The 2013 Kia Sorento earns an above average Total Car Score for the Midsize SUVs & Crossovers segment.
The Sorento is one of those rare vehicles that seems to get it all right, which is remarkable given the fact that not very long ago Kia -- along with the other Korean automakers -- was perceived as producing poor quality imitations of the Japanese market leaders. Well, the Sorento is evidence of how far the Koreans have come in vehicle styling, engine development, ride comfort, interior design, you name it.
Sorento’s three engine choices include a high-tech direct-injection four-cylinder that makes great power and also returns the model’s best fuel economy. Plus, all three of Sorento’s engines can be paired with AWD, while many automakers limit their AWD to just V6 powertrains.
Inside there’s plenty of room for five; and while a third-row seat is available, it’s best used by the kids. Note, too, that equipment like Bluetooth and satellite radio is standard, another nice plus.
The few complaints lodged against the Sorento had to do with its lack of third-row seating space and a ride deemed a bit harsh by some.
In its third year of its current generation, the 2013 Kia Sorento sees no major revisions, just some changes to standard and optional equipment. Leather upholstery is now standard in EX models, and the third-row seat is standard in LX V6 models. The UVO infotainment system is now available as an option in LX models; and a new LX Convenience Plus package is on the way, with an eight-way power driver seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a First Aid kit.
The 2013 Kia Sorento is a five-door crossover utility vehicle that can seat up to seven passengers and is offered with a choice of three engines, front- or all-wheel drive, and in three trim levels.
The base Sorento 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces 175 horsepower and 169 pound-feet of torque. A second four-cylinder, with direct injection, makes 191 hp and 181 lb-ft. A 3.5-liter V6 is also available, producing 276 hp and 248 lb-ft. All three engines are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions and can be ordered with the AWD option.
Sorento trim levels start with the LX model, which can be equipped with either the standard 2.4-liter engine or the V6. LX models roll on 17-inch alloy wheels and are equipped with cloth upholstery, power accessories, a tilt/telescope steering wheel, manual air conditioning control, Bluetooth connectivity and an AM/FM/CD/satellite radio audio system.
The EX trim level, available with either the direct-injection four-cylinder or the V6, gets 18-inch wheels, leather-trimmed upholstery, heated front seats, a power driver’s seat, Kia’s UVO infotainment system, backup camera, dual-zone automatic climate control and push-button start.
The top SX trim level is available with the V6 only and receives polished alloy wheels, stainless and chrome exterior trim, an upgraded audio system with HD radio, a cooled driver seat and rear air conditioning.
According to the EPA, the Sorento achieves its best fuel economy with the direct-injection four-cylinder, automatic transmission and 2WD, returning 22 mpg city, 32 highway and 25 combined. The standard four is just a tick below at 21/29/24 mpg. Mating the four-cylinder to a manual transmission drops it a bit more to 20/27/22 mpg, nearly identical to the mileage from the V6: 20/26/22. Adding AWD to the mix nearly equalizes the fuel economy from the two four-cylinders--21/28/23 from the direct-injection motor, 21/27/23 from the standard--while the AWD V6 gets 18/24/20 mpg.
Properly equipped, the 2013 Kia Sorento can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
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