For the last several years Kia has been slumbering in the auto industry but with the 2013 Kia Sportage the brand is breaking out of its mold and truly taking its place as a frontrunner in the crossover utility vehicle class. Unbelievable fuel economy appeals to the needs of the contemporary consumer while the sporty capabilities ensure that the enjoyment of driving is not sacrificed to practicality. This is a crossover in its truest sense. Drivers get the power and performance of an SUV but the smaller size and comfort of a sedan.
New For 2013
All Sportages have sun-visor extenders and power-folding exterior mirrors as standard equipment. There’s a new Kia badge on the hood, liftgate, and steering wheel of all models. LED accent lights are standard on EX and LX models and the SX models get LED daytime running lights. A Blue Interior Package, only available on the EX, includes dark blue cloth seats, interior accents, and a black headliner.
The reimagined 2013 Kia Sportage is showing that the brand is all about evolution without feeling held back by the need for every new generation of a vehicle to closely resemble previous incarnations. Those familiar with Kia recognize the signature oval trademark positioned prominently but may be at a loss to find other elements that seem recycled from previous versions of the Sportage.
The fresh styling of the grille and rounded, lush curves of the front end are made even smoother by headlight casings that protrude only slightly and curve gracefully with the rest of the front. In contrast to this flow is the horizontal inset positioned almost entirely for aesthetic purposes. The design of this model is a more firmly planted appearance with an additional two inches of width as well as two fewer inches in height of the roofline, all supported on 16-inch wheels. Small windows somewhat diminish the soft profile and smooth lines of the Sportage while a depression positioned in the lower portion of the door deliberately reduces the span of the sheet metal door. The effect of this reduction is a visual shrinking of the overall mass of the vehicle.
The back of the Sportage features the same oval trademark of the Kia make, which seems to be emphasized by the stylized lines that point the attention toward the trademark. Turn indicators seem to be positioned awkwardly. The deep positioning in the rear bumper seems to favor the attention of a driver who is following too closely, while being difficult to spot for drivers who are following at an acceptable distance.
Interior & Cargo
While the interior of the 2013 Kia Sportage can’t be described as flashy, it is well-designed and appropriately user-friendly to support comfortable, enjoyable rides. Five passengers can ride, while a folding back seat allows for a few different configurations that support additional cargo space without completely eliminating the back-seat passenger capability. Cloth upholstery covers acceptably comfortable seats that provide support for both the back and the thigh. Adjustability for the front-passenger seat is at a minimum, however, with only four options available. Leather trim is available as an option, as is heating and ventilation in the front seats.
Many of the best features for the interior of the Sportage are only available as options. This includes a telescopic steering wheel, keyless entry, and a power driver’s seat. Drivers in warmer climates seem drawn to the option of a cooled glove box that allows for the keeping of cold drinks.
The cargo space of the 2013 Kia Sportage is rather disappointing for anyone who would like to carry any more than just a few small items. At only 10 cubic feet, the Sportage is way in the back of the line when it comes to cargo space. The 60/40 split of the back seats allows the back seats to be folded down for additional space.
Kia puts care into its safety features but lingers behind some of the competition in terms of the more advanced safety technology options. Anti-lock brakes and an electronic stability system provide security when driving. They ensure that the Sportage remains in control and the driver can overcome any emergencies or dangerous driving conditions more easily and effectively. Additional rear parking sensors are available for upgraded versions as well, making the 2013 Kia Sportage a little safer and easier to drive for those who do a lot of parallel parking.
The leather upholstery with the heated and ventilated seats is an option for those who like to add that little bit of luxury comfort. The panoramic moonroof is yet another example of the reach towards luxury car that the Kia Sportage makes. With a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine available and a smooth, six-speed transmission available in both automatic and manual, the Sportage doesn’t lack in power. While front drive is standard, all-wheel drive is available for those who want a little more energy. While it’s a bit of a stiff drive, the available options can lessen the impact a bit. Also of note is the lower fuel economy the Sportage gets despite its higher horsepower. With around 22/27 mpg city/highway driving, the Sportage is an economically friendly SUV option.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Kia Sportage
- Hyundai Tucson
- Ford Escape
- Honda CR-V
- Mitsubishi Outlander Sport