• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    2013 Kia Sportage SX AWD


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    June 5, 2013

    “The Power To Surprise”

    This was Kia’s tagline back in early to mid 2000’s. It was supposed to reflect that the automaker had grown from its cheap car roots to being somewhere in the range of mediocre. It is sad Kia doesn’t use that tagline anymore since now, their lineup really does have “The Power To Surprise”.

    Case in point, the 2013 Kia Sportage. The longest running nameplate in Kia’s lineup has changed from a rough and ready compact SUV to a compact crossover with some very distinctive looks. But is that all there is to the Sportage's "Power to Surprise"? I spent a week with a 2013 Kia Sportage SX to find out.

    gallery_10485_660_452644.jpg

    Let's start with the exterior; a dramatic departure from previous models. The Sportage looks be something you would expect to see from the Europeans, not Kia. Up front is Kia's family grille and headlights with a strip of LEDs running along the outside edge. The side profile shows the curvy lines and sloping roofline. Also the doors feature scalloping to add a bit more character. The back is very smooth and clean.

    gallery_10485_660_215215.jpg

    There are a couple of problems with Sportage’s design. The thick D-Pillars and sloping roofline make outward visibility somewhat null and void. Thankfully my test Sportage had a back-up camera to help me out somewhat. However, I was wishing for a blind-spot monitoring system whenever I was on the freeway. The other problem deals with the tailgate release. Any idea where it is? If you said the bottom edge, then give yourself a pat on the back. The problem with this location is that its a bit of stretch to get there. I’m hoping a power tailgate is in the cards for the Sportage.

    Heading inside, you get the impression that Kia had locked their exterior and interior design teams into two separate rooms and weren't allowed to see each others work till the Sportage was put into production. It doesn’t seem the interior really belongs here at all. Also, I found most of the dash materials to be of the hard plastic variety. This is somewhat of a disappointment since Kia has made great strides in adding more soft touch materials. Build quality is very high with no apparent gaps or trim pieces loose.

    gallery_10485_660_1211035.jpg

    Up front, driver and passengers get power adjustments and heated leather seats. The driver also gets a cooled seat, a surprising feature to find in the entry-level compact crossover class. The center stack is well laid out and controls are within easy reach. My test Sportage also came equipped with the optional navigation system which in my books is still one of the best out there for its ease of use and amount of features. In the backseat, headroom is somewhat tight due to the panoramic sunroof. Legroom though is very good.

    Under the hood, you’ll find two different engines. LX and EX models use a 2.4L inline-four producing 176 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque. The SX model uses a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with direct-injection making 260 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. That is mated to a six-speed automatic to either the front-wheels or my test vehicle’s AWD system.

    gallery_10485_660_361369.jpg

    With torque arriving between 1,850 and 3,000 rpm, the Sportage SX really scoots. This is very noticeable when you’re trying to make a pass or you stomp on the accelerator. Also noticeable is how much time it takes for the turbo to spool up. You’re wondering where the power is when you leave a stop and a few moments, the power arrives. It isn’t a deal breaker per say, but adjust your driving habits accordingly. The six-speed does a very impressive job of providing smooth shifts.

    The EPA rates the 2013 Sportage SX at 20 City/25 Highway/22 Combined. During my time, I saw an average of around 21 MPG.

    The Sportage SX’s ride attempts to be sporty with a firmer suspension. However the suspension doesn’t quite make it the Sportage SX feel sporty at all. It does reduce body rolls, but also makes for a very unpleasant ride - especially if you live in area where the roads are less than perfect. Steering is okay with the system providing a good amount of weight.

    Kia has got half of the recipe right with the Sportage SX. The turbo engine adds quite the punch and the exterior design could be in an art museum for how beautiful it looks. However the interior looks to be a bit of an afterthought and the ride needs some finessing. If Kia can work on those problems, the Sportage could be one of the best in class.

    gallery_10485_660_56626.jpg

    Disclaimer: Kia provided the Sportage, Insurance, and one tank of gas.

    Year - 2013

    Make – Kia

    Model – Sportage

    Trim – SX AWD

    Engine – 2.0L Turbocharged GDI Four-Cylinder

    Driveline – All-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic

    Horsepower @ RPM – 260 @ 6,000 RPM

    Torque @ RPM – 269 @ 1,850-3,000 RPM

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/25/22

    Curb Weight – 3,355 lbs

    Location of Manufacture – Gwangju, South Korea

    Base Price - $28,400.00

    Estimated As-Tested Price - $32,450.00* (Includes $850.00 destination charge)

    Options:

    SX Premium Package - $2,000

    Navigation Package - $1,200

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    0


    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    There are no comments to display.



    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Popular Stories

  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      Kia Motors America Announces Record November Sales
      Forte and Sportage Post Best-Ever November Totals; Year-to-Date Sales Up 3.8% IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced record November sales of 52,504 units, a 15.3 percent increase over the same period last year. The brand's seventh monthly sales record of the year included:
      Best-ever November sales of the Forte family of compact cars and Sportage CUV Double digit increases over November 2015 for five models: Rio, Soul, Forte, Sportage and Sedona "With the election occupying everyone's attention early in the month, sales picked up throughout November and culminated in a strong Black Friday weekend as our 'Holidays On Us' sales event drew significant showroom traffic," said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and EVP, KMA. "With third party experts continuing to validate the new Kia as a world-class automaker, and the arrivals of the all-new Cadenza and first-ever turbocharged Soul, we are well positioned to finish strong and carry that momentum into the New Year."
        MONTH OF NOVEMBER
      YEAR-TO-DATE
      Model
      2016
      2015
      2016
      2015
      Rio
      1,440
      898
      27,431
      22,745
      Forte
      8,111
      5,010
      95,732
      73,508
      Optima
      12,330
      13,048
      111,631
      145,732
      Cadenza
      268
      847
      4,310
      6,745
      K900
      52
      228
      754
      2,362
      Sportage
      5,608
      4,211
      74,859
      47,695
      Sorento
      9,698
      9,023
      102,951
      103,377
      Sedona
      2,515
      2,243
      42,236
      34,439
      Soul
      12,482
      10,045
      133,341
      134,974
      Total
      52,504
      45,553
      593,245
      571,577
    • By William Maley
      When I go back and look at the various Kia Optimas I have driven for Cheers & Gears, there has been one variant that I haven’t driven, the 2.0L turbo-four. But this changed back over the summer when a 2016 Kia Optima SXL came into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit bureau for a week-long evaluation. The SXL serves as the Optima’s flagship trim with more premium materials and the turbo-four.
      As I mentioned in my Optima EX review from earlier this year, the redesigned Optima looks familiar to the previous model. But that isn’t a bad thing per say. It is still as sharp looking as the previous model and the changes done such as a new trunk lid, LED taillights, a smaller grille, and reshaped headlights. The SXL takes it a step further with a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, Turbo badging on the fender vents, and a little bit more chrome. Finished in a dark blue, the Optima SXL is damn good looking midsize sedan. You won’t find many differences in the SXL’s interior compared to other Optima’s. The key one is the seats being wrapped Nappa leather with a quilted pattern. If I am being honest, I can’t really tell difference between the Nappa leather and the standard leather used on other Kia models.  But what I can tell the difference with is the materials used in the SXL’s interior. Kia swaps the soft-touch plastic used on the dash and door panels for stitched leatherette. This is to give the impression that you’re in something more expensive and it works very well. The Optima SXL’s backseat is slightly tighter than the one found in the Optima EX. Why? The SXL comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard, which eats into headroom. Let’s talk about the engine. The SXL features a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. Leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to fully wake up and you can’t help but wonder where is the power. At first, I thought this new 2.0L developed a bad case of turbo-lag. But I soon realized that it was a lazy throttle that was causing this issue. This is something we have been noticing in recent Hyundai and Kia models equipped with the turbo engine. Once you get over the lazy throttle, the engine moves the Optima with some authority. Merging onto a freeway or making a pass is no problem as the turbo quickly spools up and gives the necessary thrust. It doesn’t hurt the engine is very refined. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 22 City/32 Highway/25 Combined. I achieved a not too shabby 26.1 mpg average for the week. One of my biggest complaints about the last Optima I drove was the uncomfortable ride. The tuning on the EX model let in more bumps and road imperfections inside than what I was expecting. To my surprise, the SXL featured a more comfortable ride. Despite featuring larger wheels, the SXL was able to iron out most bumps and imperfections. I can’t explain why there is a vast difference in terms of ride quality between the two trims at this time. The SXL does retain the sharp handling that we liked in the Optima EX. Body motions are kept in check and the steering provides a nice heft when turning. Some will lament that the steering doesn’t have the same feel as something like the Mazda6, but this has to be Kia’s best effort yet.  The Optima SXL begins at $35,790 and that includes every option available on the Optima as standard equipment - 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, a Harman/Kardon audio system, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, surround view camera system, and much more. Some might balk at the price. But considering what the SXL brings to the table, along with its improved ride quality, it is very much worth the price. Plus, you might be able to work out a deal to where you’ll be able to cut the price. We’ve seen dealers cutting about $2,000 to $4,000 off Optima SXLs in an effort improve sales of the midsize sedan. Who knows, you might be able to get one of best equipped and decent driving midsize sedans at a surprising price. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Optima SXL, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Kia
      Model: Optima
      Trim: SXL
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 245 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,350-4,000 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/25
      Curb Weight: 3,594 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: West Point, Georgia
      Base Price: $35,790
      As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      N/A

