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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
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 282 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

I was a little disappointed in gas mileage

By on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Price , great options, lots of room"

Cons: "Mileage was a little over hyped"

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

"The sticker rated the miles as 20mpg in town and 26mpg highway. The highway mileage was pretty close but the in town was more like 17-18 which is not bad but less than I expected. All in all it is a very comfortable ride on long trips and since my commute is only 4 miles a day I really can't complain too much about the in town mileage. The cost was better than most vehicles I had looked at before buying so I was a little skeptical about the options holding up, but so far so good. The car is about 18 months old and no issues."

You Get What You Pay For - Kia Engines Arent Relia

By on Friday, August 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "affordable, decent amenities"

Cons: "engine failure, roof rack paint came off fast"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Kia has made leaps and bounds of progress over the past decade, mainly based upon its warranty and drivetrain guarantees. I bought this vehicle slightly used (about 1 year old) with that in mind, intending for it to last at least the next 5 years. In 2013 I paid $18k for this 2012 Kia Sorento LX with the GDI engine and convenience package. It was a fair price for a car with between 20-30k mi on it & the car was in good shape. For the next 27 months it was driven for city commuting twice daily at 15-25 miles each way, and frequently used to drive between towns in Texas. I averaged about 14k-15,000 miles per year on the vehicle. I regularly had the vehicle maintenance, replaced all 5 tires, and did not have a single mechanical issue for two years. Just after 60,000 mi, I paid $500 to get all the mfr recommended service work done, in anticipation of a lengthy road trip. A month later, on a road trip, the engine seized completely. I was stranded in the middle of nowhere with a relatively new vehicle whose engine failed without ANY warning; no warning lights, no indications to mechanics the vehicle saw in the months preceding. They found metal shavings in the oil upon checking the oil stick. Kia indicates that they must replace the engine for $4500-9000 (depending upon whether they put in a new or used engine). The vehicle is just past the warranty cutoff for 2nd owners & Kia indicated they are not obligated to help at all. I'm holding out hope that Kia makes some sort of gesture of good faith, since their engine failed catastrophically inside (probable manufacturer defect). It appears that many other Kia owners have experienced a similar mishap with their engines. Buyers of Kia 4cyl engines - BEWARE"

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great Mountain Vehicle

By on Tuesday, August 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Large interior, Quiet cabin, Good mpg, Easy towing"

Cons: "Cheap plastic interior trim."

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

"I bought this vehicle as a Certified Used Vehicle in 2013. I have been most surprised by the mpg. I live in a mountainous area, and average 24 mpg here, and 28-30 mpg in the flatlands. The Sorento is comfortable and quiet, but the stock tires are a little noisy. I will be replacing them soon. I have a utility trailer that I tow fully loaded up the steep inclines between here - Marion and Asheville, NC, and also eastern Tennessee. I even towed a '94 Buick Century to Asheville and back.(115 mile round trip)The Sorento never moaned, and towed great! I am not overly fond of the short space between the brake and accelerator, but that seems to be the norm in newer SUV's. Evidently, the beige cloth seats were not treated with Scotchguard, for they stain easily. The interior trim is plastic and would have been more attractive if finished in wood grain. All in all, this vehicle has been exactly what I needed for this part of the country, and has been the best all around vehicle I have ever owned. A major drawback is the vehicle does not hold its value."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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."

14 people out of 30 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."

22 people out of 31 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

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