Flash Drive: 2013 KIA Sportage

2013 KIA SportageBy Bruce Caldwell

Model Tested: 2013 KIA Sportage SX AWD

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, 260 hp, 269 lb/ft

Transmission: 6-speed automatic, All Wheel Drive, Locking Center Differential

EPA Ratings: 20-mpg city/25-mpg highway

Base Price: $28,400

As Tested: $32,400


  • Peppy turbocharged engine combined with athletic body produces a very sporty compact SUV
  • Excellent AWD system
  • Welcome Hill Descent feature


  • Beyond stretch out front legroom
  • Excellent headroom
  • Comfortable, supportive seats, soft headrests
  • Heated front seats
  • Air-cooled driver seat
  • Adult size rear seat with flat floor
  • Excellent audio and navigation systems


  • Spacious cargo areas with back seat up or down
  • Flat cargo floor
  • Excellent compartmentalized under floor storage
  • Split rear seat folds almost flat
  • Big hatch opening

WOW Factors:

  • Strong, responsive turbocharged engine and excellent 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Fun to drive in all types of weather
  • Huge panoramic sunroof
  • Heated and cooled driver’s seat


  • Sporty engine and our spirited driving held fuel economy to high teens
  • Substantial rear roof pillars hamper rearward visibility

Bottom Line:

The 2013 Kia Sportage SX is great fun to drive, highly competent in inclement weather, solidly built, and a strong value. The quality and content levels exceed expectations for a compact SUV in this price bracket.