Used 2013 Kia Sportage SUV Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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Used 2013 Kia Sportage SUV Review

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2013 Kia Sportage SUV

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Summary

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Kia Sportage SUV

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • Thanks to a fun-to-drive nature, the 2013 Kia Sportage is a realistic alternative to other top small crossover SUVs on the market.

  • Pros

    Sharp styling inside and out; more fun to drive than other crossovers; powerful and efficient turbo engine in SX trim; plenty of premium features; intuitive controls; generous warranty.

  • Cons

    Stiff-legged ride; backseat doesn't slide or recline; less cargo capacity than other crossovers.

  • What's New for 2013

    For 2013, the Kia Sportage returns with a few minor upgrades including standard LED headlamp accents on LX and EX trims.

Review

With its head-turning looks and long list of desirable standard features and options, the 2013 Kia Sportage offers an admirable balance of both style and substance. While the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine under the hoods of lower trim levels is merely adequate, the firm standard suspension makes for responsive handling. The sportier SX model raises things to a new level, with its 260-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and sport-tuned suspension delivering above-average performance.

Despite these admirable qualities, the Sportage does have a couple of notable drawbacks, not the least of which is a ride quality that will undoubtedly be a little too firm for some buyers. The interior is also a bit short on passenger and cargo room compared to several of its competitors.

As such, crossover shoppers focused on practicality might want to compare the Sportage to other, slightly roomier crossovers on the market including the Chevrolet Equinox, 2013 Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Those looking for a similarly sprightly driving experience will want to check out the new 2013 Ford Escape and 2013 Mazda CX-5. Overall, however, the 2013 Kia Sportage is a strong contender in this group thanks to its fun nature and value for the dollar.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Kia Sportage is a compact crossover SUV with seating for five. There are a total of four trim levels available, including Base, LX, EX and SX.

Standard features on the base model include 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, cruise control, full power accessories, a tilt-only steering wheel, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a four-speaker sound system with satellite radio, a CD player, an auxiliary audio input jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

Stepping up to the Sportage LX adds 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, rear privacy glass and keyless entry. The available Convenience package adds a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, a rear spoiler, roof rack side rails, heated outside mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a rear cargo area cover.

The Sportage EX includes all the goodies in the Convenience package along with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver seat, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an easier-folding rear seat, the Uvo infotainment system and an upgraded sound system with HD radio, digital music storage and a small touchscreen interface. The SX model adds a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, a sport-tuned suspension, keyless entry/ignition, upgraded gauges, leather upholstery and distinctive exterior and interior styling details.

Other options include a Premium package that bundles a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery (standard on SX), heated front seats, a ventilated driver seat, keyless entry/ignition (standard on SX), upgraded gauges and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A touchscreen navigation system with real-time traffic info is available on all but the base model.

Powertrains and Performance

Power for the 2013 Kia Sportage comes from one of two inline four-cylinder engines. Base, LX and EX models come with a 2.4-liter that puts out 176 hp and 168 pound-feet of torque. Base models are only offered with a six-speed manual transmission, while all other versions come with a six-speed automatic with a manual-shift feature. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive offered as an option on all but the base model.

In Edmunds performance tests, a front-wheel-drive Sportage with the 2.4-liter engine and automatic accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds, an average time for this class. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined with the automatic and front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive drops those numbers to 20/27/23.

The SX model gets a more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that puts out an impressive 260 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds testing, it went from zero to 60 mph in a very quick 6.5 seconds. EPA estimated fuel economy is 21/28/24 with front-wheel drive and 20/25/22 with AWD, although we've found the Sportage SX struggles to match these numbers in real-world driving.

Safety

Standard safety features on all 2013 Kia Sportage models include antilock disc brakes, traction control and stability control, as well as hill descent and hill start control. Inside are front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

In Edmunds brake testing, an EX came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet -- a better-than-average performance for this type of vehicle. The sport-oriented SX was better at 117 feet. In government crash tests, the Sportage received an overall rating of four stars (out of five) for front-wheel-drive models and five stars for all-wheel-drive versions, plus solid five-star ratings for frontal and side impacts. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the Sportage received the highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Just as the 2013 Kia Sportage's aggressive exterior styling helps it stand out in a crowd, the handsome passenger cabin gives it an edge over several better-known competitors. There's no shortage of hard plastic, but it's nicely textured and there's a good amount of padding where it's needed.

Front seats are comfortable and supportive, with decent head- and legroom. The 60/40-split rear seats are a bit tighter, with room for a couple of smaller adults. The fact that these seats don't slide up and back like those in some competitors is a weakness.

Behind those rear seats is the Sportage's other principal shortcoming, namely its relatively small cargo hold. With just 26.1 cubic feet of cargo room with the seats up and 54.6 with both sections folded down, the interior has roughly 15 cubic feet of space (picture the trunk of a good midsize sedan) less than its larger rivals.

