February 21, 2018

2013 Kia Sorento SX FWD Review

The 2013 Kia Sorento SX arrived at my door during the deluge of wind and rain that was Superstorm Sandy. I have to hand it to the crew and the Sorento that drove up in that mess, well done!  Considered a mid-size crossover vehicle the Sorento can seat up to seven passengers but I would say five is a better number.  It is a fairly narrow car, comfortable and safe feeling and good for small families.

On the interior the SX boasts options for both cooled and heated front seats while XM Sirius radio, bluetooth (on base model too) and and easy to use navigation system come standard.  There is rear a/c and the third row pops up in a snap one seat at a time.  I found it to be roomy in the third row (50/50 split, 60/40 split in second row) and my oldest child loved how wide the seats were in the back.  I was able to fit three booster seats and a car seat into this model and as long as I wasn’t planning on hauling anything or going to the grocery store I had enough room.  There is a removable privacy shade in the back cargo area as well as a net that keeps things neat and tidy when the third row (can fit adults comfortably) is up.   There’s infinity surround sound audio that sounds great and the center-stack navigation system and all the controls are within reach without having to lurch forward each time you want to change a station or the temperature.  Everything on the dashboard and console makes sense.  You don’t have to spend a long time trying to figure out which button does what either.  The one thing I would change is the interior night lighting.  Much of the dash is illuminated in red and it is not a look that I find easy to drive with or very helpful.  The driver’s seat has adjustable lumbar support and a leather-wrapped steering wheel felt like a nice touch.  Standard in the Sorento is a rear-camera and Push Button Start with Smart Key.

Third row up, cargo space that is available. 

On the outside the Sorento SX is a nice looking crossover.  It has sleek styling with front fog lights and front and rear stainless steel trim that is the style now.  There’s a rear spoiler that is standard and the option for dual sunroofs. That is a look I adore.  Heated outside mirrors with turn signal indicators also come standard.  The headlights are the halogen projector beam type and their reach is far and very clear.  At night I found this car to cast a very wide beam that was great for narrow roads and in the suburbs.

Second row with a booster and car seat. 

Safety wise the Sorento has anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, front active head restraints, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags that cover the first and second rows. The brakes felt fine to me. They weren’t mushy and didn’t jerk you around with each bit of pressure.  However, in testing they were a bit slow to take on avearage so that should be kept in mind.  In further government testing the Sorento has a four out of five stars rating when it comes to overall crash protection- four in frontal-impact and five stars for side-impact protection.  It received a rating of  “Good” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) on frontal off-set and side and roof crash tests.  This is the best rating the IIHS gives a vehicle.

The ride in the Sorento is sensitive to touch. I say this because the Sorento’s steering is very responsive. The car handles in a way that is directly related to even the most minute steering input.  Personally, I would like it to be slightly less sensitive as it sometimes made me feel like I didn’t have the control I desired during the drive. The ride is light yet doesn’t feel flimsy on this car. Acceleration is smoother than a lot of other crossovers on the market, which I loved. You don’t feel the transmission kick in and jerk you around at all.   There is enough pick-up in the Sorento to satisfy most drivers and it switches speeds efficiently.  Fuel economy is about 22 mpg with 20 city and 26 on the highway.

The Kia Sorento SX MSRP is $31,700.  Model tested was $35,875.  Highly rated and affordable the Sorento is a good option for small families who want a good value but don’t want to suffer style or driving quality.  The drive is solid and Kia has made many strides when it comes to their vehicles. They are certainly worth a second look.


  1. […] speed bumps can be somewhat tough but many mid-size cars handle the same way.  Like the KIA Sorento the brakes are quick and the steering is responsive.  I didn’t notice numb steering which has […]