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2013 Kia Sorento Review

If you want an attractive and high-quality cabin, a used 2013 Kia Sorento is worth considering. However, the Sorento ranks in the middle of its class because it falls behind rivals in cargo space, engine power, and reliability. 

Pros & Cons

  • Straightforward UVO infotainment system
  • Good fuel economy estimates
  • Underpowered base engine
  • Cramped second row
  • Below-average reliability rating

Rankings & Research

The 2013 Kia Sorento's #13 ranking is based on its score within the 2013 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Kia Sorento has a score of 7.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 55 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Kia Sorento Overview

Is the 2013 Kia Sorento a Good Used SUV?

A used 2013 Kia Sorento is a great choice if you want a pleasant cabin. It’s good-looking, well-constructed, comes with two or three rows, and has user-friendly features. Still, this midsize SUV isn't ideal for large families, as it has a cramped third row and less cargo space than rivals. You’ll need the available V6 engine if you plan to carry a full complement of passengers and luggage often.  

Used 2013 Kia Sorento Performance and Interior

The 2013 Kia Sorento has a 175-horsepower four-cylinder engine that delivers lackluster power for the average commute. An available direct-injection four-cylinder boosts horsepower to 191, slightly increasing the SUV's speed. However, the available 276-horsepower V6 available in upper trims has the most satisfying acceleration and is best for hauling lots of people and cargo. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard; all-wheel drive is available. The Sorento’s base engine earns good fuel economy estimates: 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA. The Kia Sorento feels composed and its steering is accurate around corners. Still, its ride is on the stiff side, so you may feel road imperfections.

Read more about Sorento performance »

Inside, the 2013 Kia Sorento features a handsome cabin made with good-quality materials. The base model seats five. Upper trims have a third row that increases seating capacity to seven. There are complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors located in the second-row outboard seats, and one upper tether anchor in the second-row middle seat. The front seats offer comfort and a high seating position that provides excellent forward sightlines. The second row doesn’t offer enough space to comfortably fit three passengers, but the available third row has decent space for two. There is 37 cubic feet of space behind the Sorento's second row. Three-row models have 72.5 cubic feet of cargo room with the two rear rows folded, which is less space than in most 3-row competitors.

Kia equipped the Sorento with a number of standard features, including Bluetooth, an auxiliary jack, and a USB port. Some used models include push-button start with a proximity key, navigation, a premium 10-speaker Infinity surround-sound stereo, or Kia's user-friendly UVO infotainment system.

Read more about Sorento interior »

Used 2013 Kia Sorento Prices

The average price paid for a 2013 Sorento ranges from about $12,600 for the base trim up to about $18,000 for a fully loaded model. 

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We Did the Research for You: 55 Reviews Analyzed

Our used car rankings are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews alongside data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 55 Kia Sorento reviews to help you decide if the 2013 Sorento is the right used SUV for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Kia Sorento?

The 2013 Sorento has a reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power. That’s below average for the industry as a whole, and lower than most midsize SUVs' scores.

See Sorento reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Sorento?

The 2013 Kia Sorento earned strong safety scores. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Kia its highest score in all four crash tests and named it a Top Safety Pick. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2013 Sorento four out of five stars for overall safety, as well as in the frontal and rollover crash tests. The model earned five stars in the side crash test.

A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are available in all trims.

See Sorento safety scores »

Is the 2013 Sorento the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Sorento is the final model year of a generation that launched for 2011. You can save money with earlier Sorentos – including the 2012 model, which is nearly identical to the 2013 Sorento. However, you should also consider the redesigned 2014 Kia Sorento, which adds available upgrades like a power liftgate, blind spot monitoring, and refreshed interior and exterior styling.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Sorento »

Which Used Kia Sorento Is Right for Me?

The Sorento has three trims: LX, EX, and SX. Sorento LX and EX trims come with a four-cylinder engine, and both are available with a V6 that comes standard in the Sorento SX.  The Sorento LX comes with typical standard features for the segment, including Bluetooth, an auxiliary input jack, a USB port, and steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. The Sorento EX adds standard features like leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone temperature control, push-button start, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and the UVO infotainment system. It also offers available features not found in the base model, including power-folding side mirrors, voice-controlled navigation, and a panoramic sunroof (V6 model only).

The Sorento SX adds luxury amenities like rear air conditioning, a cooled driver's seat, some styling upgrades, and a UVO infotainment system with a premium Infinity audio system and HD Radio.  

The Sorento's low reliability rating is motivation to consider a certified pre-owned model. Kia’s certified pre-owned vehicles receive the balance of the original 10-year/100,000-mile new-car powertrain warranty, plus a one-year/12,000-mile Platinum warranty for non-powertrain parts. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Kia warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Kia certified pre-owned program »

2013 Kia Sorento and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Kia Sorento or 2013 Chevrolet Traverse?

If you want space, the Chevrolet Traverse is the way to go. It has a roomier third row than the 3-row Sorento and nearly 44 more cubic feet of overall cargo space. The Chevy Traverse also earns better safety and reliability scores than the Sorento. We named it our 2013 Best 3-Row SUV for Families.

Which Is Better: 2013 Kia Sorento or 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe?

Hyundai offers the Santa Fe in two models: the 3-row Santa Fe and the 2-row Santa Fe Sport. The Santa Fe Sport is more cramped than the Sorento, but the 3-row Santa Fe model is roomier. It has more cargo space than the Sorento, as well as a sliding second row for additional legroom. The Santa Fe's base four-cylinder engine manages to produce peppy acceleration while using slightly less fuel than the Sorento's underpowered four-cylinder. We named the Santa Fe our 2013 Best 3-Row SUV for the Money.

Compare the Sorento, Traverse, and Santa Fe »

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