Driving Impressions

The 2013 Kia Sportage isn't exactly sporty, but it is more fun to drive than you might expect from a small crossover. Handling is quite good, a benefit from the firmly tuned suspension. Naturally there's a price to be paid here in the form of a ride quality that can be a tad on the rough side, especially with the SE model's sport suspension and 18-inch wheels.

Acceleration with the 2.4-liter engine is decent enough and the transmission works well in both manual and fully automatic modes. The SE's turbocharged 2.0-liter delivers a healthy dose of acceleration and is a worthy alternative to the V6s found in competing crossovers.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Kia Sportage SUV

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the Kia Sportage returns with a few minor upgrades including standard LED headlamp accents on LX and EX trims.

Introduction

With its head-turning looks and long list of desirable standard features and options, the 2013 Kia Sportage offers an admirable balance of both style and substance. While the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine under the hoods of lower trim levels is merely adequate, the firm standard suspension makes for responsive handling. The sportier SX model raises things to a new level, with its 260-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and sport-tuned suspension delivering above-average performance.

Despite these admirable qualities, the Sportage does have a couple of notable drawbacks, not the least of which is a ride quality that will undoubtedly be a little too firm for some buyers. The interior is also a bit short on passenger and cargo room compared to several of its competitors.

As such, crossover shoppers focused on practicality might want to compare the Sportage to other, slightly roomier crossovers on the market including the Chevrolet Equinox, 2013 Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Those looking for a similarly sprightly driving experience will want to check out the new 2013 Ford Escape and 2013 Mazda CX-5. Overall, however, the 2013 Kia Sportage is a strong contender in this group thanks to its fun nature and value for the dollar.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Kia Sportage is a compact crossover SUV with seating for five. There are a total of four trim levels available, including Base, LX, EX and SX.

Standard features on the base model include 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, cruise control, full power accessories, a tilt-only steering wheel, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a four-speaker sound system with satellite radio, a CD player, an auxiliary audio input jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

Stepping up to the Sportage LX adds 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, rear privacy glass and keyless entry. The available Convenience package adds a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, a rear spoiler, roof rack side rails, heated outside mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a rear cargo area cover.

The Sportage EX includes all the goodies in the Convenience package along with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver seat, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an easier-folding rear seat, the Uvo infotainment system and an upgraded sound system with HD radio, digital music storage and a small touchscreen interface. The SX model adds a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, a sport-tuned suspension, keyless entry/ignition, upgraded gauges, leather upholstery and distinctive exterior and interior styling details.

Other options include a Premium package that bundles a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery (standard on SX), heated front seats, a ventilated driver seat, keyless entry/ignition (standard on SX), upgraded gauges and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A touchscreen navigation system with real-time traffic info is available on all but the base model.

Powertrains and Performance

Power for the 2013 Kia Sportage comes from one of two inline four-cylinder engines. Base, LX and EX models come with a 2.4-liter that puts out 176 hp and 168 pound-feet of torque. Base models are only offered with a six-speed manual transmission, while all other versions come with a six-speed automatic with a manual-shift feature. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive offered as an option on all but the base model.

In Edmunds performance tests, a front-wheel-drive Sportage with the 2.4-liter engine and automatic accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds, an average time for this class. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined with the automatic and front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive drops those numbers to 20/27/23.

The SX model gets a more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that puts out an impressive 260 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds testing, it went from zero to 60 mph in a very quick 6.5 seconds. EPA estimated fuel economy is 21/28/24 with front-wheel drive and 20/25/22 with AWD, although we've found the Sportage SX struggles to match these numbers in real-world driving.

Safety

Standard safety features on all 2013 Kia Sportage models include antilock disc brakes, traction control and stability control, as well as hill descent and hill start control. Inside are front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

In Edmunds brake testing, an EX came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet -- a better-than-average performance for this type of vehicle. The sport-oriented SX was better at 117 feet. In government crash tests, the Sportage received an overall rating of four stars (out of five) for front-wheel-drive models and five stars for all-wheel-drive versions, plus solid five-star ratings for frontal and side impacts. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the Sportage received the highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Just as the 2013 Kia Sportage's aggressive exterior styling helps it stand out in a crowd, the handsome passenger cabin gives it an edge over several better-known competitors. There's no shortage of hard plastic, but it's nicely textured and there's a good amount of padding where it's needed.

Front seats are comfortable and supportive, with decent head- and legroom. The 60/40-split rear seats are a bit tighter, with room for a couple of smaller adults. The fact that these seats don't slide up and back like those in some competitors is a weakness.

Behind those rear seats is the Sportage's other principal shortcoming, namely its relatively small cargo hold. With just 26.1 cubic feet of cargo room with the seats up and 54.6 with both sections folded down, the interior has roughly 15 cubic feet of space (picture the trunk of a good midsize sedan) less than its larger rivals.

Driving Impressions

The 2013 Kia Sportage isn't exactly sporty, but it is more fun to drive than you might expect from a small crossover. Handling is quite good, a benefit from the firmly tuned suspension. Naturally there's a price to be paid here in the form of a ride quality that can be a tad on the rough side, especially with the SE model's sport suspension and 18-inch wheels.

