By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
By Timbo on Tuesday, October 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Awesome looks, drives great, love the interior"
Cons: "Little better fuel economy would be nice."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love my Kia Sportage, got the LX w/rearview camera and upgrades. Drives and handles great, fuel economy is good, has more room inside than you would think looking at it. Looked at several other models, but this had the best looks and was the best buy."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By kiamart on Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,900overall rating 8 of 10rating details
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."
14 people out of 26 found this review helpful
By Randy on Monday, September 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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."
10 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By Gil on Monday, August 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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."
7 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By john on Saturday, August 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliability, low price, style, sporty handling!"
Cons: "Bouncy ride @ low speeds rough roads. At speed O.K"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Very good dealership in Capitola, Ca. Bought Red with light grey interior. Did you know that exterior was designed by an Audi stylist! Know wonder it looks so gooood in actual metal. Better than photos!"
17 people out of 29 found this review helpful
By Tom on Tuesday, July 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Steering wheel is smooth, visibility"
Cons: "EXTREMELY uncomfortable seats, no interior storage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I completely regret getting a 2014 Kia Sportage LX. I test drove an EX with leather seats that were comfortable. However, I decided to go with an LX with fabric seats. I did this because they wanted almost $400 a month for the EX. It's a KIA for crying out loud. Anyway, the drivers seat and positioning is extremely awkward and uncomfortable. The seat is rock hard and digs into your back like a fist. The LX doesn't have many adjustment options. You can only change the height, the back of the chair from back to front, and slide the whole seat forward and back. The steering wheel is positioned awkwardly as it is too tilted forward. The brake pedal sticks out too far so it is uncomfortable accelerating and braking. I was so excited to get something different because I have always had Hondas and they never let me down. Don't be tricked by the Sportage's good looks, go with a Honda CRV, Toyota Rav 4 or Subaru Forrester."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful