2013 Kia Sportage Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jul 21, 2013
  • Power-folding side mirrors are standard on all trim levels
  • Special interior package is offered on EX trim level
  • 2013 model displays new Kia badging
  • Sport suspension, 18-inch wheels are available
  • Offers maximum 54.6 cubic feet of cargo space
  • Choice of two engines includes a turbocharged 4-cylinder


The 2013 Kia Sportage is a compact crossover SUV that was introduced in 1993, and initially sold best in Europe and Asia. It gradually caught on in U.S. markets, and is now in its third generation. The 2013 Kia Sportage comes with a choice of a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine or a turbocharged 2.0-liter model. The Sportage seats 5, and is available in a base model plus the LX, EX, and SX trim levels. Competitors include the Suzuki Grand Vitara, Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Kia Sportage is available in seven exterior colors: Signal Red, Black Cherry, Clear White, Mineral Silver, Sand Track, Twilight Blue, and Bright Silver. Not all colors are available on all trim levels. The base model features 16-inch alloy wheels, body-color bumpers and door handles, chrome front grille, projection headlights, front LED accent lights, front and rear intermittent windshield wipers, and dual body-colored power mirrors. The LX trim level features 17-inch alloy wheels and adds LED turn signal indicators to the exterior mirrors, as well as front solar and rear privacy glass. The EX V6 upgrades to 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic light control, fog lights, and chrome exterior door handles. The SX features upgraded 18-inch wheels, power-folding outside mirrors, LED daytime running lights, and a black gloss and chrome front grille. A panoramic sunroof and heated side mirrors are optional on some trim levels.

Interior Features

The base Sportage model includes black or grey cloth upholstery with a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. The EX trim level gets stain-resistant fabric covering and a 6-way power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support; the EX's rear seat is auto-folding. The EX trim level also adds leather wrapping to the steering wheel and gearshift knob. The SX trim level steps up to black or grey leather seating (heated front seats are optional) and aluminum scuff plates. Other standard interior features on all trim levels include an AM/FM/CD/MP3/SiriusXM audio system, USB/auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth, trip computer, power windows and locks, manual air conditioning, tilt steering column, and a fold-away center armrest with cupholders. The LX trim level adds remote keyless entry. The EX trim level adds a premium infotainment system, rear camera display, reversing warning system, power windows with one-touch up/down, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The SX adds push-button start and the Supervision meter cluster. Maximum cargo space is 54.6 cubic feet with the rear seat folded.

Optional Features

On the Sportage EX, the Blue package of options includes a blue interior trim with blue seat inserts and dark blue interior accents. (It's not available with the Sand Track or Signal Red exterior.) Many of the standard features on the upper trim levels are available on the LX trim level as part of the Convenience and Navigation option packages. The EX can add some SX features with the EX Premium package, while the SX Premium package includes heated front seats, air-cooled driver's seat, panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, upgraded exterior mirrors, and a cargo cover. A Navigation package is offered on the two upper trim levels. Individual options include all-weather floor mats, cargo mat, cargo tray, carpeted floor mats, tow hitch, auto-dimming mirror with compass and HomeLink, side step bars, and wheel locks.

Under the Hood

Kia Sportage buyers have a choice of two engines. All trim levels except the SX come with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 176 horsepower and 168 lb.-ft. of torque. The Sportage SX is equipped with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 260 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft. of torque. The base Sportage comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive (FWD). Sportage LX, EX and SX trim levels have a standard 6-speed automatic transmission and offer Kia's DynaMax all-wheel-drive (AWD) system as an option.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Kia Sportage are:
  • Sportage 2.4-liter with FWD and manual transmission: 21/29/24 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Sportage 2.4-liter with FWD and automatic transmission: 22/32/25 mpg
  • Sportage 2.4-liter with AWD and automatic transmission: 21/28/24 mpg
  • Sportage 2.0-liter with FWD and automatic transmission: 22/29/24 mpg
  • Sportage 2.0-liter with AWD and automatic transmission: 21/26/23 mpg


The 2013 Sportage is equipped with 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, 6 air bags, hill-descent control, downhill brake control, and traction and stability control. A rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring system, and other safety features are optional on the LX trim level and standard on higher trim levels.

In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), despite individual test ratings that are identical, the 2013 Sportage AWD received 5 stars (out of 5) in overall crash-test rating, while the front-drive model received 4 stars. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2013 Kia Sportage received a rating of "Good"--the Institute's highest--for moderate overlap front, side impact, and roof strength tests.
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