Acceleration with the 2.4-liter engine is decent enough and the transmission works well in both manual and fully automatic modes. The SE's turbocharged 2.0-liter delivers a healthy dose of acceleration and is a worthy alternative to the V6s found in competing crossovers.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 15 reviews) Write a Review

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

2013 lx kia sportage awd

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Kia Sportage

I have a 2013 Sportage AWD, I have over 70,000 miles and drive it every day. I have no complaints about this car. I am 6 ft 1" and feel very comfortable driving this car anywhere, even on long trips. You can't beat the AWD, it's actually better than the Suburus AWD system. As long as you do the regular oil changes and tire rotation, this car will perform the way you want it to.I would highly recommend this car to anyone, this is more bang for the buck without a doubt. And once again the AWD system is awesome, you will be surprised too. I will say a 5 star all the way around.




Sporty, great small/midsize awd suv, beauty!

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Kia Sportage

The Front Seats aren't very Comfortable, lacks Support & Padding for Long-Trips Especially if You have Arthritis, Fibromyalgia or Other Physical Types of Pain b/c It can also be kinda hard to get out of if Traveling for a Period of Time in Combo w/ The Comfort Level (Poor) of The Front Seats... Other than this Issue, LOVE IT, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ECONOMICAL, SPORTY, AWESOME,SAFE, SUV... YOU'LL LOVE IT!!!.. I DO..and, Many More People also, Love em' or The Larger KIA Sorento 4 cyl. AWD as well.. Great VALUE SUV's in a KIA!!.. I am now also a KIA LOVING FAN.. A Believer Myself...



6 of 11 people found this review helpful

Kia - killed in action - unsafe turbo engineering

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Kia Sportage

After the FCV recall, I lost all the performance I enjoyed and paid for in this car. I went to 2 dealers only to be told it drives fine. Well I and everyone who’s driven this car totally disagree. The ECM reflash - the recall- consisted of updating the software originally supplied by the car maker and changing its Air/Fuel Ratio algorithms. The rule of thumb is 12-14/1 optimum. The new software seems to keep the Turbo's wastegate open too much during wide open throttle causing the Turbo Not "Spool Up" all the way, losing boost, and obviously power loss. So, why did KIA update the software instead of replacing the faulty FCV valve - because it's cheaper than re-engineering the FCV. Or, even more expensive but better yet, why not replace it with a tried and true fuel pressure regulator- Cost for KIA? Instead the easy route was to detune the car so it doesn't reach full boost, saving the FCV. So the car is now "killed in action." But this did lead me to learn about certain safety issues that have me very concerned. The turbo is located near the firewall, on the backside of the engine. If the pressurized part and axial lode of the turbo Fails, and is spinning at an average of 150,000 rpm's, this can act like a grenade under the hood, throwing shrapnel everywhere, possibly causing both driver and passenger injury or death, as the force of the pieces of hot steel and aluminum from the axial lode, plus the inertia of rotating blades at 150 rpms, would penetrate through the firewall.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Good and bad

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Kia Sportage

I like the styling inside and out. Seats are comfy on long trips. Getting better gas mileage than advertised. AWD is great. But, suspension is really bad. I have to avoid potholes and minor bumps so I do not cringe at the noise. Can feel every bump through the steering wheel. Interior road noise is very high. The gas engine sounds like a diesel at idle. Not sure if I would buy another one, unless they made major improvements in the new models.



4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Kia means killed in action

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Kia Sportage

The 2013 was recalled for the FCV. The new software upload killed the performance of my vehicle. My son, who's built turbo's since 1995 says this:This new Software seems to keep the turbo’s waste gate open too much during Wide Open Throttle causing the turbo not to “Spool Up” all the way resulting in boost loss, and obviously power loss. My question is, why update the software, instead of replacing a potentially faulty part that part being the FCV or Fuel Control Valve? Oh yeah, it’s cheaper than re-engineering of the faulty FCV, and replacing it with one that does not have a design flaw, better and even more expensive is, why not replace it with a tried and true fuel pressure regulator. This car is owned by a woman who used to race cars....I know the difference in turbo boost and loss.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Not sure about this car

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Kia Sportage

terrrible mileage i have 2.0 turbo sportage. i only have 600km on it but the fuel consumption is huge, around 13 Liters per 100 km (around 18mpg). It says on the manual that there is a break in period of 5000 km, but i have big doubts that the fuel economy will improve. not sure if i recommend this car to anyone



Talk About The 2013 Sportage

2013 Kia Sportage Discussions See all Started By

Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
03-28-2013
2013 Kia Sportage Honoring Wonder Woman Debuts...


Has anyone had this problem? The 2013 non-turbo Sportage can rev 6,000 rpms. The 2013 KIA Sportage was given a recall on the GDI system that utilized the FCV to control supply of fuel. I had this done...


hsteves
hsteves
02-22-2015
Hated because it was to small Then we got a 2013 Sportage which I also loved. The reason for trading it in was that dealerships were offering a great deal on the AWD Sportages. Both previous cars I h...



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