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      When I go back and look at the various Kia Optimas I have driven for Cheers & Gears, there has been one variant that I haven’t driven, the 2.0L turbo-four. But this changed back over the summer when a 2016 Kia Optima SXL came into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit bureau for a week-long evaluation. The SXL serves as the Optima’s flagship trim with more premium materials and the turbo-four.
      As I mentioned in my Optima EX review from earlier this year, the redesigned Optima looks familiar to the previous model. But that isn’t a bad thing per say. It is still as sharp looking as the previous model and the changes done such as a new trunk lid, LED taillights, a smaller grille, and reshaped headlights. The SXL takes it a step further with a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, Turbo badging on the fender vents, and a little bit more chrome. Finished in a dark blue, the Optima SXL is damn good looking midsize sedan. You won’t find many differences in the SXL’s interior compared to other Optima’s. The key one is the seats being wrapped Nappa leather with a quilted pattern. If I am being honest, I can’t really tell difference between the Nappa leather and the standard leather used on other Kia models.  But what I can tell the difference with is the materials used in the SXL’s interior. Kia swaps the soft-touch plastic used on the dash and door panels for stitched leatherette. This is to give the impression that you’re in something more expensive and it works very well. The Optima SXL’s backseat is slightly tighter than the one found in the Optima EX. Why? The SXL comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard, which eats into headroom. Let’s talk about the engine. The SXL features a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. Leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to fully wake up and you can’t help but wonder where is the power. At first, I thought this new 2.0L developed a bad case of turbo-lag. But I soon realized that it was a lazy throttle that was causing this issue. This is something we have been noticing in recent Hyundai and Kia models equipped with the turbo engine. Once you get over the lazy throttle, the engine moves the Optima with some authority. Merging onto a freeway or making a pass is no problem as the turbo quickly spools up and gives the necessary thrust. It doesn’t hurt the engine is very refined. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 22 City/32 Highway/25 Combined. I achieved a not too shabby 26.1 mpg average for the week. One of my biggest complaints about the last Optima I drove was the uncomfortable ride. The tuning on the EX model let in more bumps and road imperfections inside than what I was expecting. To my surprise, the SXL featured a more comfortable ride. Despite featuring larger wheels, the SXL was able to iron out most bumps and imperfections. I can’t explain why there is a vast difference in terms of ride quality between the two trims at this time. The SXL does retain the sharp handling that we liked in the Optima EX. Body motions are kept in check and the steering provides a nice heft when turning. Some will lament that the steering doesn’t have the same feel as something like the Mazda6, but this has to be Kia’s best effort yet.  The Optima SXL begins at $35,790 and that includes every option available on the Optima as standard equipment - 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, a Harman/Kardon audio system, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, surround view camera system, and much more. Some might balk at the price. But considering what the SXL brings to the table, along with its improved ride quality, it is very much worth the price. Plus, you might be able to work out a deal to where you’ll be able to cut the price. We’ve seen dealers cutting about $2,000 to $4,000 off Optima SXLs in an effort improve sales of the midsize sedan. Who knows, you might be able to get one of best equipped and decent driving midsize sedans at a surprising price. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Optima SXL, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Kia
      Model: Optima
      Trim: SXL
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 245 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,350-4,000 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/25
      Curb Weight: 3,594 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: West Point, Georgia
      Base Price: $35,790
      As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      N/A
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)