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Rankings & Research

The 2013 Kia Sportage ranking is based on its score within the 2013 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Kia Sportage has a score of 7.9 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 39 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 8.9
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Kia Sportage Review

The Kia Sportage has sharper handling than most compact SUVs, but its firm ride quality, limited cargo space, and so-so interior materials hold it back in this competitive class.

Pros & Cons

  • Crisp interior styling
  • Zippy available turbocharged engine
  • Harsh ride quality
  • Slim cargo space

2013 Kia Sportage Overview

Is the 2013 Kia Sportage a Good Used SUV?

The 2013 Kia Sportage is a decent option if you’re shopping for a used compact SUV. The Sportage has particularly athletic handling for an SUV, but its jittery ride quality makes this Kia rather uncomfortable on bumpy city streets. Alternatives like the 2013 Chevy Equinox, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4 offer a smoother ride and higher reliability ratings.

Used 2013 Kia Sportage Performance and Interior

Kia offers the 2013 Sportage with two engine options. The Sportage base, LX, and EX models have a four-cylinder engine with 176 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard in the base model only – all other models come with a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available. The engine hustles the SUV up to speed confidently, while returning 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway (20/27 mpg city/highway with AWD). SX models have a turbocharged four-cylinder with 260 horsepower and much stronger passing power, though fuel economy dips to 21/28 mpg city/highway (20/25 mpg with AWD).

The SUV’s firm suspension gives the Sportage athletic, carlike handling. Its steering feels responsive and the brakes provide good stopping power as well. Unfortunately, this stiff suspension also yields a rather poor ride quality – especially with the sport-tuned SX models. Even smaller bumps and potholes tend to upset the SUV’s ride. The Kia Sportage can tow up to 2,000 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about Sportage performance »

The Kia Sportage seats five and features crisp interior styling. That said, many of its cabin plastics feel cheap and hard to the touch. The front seats are supportive and offer good head- and legroom. The rear seats are similarly cozy, with ample room for two average-sized adults to sit comfortably. There are two sets of LATCH connectors for securing child safety seats. Forward visibility is good, but rear visibility is not, due to the Kia’s thick roof pillars and slim rear window. The Sportage offers just 26.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats, and 54.6 cubic feet with these 60/40-split seats folded flat, which is small by class standards.

Kia equips all Sportage models with a CD player, AM/FM/satellite radio, Bluetooth, and a USB input. A touch-screen infotainment system with UVO voice recognition is available, as is a navigation system. Both systems are fairly user-friendly, and each is complemented with well-placed dashboard controls.

Read more about Sportage interior »

Used 2013 Kia Sportage Prices

The price of a used 2013 Sportage ranges from about $11,500 for a base model to around $16,600 for a Sportage SX model with all-wheel drive. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 39 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve researched 39 Kia Sportage reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Kia Sportage?

The 2013 Sportage has average reliability, earning a score of three out of five from J.D. Power.

See Sportage reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Sportage?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Sportage a 2013 Top Safety Pick. The SUV earned the highest rating the IIHS offers (Good) in four out of five areas tested. It earned the lowest rating of Poor in small overlap front crash testing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Sportage a perfect five-star rating in front and side impact testing, and four stars in rollover testing. All-wheel-drive models earned a five-star overall rating, while front-wheel-drive models earned four stars overall.

Kia offers the Sportage with an optional rearview camera and rear parking sensors, but no other advanced safety features are available.

See Sportage safety scores »

Is the 2013 Sportage the Best Model Year to Buy?

If you’re looking for the best value, consider a used 2011 or 2012 Sportage. Kia redesigned the Sportage for the 2011 model year, and the SUV saw no major updates over the next two years. Buying a used 2011 or 2012 model will get you the same features as the 2013 Sportage, but often for a much lower price.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Sportage »

Which Used Kia Sportage Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Sportage comes in four trim levels: base, LX, EX, and SX. Base models have standard AM/FM and satellite radio, a CD player, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary audio inputs, power windows and doors, air conditioning, cruise control, cloth seats, and alloy wheels.

The Kia Sportage LX trim adds remote keyless entry. The Kia Sportage EX trim adds a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, a 4.3-inch touch screen, voice recognition, dual-zone climate control, and fog lights. The Kia Sportage SX trim features a more powerful turbocharged engine and adds leather upholstery, push-button start, and proximity keyless entry. Available features include a sunroof, heated front seats, a ventilated driver’s seat, and a navigation system with a larger 7-inch touch screen.

You may want to consider a certified pre-owned Sportage. 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 Sportage and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Kia Sportage or 2013 Hyundai Tucson?

The Kia Sportage and its Hyundai Tucson cousin are built on the same vehicle platform. While both offer crisp driving dynamics, they also share some common drawbacks, like relatively small cargo spaces and cheap interior plastics. Used Tucson models are typically less expensive. The Tucson also has a more comfortable ride, making it a better option for day-to-day driving.

Which Is Better: 2013 Kia Sportage or 2013 Honda CR-V?

The Honda CR-V is a much better option than the Sportage. In fact, we named it our 2013 Best Compact SUV for Families. The CR-V has higher-quality interior materials, roomier seating and cargo space, a smoother ride, and higher reliability ratings. That said, used CR-V models are often more expensive.

Which Is Better: 2013 Kia Sportage or 2013 Kia Sorento?

The Kia Sorento, a midsize SUV, fixes the main issues of its smaller Sportage sibling. It offers more cargo room and a smoother ride. Used models typically cost more to buy, but bear in mind you’ll also find roomier seating space and an available third row that brings the seating capacity up to seven. The Sorento is also rated to tow 3,500 pounds when equipped with its available V6 engine. Both models earn comparable fuel economy.

Compare the Sportage, Tucson, and CR-V »

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