2013 Kia Sportage

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2013 Kia Sportage Review


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.

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
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.

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

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.

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

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)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?