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2013 Kia Sorento SX FWD Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Featured, Kia, SUV, Test Drives

2013 Kia Sorento SX Beauty Right Done Small


The new 2013 Kia Sorento, Kia’s first vehicle to sell more than 100,000 units in a single year, brings to CUV customers several upgrades and new standard amenities.  Since its launch, Sorento has offered discerning consumers a refined and value-minded CUV with class-leading power while delivering outstanding fuel economy, a full roster of standard comfort and convenient features and an impressive array of safety equipment.

I tested the new SX model that was loaded with luxury, comfort, convenience and infotainment features that made the ride even more functional and enjoyable-on short or long drives.

2013 Kia Sorento SX Beauty Side Done Small

Sorento employs a unibody design with the ability to comfortably seat up to seven passengers, and represents a modern CUV that is just the right size for today’s active lifestyle singles, couples and families the room to move passengers, cargo and trailers.  With an overall length of 183.9 in. and overall width of 74.2 in., Sorento offers a relatively compact exterior size.  The new Sorento also provides a feeling of spaciousness inside with both five-and-seven passengers configurations, making the Sorento more versatile than most of its CUV competition.  With 142.5 cu.ft. of interior volume when equipped with five seats or 149.4 cu.ft. with seven, Sorento is spacious with generous head and legroom for optimal occupant comfort.  In the five-passenger configuration, the CUV offers 37 cu.ft. of cargo space to accommodate both passenger and cargo needs for cruising around town as easily as weekends camping in the mountains.

Prominently displaying the signature grille and wraparound headlamps exhibited on all new Kia models, Sorento SX offers an aggressive stance and sleek profile.  Sorento SX features swept-back lines and dynamic presence with an angled window line, large flared-back HID headlamps, foglamps, rounded nose, stainless steel front skid plate, flared fenders with body-color wheel moldings, lower side extensions, and chrome pull-out door handles.  The view from the rear offers the same forceful attitude with a spoiler mounted on top, rounded back and LED taillights set powerfully within the rear liftgate, chrome step-up bumper and dual chrome-tip exhaust tips gathered together on the right side under the bumper.  The flared fenders are filled with 7.5X18 in. 10-spoke alloy wheels wrapped with 235/60R18 in. all-season radial tires for excellent grip and smooth and quiet ride.  The chrome roof rack is set outside the dual panoramic sunroof.

2013 Kia Sorento SX Engine Done Small

Putting power into the Kia Sorento SX is the standard 3.5 liter, all-aluminum DOHC, CVVT V6 engine that generates a class-leading 276 hp at 6,300 rpm and 248 lb.ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm.  This powerful engine is coupled to a smooth-shifting, six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic shifting control where you can hold each gear to optimum power.  This advanced six-speed automatic is a proprietary design that was developed, engineered and built specifically for Kia vehicles.  To further meet consumer needs, there is a choice of either front-or-all-wheel-drive configurations, the latter coming with a locking center differential to evenly distribute power to all wheels operating the vehicle at low speeds during more severe weather conditions.  For enhanced ride and performance dynamics, the Sorento SX comes equipped with a fully independent suspension.  Up front is a MacPherson strut setup with coil springs, gas-charged shocks and stabilizer bar.  The rear setup includes multi-links, coil springs, gas-charged shocks and a stabilizer bar to keep the body from leaning out during spirited driving times.  The Sorento SX comes standard with hydraulic assist power rack & pinion steering for precise control and excellent feedback from the road to easily steer you where you want to go.

2013 Kia Sorento SX Beauty Rear Done Small

Slowing the new Sorento SX down from speed are strong, power-assisted steel disc brakes.  Up front are 11.8 in. vented discs clamped with single-piston calipers and 11.9 in. solid discs also clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear.  Standard ABS, EBD, Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control, Downhill Brake/Hill Start Assist Control all work together to keep you in control during severe braking maneuvers.

2013 Kia Sorento SX Dashboard Done Small

In addition to a comfortable and secure ride, an impressive slate of technological features come standard in the SX model-dual-zone automatic climate control, rear AC, Infinity Surround Sound Audio System with 10-speakers/subwoofer, and a 550-watt digital amp, voice-activated navigation system with back-up camera, leather trimmed seats with front power-adjustable/heated bucket seats and driver cooled seat, UVO in-vehicle infotainment system with Sirius satellite radio, USB/auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth wireless technology, 60/40 split folding and reclining 2nd. row seat with pull-down dual cupholders, 50/50 split folding 3rd. row seats, push button start/stop, leather-wrapped/wood/tilting/telescoping/heated steering wheel with audio/cruise control and Bluetooth controls, leather-wrapped shift knob, auto dimming rearview camera, power windows/door locks with express up/down driver’s/side, power folding/heated sideview mirrors, map pockets behind the front seatbacks, grab handles above each passenger door, dual lighted vanity mirrors, variable speed wipers/washers, rear wiper/washer, memory driver seat and side mirror positions for two persons, cargo net, cargo light, dual map lights, ambient lighting, thick cut-pile carpeting with front/2nd./3rd row floor mats.  The nicely designed interior also includes rallye instrumentation, soft-to-the-touch dashboard, trip computer, faux dark wood trim on the dashboard and door trim.  The center console features dual cupholders, chromed shifter bezel, a deep storage bin and padded armrest.  All buttons, switches and dials are within easy reach and fully illuminated for safe nighttime driving.

2013 Kia Sorento SX Front Seats Done Small

Standard safety features include driver/front passenger advanced airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, 1st. and 2nd. row side curtain airbags, and front active headrests, 7-3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters, LATCH system for child seats, tire pressure monitor system, front/rear crumple zones and steel beams in each door.

2013 Kia Sorento SX Rear Seats Done Small

Sales in the CUV segment of the marketplace continue to grow each year and the new 2013 Kia Sorento should increase its market share with this very well designed, performance driven, comfortable, functional and luxurious model.



  • Price: $31,700.00 base/$35,075.00 as tested loaded
  • Wheelbase: 106.3 in.
  • Track: f/r-63.7/63.8 in.
  • Height: 67.3 in. without roof rails and sunroof
  • Ground clearance: 7.5 in.
  • Approach/departure angle: 28/23-degrees
  • Headroom: f/m/r-39.2/39.2/36.7 in.
  • Legroom: f/m/r-41.3/37.6/31.3 in.
  • Cargo volume: all seats up-9.1/3rd. row down-37/all-rows down-72.5 cu.ft.
  • Towing capacity: 3,500 lbs.
  • Fuel tank: 18 gallons
  • EPA mileage: 20mpg/city, 26mpg/highway



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