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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 112 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Huge value. $21,500

By on Saturday, August 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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!"

10 people out of 16 found this review helpful

The most uncomfortable car I have ever had

By on Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
1/10

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."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

A comfortable easy to drive SUV. Very responsive 4

By on Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,200

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
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Easy handling, excellent driving position."

Cons: "Lack of fold flat resr seats;black interior."

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

"The only drawback is the lack of rear seat cupholders, and a black interior. Never again on a black interior. The only other pet peeve is the lack of being able to fold the rear seats down flat for a completely flat rear cargo space."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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