2013 Kia Sorento Review
Test drivers say the 2013 Kia Sorento is a good compromise among value, performance and quality, but it may not be roomy or powerful enough for some buyers.
Nearly all automotive critics mention that the base four-cylinder engine on the Sorento lacks power, and suggest that most buyers upgrade to the optional six-cylinder for more power. However, one of the Kia Sorento’s high points is its great fuel economy with the four-cylinder, which beats out every other non-hybrid midsize SUV in its class. Reviewers also say the Sorento has relatively good handling, though the ride may bit a bit more firm than some compact SUV buyers expect.
Most auto writers say the Kia Sorento’s interior is well-made and well-equipped, but it might not be spacious enough for everyone. Its optional third row of seats can limit cargo space, and its second row of seats can feel cramped to some. Critics disagree when it comes to third-row space, with some saying it’s adult-sized and others writing that only children should be relegated to the last row. However, the 2013 Sorento does come standard with features like Bluetooth and a USB input jack that some competitors don’t offer on their base trims, and its price significantly undercuts that of almost every other three-row crossover.
- "With carlike unibody construction, secure handling, and a high level of standard and available technology, this Kia trades on more than good looks.” -- Car and Driver
- "In true Kia tradition, all of this comes at a price that undercuts its rivals. Essentially, the Sorento offers the size and equipment of a more expensive crossover.” -- Edmunds
- "With its good looks, host of amenities and premium options such as ventilated leather seats, the U.S.-built Kia Sorento is a seriously pleasing family vehicle. Throw in Kia's value pricing and its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and the Sorento becomes an even more attractive alternative to rivals like the Chevrolet Equinox and Toyota Highlander.” -- Kelley Blue Book
Other SUVs to Consider
The Toyota Highlander is bigger and roomier than the Kia Sorento, though its base four-cylinder engine’s fuel economy isn’t as quite as good. Like the Sorento, the Highlander offers a V6 and all-wheel drive, and reviewers appreciate its well-built interior. The Highlander also has a better reliability score than the Sorento, in addition to more cargo space. It isn’t quite as maneuverable in small spots, but you’ll get more interior space without sacrificing much fuel economy by opting for the Highlander.
If you don't need three rows of seats, consider the GMC Terrain. It’s a bit smaller but is more maneuverable than the Sorento. The Terrain comes standard with features like a rearview camera, which the Sorento doesn't have, and depending on which engine you opt for, its fuel economy is similar, even in V6 models.
Details: 2013 Kia Sorento
The 2013 Kia Sorento is available in LX, EX or SX trims, with either a four- or six-cylinder engine and a choice between front- or all-wheel drive. Base trims have seating for five but some trims offer an available third-row seat that increases seating capacity to seven. Standard features are typical for the class and include Bluetooth, a USB input jack and a tilt and telescoping steering wheel. Top-of-the-line SX trims come standard with more features, but high-tech features like navigation, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with garage door openers and a heated steering wheel remain extra-cost options.
The Kia Sorento was last redesigned in 2011. Since it hasn’t changed much since then, this review uses research from 2011 and 2012, in addition to 2013.