2013 Kia Sportage SX
There is no doubt that crossover vehicles have a great piece of the pie and continue to rise in popularity.
Kia therefore is not to be blamed for bringing a competitor in the picture.
The 2013 Kia Sportage is a crossover vehicle, based on the sister Hyundai Tuscon chassis.
It’s of unibody construction, as the ladder frame has been dropped a long time ago and the vehicle is now oriented towards urban journeys. With its clever all-wheel drive system and lockable center diff, independent all-round suspension and disk brakes, it is now obvious that this former SUV is now a capable crossover.
The Sportage is one of the most compact crossovers out there as of today, which makes it incredibly agile and practical in the city environment. Kia’s latest design trends could not be absent from the Sportage as one can find the tiger nose front grill, 18” SX wheels, LED daylights and Optima like tail lights. Slick and elegant looking, the Sportage’s design is the first good impression.
Inside the cabin, it comes as a pleasant surprise to see that the nice design continues, with a modern instrument cluster, multifunctional leather steering wheel, leather vented seats, twin sunroof and satnav with rear view camera. The quality isn’t the greatest as all panels are hard plastic, but all trim panels have excellent finish and are very well put together, as rattles and squeaks are nowhere to be noticed. The cabin will seat five adults with ease, the trunk though pays the price of the modern exterior design. It is limited in height and the short wheelbase doesn’t allow much depth either. With a capacity of 465lt though, it’s not bad at all considering the urban orientation.
On the road, the 2.0lt Turbo Charged 4-cylinder power plant makes the Sportage a blast! Outputting 260 BHP and 269 pounds of torque, combined with the smooth 6-speed automatic gearbox and lightweight chassis, performance is way above top of class. It is capable of putting to shame much more expensive cars. There is a noticeable turbo lag, but it makes the Sportage so much more fun to drive, as when the turbo kicks in, the engine sounds like Darth Vader moaning with vengeance. The greatest news is, fuel economy is not affected that much, as if you drive with a green foot, you can achieve numbers like 8.5lt/100km on the highway and 11.5 in the city. With a led foot though, forget it…
The biggest surprises were the suspension setup and the brakes. In reverse order, the brake pedal feels perfect, with excellent weight and travel. Excellent results too. It should be considered a reference point for future Kia vehicles. The suspension is tuned to the perfect median between sportiness and comfort. It feels firm but glides over anything it might hit on the road, at the same time remains quiet and controls the body very well. At some points, due to its incredibly rigid chassis, it felt like a go-kart with AWD! If the steering wasn’t as light as it was, we would be talking about one of the best handling crossovers ever built.
To sum up, this Kia is the best Kia we have driven to date and makes us wonder if the Koreans keep improving at such pace, what will come next. At CAD $37,500.00 with navigation, the 2013 Kia Sportage SX is not cheap, but is well worth the consideration because it is simply a great little car.
Not as quiet and refined as some rivals