Written by Tim Marsh:
We’re excited to report that Kia is out with a brand new version of its popular Sportage model. The crossover is available across the country and boasts a number of key updates while preserving the overall quality and style that consumers expect from the South Korean brand. Read on for our 2013 Kia Sportage review.
How’s It Look?
Overall, the 2013 Sportage preserves the best features of its predecessors. The crossover comes in three basic trims: Si, SLi and Platinum. While the Si continues to sport a six-speed manual transmission, SLi and Platinum are controlled by a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic that offers few compromises in the way of efficiency or power.
Kia has also rolled out a number of new comfort, communication and entertainment features to the Platinum line. The 2013 Kia Sportage price ranges from $26,990 for the manual Si to $41,990 for the Platinum diesel.
The 2013 Sportage’s exterior is little changed from previous models. It maintains the sleek, swept-back look of the 2011 and 2012 versions. However, it does add some premium and dealer-order paint colours that weren’t available on previous models. The Si and SLi models come with 17-inch alloy wheels, and the Platinum comes with 18-inch alloy wheels. The respective tyre sizes are 225/60 R17 and 235/55 R18. Meanwhile, Platinum and SLi come with roof rails and a rear spoiler. Platinum even sports a rain sensor that’s new for 2013.
Interior Styling and Comfort
Kia has dramatically improved its interior styling and luxury features in recent years. The interior now features dual-zone air conditioning and a rear centre armrest. While Si and SLi maintain the cloth trim of previous model years, Platinum boasts an optional leather seating package and an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat. Platinum and SLi also include driver-side lumbar support for added comfort. With the rear seats down, the vehicle’s interior luggage capacity more than doubles from 740 litres to nearly 1,550 litres.
Beneath the Bonnet
Of course, even economical Kia crossovers can deliver powerful thrills. Each trim has its own four-cylinder power source: The Si’s 1,998 cc petrol version compares to the SLi’s 2,359 cc petrol powerhouse and the Platinum’s 1,995 cc diesel engine. Although these three engines were all available in previous model years, Kia has chosen to discontinue the petrol engine in the Platinum trim. Given the power and efficiency of the diesel version, it’s unlikely to be missed. Whereas the Si delivers 197 nm of torque at 4,600 rpm, the Platinum turns heads with 392 nm at around 2,000 rpm.
Performance and Precision
With its improved diesel engine, the 2013 Kia’s Platinum trim is actually far more efficient than its Si or SLi counterparts. The Si must settle for a combined efficiency rating of 8.75 litres per 100 km, and the SLi runs through 9.2 litres per 100 km. By contrast, Kia’s Platinum trim sips just 7.5 litres of diesel per 100 km travelled. With carbon emissions of 10 g per km less than the Si version and over 20 g per km less than the SLi, Platinum is also greener than its counterparts.
Many of the 2013 Kia Sportage‘s improvements over past model years concern safety. All trims boast six front and side airbags as well as an automatic shift lock that reduces the likelihood of dangerous accelerations. Side-impact protection, downhill braking and hill-start assist come standard as well, and the Platinum trim adds powerful fog lights to the mix.
A Look at the Competition
The 2013 Kia Sportage has three main competitors: Volkswagen Tiguan, Subaru XV and Mazda CX-5. The 2013 Kia Sportage price is about $1,000 higher than the CX-5, but its added safety features and precision driving features more than make up the difference. The Subaru XV occupies a narrower price range and holds up well on safety and comfort. Meanwhile, the Tiguan is a bit pricier and less adaptable than the Sportage.
The Verdict on the 2013 Kia Sportage
The verdict on our 2013 Kia Sportage review is undeniably favourable. Despite boasting a wealth of features that are typically found in higher-end vehicles, the 2013 Kia Sportage price is well within the reach of most car-buyers.
Are you mulling a 2013 Kia Sportage purchase? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please drop us a comment below.