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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
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 234 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Ride can be harsh

By on Monday, August 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Size and adaptability of seats."

Cons: "Bumpy ride."

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

"General quality is good Some features are very good. This was my first new car. Disappointed it does not have a softer ride. I like it but my wife complains all the time about how it takes bumps on the road. I just paid $225.00 to replace a broken inner taillight. I thought that price was very excessive."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great, Reliable, Comfortable, Car.

By on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable seating, great drive, great price"

Cons: "None"

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

"I have owned this car for over 2 years. I have a 2011. Purchased it as a certified preowned with very low mileage. Great car for the money. Great Warrenty. Great, comfortable ride. I have a 6 cylinder all wheel drive with the 3rd row seating. The middle row of seats recline fully and are just as comfortable as the front seats. I have grown children and have taken several trips from NJ to Florida in it. Very comfortable ride. The 3rd row seat is tight for adults but great for kids."

7 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Most comfortable SUV and priced reasonably

By on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfy seats, easy to drive, roomy"

Cons: "Don't like set up on steering wheel for phone"

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

"I bought this 4 cyl SUV new and love it-more power than imagined! Much roomier than my Honda-CRV and gas mileage is comparable. I am looking at the new 2015 because I put a lot of miles on this SUV in the last 2 yrs. Everyone that has rode in it says it is so comfy -even my grandkids! The back seats are as comfy as the front-except my front seats are heated. I recommend this SUV and guarantee you won't be sorry."

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

What's not to like? Looks good, drives good.

By on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good looking machine."

Cons: "Gas mileage could be better."

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

"Very, very good price for the vehicle. I really believe it is as good as $40,000 and up similar SUV's. Looks as good as the Lexus RX 350 and is comparably equipped. Feels solid and after two years and 35,000 miles, nothing but routine service. I have the six speed, six cylinder version. Actual mileage around town is 21-22 mpg. On the road at the speed limit, 23-25. The UVO entertainment system is a good one."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

What a great deal

By on Thursday, July 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great value, very comfortable"

Cons: "not the greatest gas mileage"

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

"I've owned one for over 2 years. This vehicle is comfortable, has a ton of amenities, is roomy, and is a fraction of the price of similar SUVs. The handling of a vehicle of this size is quite surprise; it has a very tight turn radius and is extremely stable and secure. I don't even think about roll-overs in this vehicle. I have the V6, so it has lots of power when you want it, especially with the semi-manual transmission. I added a tow hitch, which adds a lot of possibilities to its use. It has been reliable so far. The only complaint is that the gas mileage is on the low side: I average 22-24 MPG."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Im Happy

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,670

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: "Great Everything as far as Im concerned."

Cons: "None...Its a good car"

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

"I am on my second Sorento. I now drive a 2014 after trading my 2012. Great Ride! I really like this vehicle. Really good power for a 4 cyl. Great at cruising the expressway, or buzzing around town. Im a big guy, 6'2 225 pounds and I have plenty of room. Very comfortable seats and you are able to obtain many configurations with the seats and adjustable steering wheel. Really good steering response for a vehicle of this type. I do a lot of driving on the expressway and get really good mileage at cruising speeds, about 31 mpg. I get around 25 around town. Stereo is great and so is the voice command. Im impressed with the voice command. Great Feature that actually works. I recommend a Kia for sure!"

6 people out of 6 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?