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#23

in Used Midsize SUVs $20K to $25K

Avg. Price Paid: $19,068 - $26,508
Original MSRP: $23,150 - $33,400
MPG: 21 City / 30 Hwy
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2013 Kia Sorento Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2013 Kia Sorento isn’t a snappy performer, but reviewers say that it’ll get you where you need to go. Its ride is firm but not too bumpy, and its base engine feels underpowered to most. However, the base Sorento’s fuel economy is so good that some buyers may be willing to make the sacrifice in performance for such significant gains at the pump.

  • "Despite such a generous amount of passenger and cargo space, this Kia still feels maneuverable and achieves decent fuel economy.” -- Edmunds
  • "Impressive dynamic handling and an attractive interior are but two of the many positives. Just skip the harsh ride of the top-level SX trim. You'll thank us later.” -- Car and Driver

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Kia Sorento comes standard with a 2.4-liter, 175-horsepower four-cylinder engine in LX and EX trims. However, adding Kia’s optional direct-injection fuel system can bump the four-cylinder’s power up to 191 horsepower. A 276-horsepower V6 engine is optional on LX and EX trims and comes standard on top-of-the-line SX trims. The Sorento can tow up to 3,500 pounds in V6 trims. According to the EPA, the base Sorento trims with two-wheel drive and the four-cylinder engine can net 21/29 mpg city/highway, which is very good for a three-row SUV. Top-of-the-line V6 models with all-wheel drive get 18/24 mpg, which is still better than most competitors.

Test drivers say that the Sorento’s base engine can feel underpowered in most situations. Most say that the optional direct injection adds enough power that most drivers should be happy, but that people who intend to carry lots of other people, tow heavy things or fill up the cargo hold with heavy gear will want to opt for the V6.

  • "The 2013 Kia Sorento's base 2.4-liter engine feels punchy enough around town and with light loads, but struggles a bit with extra passengers and cargo. The extra power generated from the available direct-injected four-cylinder helps, and we suspect the majority of buyers will be happy with this midlevel choice.” -- Edmunds
  • "Models with the 175-horsepower 4-cylinder engine are not what you'd call fast; they have merely adequate passing punch. … With either engine, the transmission is smooth and responsive." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "Base four-cylinder is slow and barely beats V-6 fuel economy." -- Car and Driver (2012)

Handling and Braking

The 2013 Sorento comes standard with front-wheel drive on all trims, and all-wheel drive is available on all trim levels as well. Reviewers note that the Kia Sorento rides fairly stiffly, but that it does a good job of smoothing out major bumps in the road rather than amplifying them. Auto writers also say that the Sorento’s steering is direct and that its body lean is well-controlled in turns.

  • "We're also impressed with the Sorento's handling ability and its direct response to steering inputs; this is one of the more enjoyable small family crossovers to drive. The ride quality is a little firmer than some other models in this class, but it should still suit most folks just fine.” -- Edmunds
  • "All Sorento models ride firmly, but they exhibit good overall composure and bump absorption." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

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