Here in Wyoming, drivers need capability, but often need that on a budget. For the family in need of a small people mover with all of the capabilities of a crossover in inclement weather and the iffy terrain some dirt roads can offer in those conditions, the 2013 Kia Sportage is one to put on your list. It may not be the most fuel-efficient or luxurious, but it will surprise with its versatility and peppy drive.
The 2013 Sportage starts at $19,000 in its base configuration and goes up to about $28,400 or so in its top of the line trim level with all the fixins. Kia has been working hard to create a name for itself as the value leader in sedans and crossovers without scrimping on style or options. The Sportage is their top-selling people mover and it definitely deserves the attention.
With a stand-out stance and style, the 2013 Kia Sportage is more aggressive than most of its counterparts in the small crossover arena – most of whom aim for a contemporary, “no surprises” look to appeal to a larger audience. Three engine options power the 2013 Sportage, including a base 170 horsepower 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder and a 176 hp inline-four. The best offering, though, is in the tiny 2.0-liter inline-four which is turbocharged to output a massive 260 hp through a six-speed transmission (manual or automatic). Even the base engine is enough to get the Sportage moving without much delay, but that little two-liter power plant does so with a peppiness that rivals most of the larger, less efficient six-cylinders the competition offers. In its best configuration for economy, the 2013 Kia Sportage ahieves 32 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in town – respectable numbers for the segment.
The aggressive wheel stance, pushing them far out to the corners of the vehicle, gives a sportier response in turns and easy maneuvering into tight spaces. This also makes it a little more sure-footed in some light offroad situations and helps the driver get a better sense of where they are tracking as they go along.
Available in both 2WD and AWD options, the <a href=”http://www.futurecars.com/reviews/gas-powered/2013-kia-sportage-the-capa… Kia Sportage</a> without all-wheel drive is going to do well enough to keep most Cheyenne residents on the road no matter the weather. Those who spend more time on dirt and gravel and who often climb to Gowdy by the back way, though, may find the AWD option to be a better choice.
On the road, the Kia Sportage has some highway noise, but it’s not too bad considering the price point and segment – something that in previous model years was a real concern for Kia owners. The Sportage does well in town as a daily driver. On the highway, it is comfortable and responsive, especially with that 2.0-liter option, and its improved crash test ratings will make even the most protective parents happy.
The interior is roomy and versatile, allowing for seating for five as well as folding seats for plenty of cargo options. One thing that would be recommended if you park in tight spaces is the rear view camera, as visibility out of the new Sportage is a little cramped.
With a brand new design for 2013, a much better build and option packages to match most people’s needs, Kia is shedding it’s “cheap” feel and entering the market more competitively. Those who’ve passed over the Sportage in the past because of its nameplate may want to reconsider.
Test time in the 2013 Kia Sportage included about an hour of offroad and high country driving in Caribu, Colorado as well as four days of daily driving in a manufacturer’s loan vehicle in the Cheyenne, Wyoming area.