, April 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great mileage."

Cons: "No directional compass in mirror."

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

"My Sorento has been exactly what I was looking for when I purchased it in 2011! I enjoy the roominess of the interior, the easy to clean exterior, and the driving experience that the vehicle offers. It has always gotten better mileage than what was predicted. I got 30 mag on the highway often. I love that the seats lay down and I can haul a tree home for the orchard or a bunch of 2x4's for a construction project. It also carries us to our "fancy" occasions comfortably."

9 people out of 12 found this review helpful

great suv

By on Sunday, March 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "good suv for the money"

Cons: "no dipstic to check trans fluid"

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

"great suv plenty of power good ride. i have had this truck 3 years in nek vermont great in the snow would buy again"

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Warranty Not Worth Depreciation

By on Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "dependable"

Cons: "Little storage space, very little built in storage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"My primary reason for choosing Kia over other brands was the 100,000 mile warranty. Many dealerships of other brands offer the equivalent, but I was concerned with the trustworthiness of the dealerships and their service depts. At least with Kia, it is backed by the manufacturer, not just the local dealership. I just checked the trade in value of my car, in good condition, and it is less than half of what I paid for it in Nov 2012. The electronics are not great, which I have come to expect as standard. Navigation is not easily and regularly updated. My dealership acts like it is an act of personal sacrifice to do the major updates...it takes a while and they don't get to charge for them. The stereo/cd/aux/usb input is un. Just un. I suppose the sound is great (slightly hearing impaired), but a special cord is required for use with iPod, any other MP3 player is very limited feature. With my iPod, EVERY time I connect, I have to select random (b/c I like all of my music), otherwise, I listen to the exact same songs every time. It doesn't hold any type of memory, as far as I can tell. The OEM tires were practically useless. I lost traction on dry pavement frequently enough to be very concerned. On wet pavement, I lost traction at least once every single time! My replacement tires have been remarkable in comparison. They have finally given me some confidence in the car itself. Even though I have only had the replacement tires for a short time (less than 10,000 miles), my review of the traction/handling/stability will be based strictly on them. It is the only way I feel I can be fair, they have made such a significant difference! We have had a particularly cold/snowy winter and my Sorento has performed better than I have expected. The downhill assist was outstanding on my very long, very steep driveway! I didn't have much confidence using it, but it has completely exceeded my expectations. No chains or snow tires, just good all-season tires. The AWD has been very good, and the only times I lost traction enough to really feel it, were the result of my own errors. Not allowing speed/stopping distance based on the current road conditions. Headlights, fog lights, tail and brake lights: I have already replaced one headlamp, one fog lamp, and one marker/parking lamp. I believe that the failures were caused by the car's electrical/lighting system, not bulb failure. The dash lights auto-dim randomly, as if the headlights are being turned on/off. It has been a recurring problem that was initially thought to be related to one headlight assembly, but after it was replaced, I still have random dimming of the dash lights. I have not returned to the dealership regarding this problem. With those exceptions, the car has been very good. Unfortunately, the depreciation is disappointment enough for me not to recommend the car."

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

some short comings 2015 sorrento sxl

By on Friday, March 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,999

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "lots of bells and whistles"

Cons: "no heated mirrors, drivers head exit handle,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Life gate too low, im 5'11" and hit my head if not careful. no drivers above exit handle No heated mirrors picked up car june 2014-January first 2015 kia aired on tv the new 2016-feel like I have old model ."

6 people out of 11 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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