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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 297 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
    8.8/10

Great car with great pick-up and go!

By on Thursday, May 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "acceleration, interior features, panoramic roof"

Cons: "stiff ride, road noise"

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

"Purchased car "Certified" used with 48K miles on odometer. Super clean inside and out. The leather interior seems stiff but very supportive, many options on the vehicle make driving it a fun experience. Handling is tight and firm sort of rides like a mini pick up truck. The V6, however, is very responsive - press on the accelerator and hang on she gets up and goes. The Sorento could use more insulation in the doors, road noise a bit of an issue."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Disappointed

By on Friday, April 22, 2016

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

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Cons: "Underpowered, low quality"

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

"2.4L eng under powered for a SUV (175 HP) Vehicle is too light and rides very rough over bumps. Problem with sporadic hesitation during initial acceleration. Was over priced, bought when 2 years old. Internet price was 17K but ended up being 23K when deal completed."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

2015 Sorento

By on Friday, April 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

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

"I have had this SUV for over one year. Still smells new! Happy with gas mileage(4 cylinder) - 25 mpg around town. Would purchase again which is saying a lot because I had a Chevy minivan years ago and was ready to get rid of it after the first year. Only time back to the dealership was to get the oil changed."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Gets you 80% of what you seek

By on Thursday, December 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Nice style, decent value, good on maintenance cost"

Cons: "Engine not smooth, seat movement"

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

"Liked the transmission feel over the Ford Edge and saved a little money with the v6 Sorento LX. Unfortunately, the tranny has slight heistations in normal acceleration now and then, even with high octane fuel. When you start it up, it is unsually loud for a new car, sounding more like a Toyota truck from the 80's. Seats are difficult to operate when moving the backs down and up and seats foward and back. Doesn't get the gas mileage we were looking for in a new SUV."

12 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Compares to any high end SUV

By on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great value, drives well, Kia is the real deal"

Cons: "MPG but still better than rest of cars this class"

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

"I wanted a lot for a little, and got it when I purchased my pre-owned 2014 Sorento SXLimited. Gave it an 8/10 for driving dynamics because doesn't drive like a MB, BMW, or Acura, but nothing does. The loaded Sorento is truly the next best thing to the expensive luxury SUVs. A luxury SUV with all the options that I have in my Sorento would have cost twice as much, TWICE AS MUCH people. I also liked the exterior stylings of the Sorento more than the Hyundai, GM, Ford etc counterparts."

33 people out of 52 found this review helpful

Excellent auto that gets 25 to 30 mpg

By on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,126

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
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "no flaws !"

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

"I have been very happy to have this car but I have gotten a disability that makes it difficult to enter and exit the car so I would like to replace it with something just a little lower with a wider front doors!!!"

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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