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2013 Kia Sportage Review

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2013 Kia Sportage Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

In evolutionary terms, the 2013 Kia Sportage is as far removed from the original 1993 Sportage as we are from our Neanderthal cousins. No longer a rugged off-road SUV, the current Sportage rides atop a car platform, has a sophisticated engine and suspension setup, and is loaded with safety and creature comforts more common to luxury cars than compact SUVs. Competing against the likes of the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4, the 2013 Kia Sportage sets itself apart in the areas of styling, ride and handling and price. The Sportage's one-upmanship continues with an available 260-horsepower turbocharged engine and one of the best standard warranties in the business, covering the powertrain for 10 years/100,000 miles.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need the all-wheel-drive capability and high ground clearance of a compact SUV, but you don't want to give up sporty handling or head-turning good looks, we think the 2013 Kia Sportage is definitely in your league. Its available 260-horsepower turbocharged engine is a rarity in this segment.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If maximum interior space, a smooth ride and good 360-degree visibility are important factors in your car-buying decision, the 2013 Kia Sportage probably won't float your boat. Best look to a Subaru Forester or Honda CR-V.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.6
  • 6.3
  • 5.5
  • 7.9
  • 6.9
  • 9.9
How It Ranks

#9

out of 10

Fuel Economy

#3

out of 10

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.5 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 Kia Sportage Low/wide front photo What's New for 2013

Changes to the 2013 Kia Sportage include LED accent lighting on LX and EX trims, standard power-folding side mirrors on the SX (optional on EX) and a new Blue Interior Package (blue seating and inserts). The UVO infotainment system is added to the LX Convenience Package.

Driving the Sportage
2013 Kia Sportage Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions The 2013 Kia Sportage's taut suspension and powerful engine choices put the "sport" in Sport Utility Vehicle. Compared with its nearest competitors, the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the 2013...

... Kia Sportage SUV rides a bit stiffer, but delivers better cornering and recovery from sharp dips in the road. The taut suspension delivers predictable response to rapid inputs and quick adjustments and the nicely-weighted steering wheel helps minimize the amount of play in the steering. The 2.4-liter and 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engines both offer ample power in any driving situation, with our favorite being the turbocharged version in the Sportage SX. The 2.4-liter is more than capable in climbing steep hills and handling quick passing maneuvers, but the turbocharged 2.0-liter adds a new level of driving fun. The 2.0-liter turbo also feature gasoline direct injection technology that helps it attain good fuel economy without sacrificing power.

PANORAMIC SUNROOF
More sun equates to more fun and this dual-section sunroof lets the rear-seat occupants stare at the wonders above.

2.0-LITER TURBOCHARGED ENGINE
Found in the 2013 Kia Sportage SX, the 260-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine makes the car surprisingly quick and a lot more fun to drive.

2013 Kia Sportage Details
2013 Kia Sportage Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Functionally, there is much to like inside the 2013 Kia Sportage SUV, with a big, roomy rear seat that can be folded flat to make a modestly-roomy 54.6 cubic-foot cargo hold. While useful, the Sportage's cargo bay is not quite as large as those in the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4, both of which offer more than 70 cubic feet of cargo space. EX trims feature special anti-bacterial cloth that helps eliminate odors and stains that can accumulate over time. We like a number of the Sportage's interior options, but the panoramic sunroof's manual sunshades don't strike us as very useful and should be power operated.

Exterior
2013 Kia Sportage photo

The 2013 Kia Sportage SUV's sleek design includes sharp lines, narrow side glass and Kia's signature "tab" front grille. The clever interplay between the dark lines surrounding the grille, lower air ducts and painted wheel inserts gives the Sportage a keenly sinister appearance. The Sportage's high beltline and big wheel-and-tire combo make it look a bit like a hopped-up VW GTI. Don't be fooled by the Sportage's sporty appearance, however, as its available all-wheel drive (AWD) and nearly seven inches of ground clearance make it a capable compact SUV.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Kia's Sportage SUV for 2013 is offered in four front-wheel-drive trim levels: Base, LX, EX and SX, with AWD available on all but the Base. Standard equipment across all trim levels includes air conditioning, power accessories, Bluetooth, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a rear under-floor storage compartment and a satellite-radio-equipped audio system with four speakers. Some notable standard features that come with the EX and SX trims include Kia's UVO infotainment system, back-up warning system, push-button start, a cooling glovebox and automatic climate control.

Optional Equipment

All of the options available for the 2013 Kia Sportage come in the forms of packages. Some noteworthy highlights of the Sportage option packages include a navigation system, heated front seats, a cooled driver's seat, a panoramic sunroof and a premium audio system with a subwoofer.

