2013 Kia Sportage Review
Though test drivers say it's not as comfortable or spacious as rival SUVs, the 2013 Kia Sportage stands out with a strong safety score, attractive styling, nimble handling and plenty of standard features.
Automotive journalists say that the Kia Sportage’s base four-cylinder engine provides enough power for just about any driving situation. However, most critics prefer the available turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which they say makes the Kia Sportage one of the quickest SUVs in the segment. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. Reviewers haven’t said much about either transmission, though one critic comments that the automatic offered smooth, responsive shifts. While auto critics say that the Sportage’s firm suspension means that it isn’t the smoothest-riding compact SUV in the class, they also note that the 2013 Sportage offers composed handling that rivals like the Jeep Patriot can’t match.
Inside, the 2013 Kia Sportage offers less cargo and passenger space than a number of SUVs in the class. Some critics say that the Sportage’s seats are uncomfortable, and that rivals like the Subaru Forester and Honda CR-V have more back-seat passenger space. Additionally, a few reviewers note that the 2013 Sportage’s stylish exterior design and thick roof pillars take a toll on outward visibility, and that the cabin, while stylish, could use higher-quality materials. Despite these complaints, the Sportage comes with more standard features than many SUVs in the class, and reviewers point out that its electronic features are easy to use. The 2013 Kia Sportage comes standard with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, while options include heated front seats, push-button start, navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control and a panoramic moonroof.
- "Sportage's racy styling sacrifices some outward visibility, and fuel economy falls a bit below par for the class. Otherwise, Sportage delivers a host of standard features, an impressive list of luxury options, and the bonus of Kia's strong warranty." -- Consumer Guide
- "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." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "This time around, the third-generation Sportage offers a near-ideal balance of style and substance, with an eye-catching look and a lively driving character that many of its competitors can't match." -- Edmunds (2012)
- "Everyone also loved the Sportage's lowest as-tested price, lofty level of equipment, and standout styling." -- Motor Trend (2012)
Other Cars to Consider
If you like the Sportage’s car-like ride, but want a compact SUV with a spacious back seat, consider the Subaru XV Crosstrek. It’s not as powerful as the Sportage, but the XV Crosstrek gets great fuel economy and comes with all-wheel drive as standard equipment.
The Ford Escape offers a comfortable back seat, good fuel economy and more cargo space than you’ll find in the Sportage. Additionally, reviewers say that the Escape’s nimble handling and car-like ride make it one of the most fun-to-drive SUVs in the class.
Details: 2013 Kia Sportage
The 2013 Kia Sportage seats five and has standard front-wheel drive. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual come standard, while a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are optional. The 2013 Sportage is available in base, LX, EX and SX trims. Each trim adds to the Sportage’s list of standard features. The SX trim also includes a more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Aside from the addition of optional power-folding side mirrors, the Sportage sees few changes for 2013. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2011 and 2012, as well as the current model year.