The 2013 Kia Sorento is a midsize crossover by Korean carmaker Kia Motors. When it was launched in 2002, the Sorento was a truck-based SUV that offered off-road capabilities like a traditional SUV did, which was rare for a crossover. At the time of its release, the automotive market had more car-like crossovers that functioned more as family haulers than offroad vehicles.
Unfortunately for Kia, customers wanted car-like crossovers, so the first generation was not much of a hit. Kia changed all that when it released the second generation of the Sorento in 2009. This time, it got a unibody design and the car-like feel that everyone expected from a crossover. Now in its third year of production, the 2013 Kia Sorento is a very good option as a functional and refined crossover that offers value for money.
New For 2013
There’s a new ‘Kia’ badge on the hood, liftgate, and steering wheel of all Sorentos. Leather comes standard in the EX models, and Uvo (Kia’s infotainment system) is now available in all LX models. V-6-powered LX models come with three rows of seats, which are optional in V-6-powered EX models, as well as in SX models. A new LX Convenience Plus Package includes an eight-way power driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, floor mats, and a first-aid kit.
The 2013 Kia Sorento has one of the best exterior designs in its class, and the company has done the right thing in keeping the design the same since 2009. The front end of the Sorento has aggressive, almost slit-like eyes that look a lot like the Acura. The grille and overall shape of the front is similar to the Kia Forte and Optima sedans, but Sorento manages to get a distinctive look of its own. 17-inch wheels come standard with the vehicle, but 18-inch wheels are an option. Other options available with the 2013 Kia Sorento include fog lights, rear spoiler, roof rails, panoramic sunroof, LED taillights, and power-folding side mirrors.
Interior & Cargo
The 2013 Kia Sorento has a decent enough interior, but it is not as attractive as those present in other competitors. In fact, the cabin of the Sorento is also a little less appealing than those in other Kia vehicles. Nevertheless, nothing inside is an eyesore per se. The dash of the vehicle gets the usual audio and climate controls. The instrument gauges are well-placed, with each gauge getting a section. The audio and climate controls are placed high atop the dash for better access. The dash has a slightly hard feel because of the plastics, but the quality of materials used is nothing cheaper than those used in other crossovers. The 2013 Kia Sorento has a central system called Uvo, which has the same functions as that in Ford’s Sync system. The Uvo system helps the driver control several functions through voice commands, including song playback and cellphone connectivity. The system works quite well too, although it takes some time to get used to.
Space inside the 2013 Kia Sorento is just about average. The front seats and second row offer a decent amount of space, but what stands out is the spacious optional third bench. The Sorento is one of the few crossovers of its size that have managed to squeeze in a third seat for adults. In terms of comfort, the front seats take the cake. The second row is comfortable too, but the passenger in the middle may find the position a little uncomfortable. This row also gets a mechanism for moving in front and toward the back when the third row is set up. Most customers would be better off taking this option. The third row has a 50/50-split arrangement and can comfortably carry adults. With the third row folded down, the 2013 Kia Sorento offers a cargo space of 72.5 cubic feet, which is almost equal to the cargo space in the RAV4 and CR-V.
The 2013 Kia Sorento has anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, front active head restraints, side airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for the first two rows as standard. The stopping distance of the vehicle is 131 feet from 60 mph, which is slightly less than the average distance recorded by other crossovers.
The base model of the 2013 Kia Sorento gets a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers 175 horsepower and 169 lb-ft of torque. It is combined with a six-speed, automatic transmission and front-wheel drive system, although an all-wheel drive option is available. With this engine, the vehicle goes from standstill to 60 mph in 9.9 seconds, which is slower than many of its rivals. An optional engine is also available, which is the supercharged version of the same 2.4-liter engine that boosts output to 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. This engine is standard for the midrange Sorento EX. However, it performs only marginally better than the base engine. The top-end 2013 Kia Sorento SX has a bigger, 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that delivers 276 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque, and it offers the best acceleration. The 60 mph timing for the Sorento EX is 7.6 seconds, making it faster than a lot of its competitors.
Acceleration may be relatively poor with the base engine, but it does offer enough power for light-load runs and city drives. However, it quickly loses steam when the number of passengers or cargo weight increases. This is where the direct-inject engine comes into the picture, but it too lacks the power for heavy-duty runs. The top-end V-6 engine helps here, and customers looking to carry heavy cargo or lots of passengers should go for the SX.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Kia Sorento
- Chevrolet Equinox
- Honda Pilot
- Toyota RAV4