Under the Hood
2013 Kia Sportage Engine photo

The 2013 Kia Sportage SUV's 2.4-liter engine is robust and fuel-efficient and should suffice for most drivers' needs. Costing a bit more is the turbocharged 2.0-liter, which provides V6-like power and 4-cylinder fuel economy. Both engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, which delivers impressive fuel-economy numbers and can be shifted manually. A 6-speed manual transmission is available, but only on the base trim level.

2.4-liter inline-4
176 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
168 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg (front-wheel drive, manual), 21/30 mpg (front-wheel drive, automatic), 20/27 mpg (AWD, automatic)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
260 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque @ 1,850 - 3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg (front-wheel drive), 20/25 mpg (AWD)

The 2013 Kia Sportage SUV comes with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $20,000. Stepping up to the LX trim level takes it to about $22,000, with the EX trim coming in right around $25,000. The turbocharged SX trim starts just under $28,000 but, when it's topped with every option, that price can creep past $32,000. A look at the Fair Purchase Price on kbb.com shows what others are paying for the Kia Sportage in your area, so be sure to check it out before you buy. As for residuals, we expect that the Kia Sportage won't hold its value as well as the Honda CR-V, should remain on par with the Chevy Equinox and Toyota RAV4 and will be better than the Nissan Rogue, Jeep Compass and VW Tiguan.

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2013 Kia Sportage Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 115 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Great value for the money, needs few improvements

By on Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,900

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great value for the money"

Cons: "Needs radio visor and better gas mileage"

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

"After shopping the competition bought the Sportage because of the surprising quality for the money. The fit and finish is comparable to CRV but seems quicker and quieter. Biggest annoyance is the inability to see the radio settings at all during bright daylight.. The gas mileage could certainly be better but for the price I can't complain that much because it feels like I am driving a more expensive vehicle with all wheel drive."

13 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Excellent and reliable

By on Monday, September 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great features"

Cons: "None really"

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

"Not a single problem to report in 37000 miles. Fuel economy is outstanding. I average 27 around town and have gotten as high as 34 on the hwy. Excellent and quiet cruiser on the open road. Enough power for safe passing on secondary roads. I looked at the Honda, Chevy and Ford small SUV's and ended up with the KIA for the price and long list of standard features. We currently own 2 KIA's and I would recommend them to anyone."

9 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Hands down best value ! - owned for 2 years

By on Monday, August 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Best Value, spacious, attractive design"

Cons: "Thick window pillars"

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

"When I bought this car, I was comparing it to the following vehicles: Honda CRV, Toyota Rav4, Hyundai Tuscon, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, VW Tiguan, and the Subaru Forester. All these vehicles are in a similar price range. VALUE: 10/10 The first thing I noticed when comparing the prices and options was that the Hyundai and Kia models were a much better value. Things that came standard on the Kia and Hyundai were sold as extras on the other models. This is why I gave this car a 10/10 on value. RELIABILITY: 10/10 I've owned this car for 2 years and I have had no problems whatsoever. The fact that it comes with a 10 year powertrain warranty says a lot about this car's reliability. QUALITY: 9/10 The reason I docked 1 point was because the seat fabric looks a little cheaper looking, but then again I could have paid for the leather package. Everything else is comparable to the other models in terms of quality. DRIVING DYNAMICS: 10/10 This car drives great. Some people complain about the road noise, but I don't notice it much at all. I feel that those that are complaining are probably comparing this car to luxury vehicles in the $30,000+ range. DESIGN: 9/10 In this price range, this car gets a perfect 10/10 for the exterior. KIA and Hyundai have done a 360 and completely redesigned their cars. No more child like looking cars from the past. I love the overall design of both the interior and exterior of the car. I would give the interior an 8/10. The reason I docked 2 points is because of the thick windshield pillars. I find them to be too thick which gives you a rather large blind spot. I suspect that these thick pillars are the reason this car got excellent rollover ratings from the consumerreports website. COMFORT: 8/10 I don't get what people are talking about when they say the seats are uncomfortable. I've driven dozens of cars and I have I would say that these seats are comparable to most vehicles. Of course if you are comparing it to a luxury vehicle, then you might not me so happy. I've driven 300 miles nonstop (LA to Vegas) several times and I have never experienced any discomfort. I'll also add that I'm a skinny guy with less padding on the rear than most! One thing I'll say is that the door arm rests and the center arm rest needs more padding. OVERALL RATING: 9/10 I am very happy with my purchase."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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