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2013 Kia Sportage

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Day by Day Review: 2013 Kia Sportage car test drives kia daily car reviews
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The last time I test drove a Kia Sportage was a 2011 model back in September of 2010. At the time only the 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine was available and many of the comments in our online forums were about the upcoming 2.0-litre turbo engine. Probably the biggest issue with my tester at the time was the as-tested price of just over $33,000 – many exclaimed it was far too much for a Kia – have times changed?

So here it is: the turbo 2.0-litre GDI engine shared with Hyundai. This engine is now used in a multitude of vehicles from sports cars, as in the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, to crossovers… like this one. But if $33,000 was too much for a Kia in 2010, how about $39,000 in 2013?

Day by Day Review: 2013 Kia Sportage car test drives kia daily car reviews
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Yes, this Kia is for all intents and purposes at that magical $40k barrier – but you do get a lot of goodies with your Kia at that price. To be honest, you get a lot of goodies with any Kia at any price but the SX trim Sportage I am testing this week really does offer a lot.

Obvious features when you first step into this tester are the leather-covered power seats and dual-zone climate control. As I sat down for a few minutes and inspected the buttons I saw even more. How about a heated and cooled driver’s seat and heated passenger seat? Not bad, but a heated steering wheel – aaahhh, that’s nice. Of course, for those that enjoy a moonroof, this one has that as well, plus Bluetooth, cruise control, steering wheelπ–mounted audio controls and navigation keep the feature list rich.

Of course, no modern feature-rich car today wouldn’t be complete without push-button start and huge alloy wheels – 18 inches in the case of the Sportage. This vehicle has most, if not all, the features buyers desire in many luxury cars, but does it drive or feel like a luxury car worth $40,000? Stay tuned to find out.

MSRP as tested (including destination): $39,345

For more information on Kia and the Sportage visit Kia Canada

For even more on this car FOLLOW James on Twitter

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3| Day 4

Day by Day Review: 2013 Kia Sportage car test drives kia daily car reviews
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I guess not much has changed in the last few years on our forums. Many still think $40,000 for a Kia is too much — I like to think a car can be priced to the market and let that market decide. Although compared to the competition, my Kia Sportage tester is perhaps a little on the high side, it is also optioned better as well.

But enough of that, how does that interior hold up for a vehicle in this price range? I think it is actually pretty darn nice, to be honest. Materials seem to be of quality and the fit and finish seems clean and solid. The last Sportage I tested, I complained about creaks and rattles; there are absolutely zero in this one.

Day by Day Review: 2013 Kia Sportage car test drives kia daily car reviews
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As with most of these crossovers the seating is high, but I have found the Kia to be slightly higher resulting in my leg brushing the side of the vehicle every time I get in and out of the driver’s seat — in the winter that can prove to be pretty gross.

The driver’s seat seems comfortable so far — I’ve had problems with other Kias before, but my back is doing just great so far this week. It seems, though, that the steering is ever so slightly off-centre from the driver’s seat so I always feel like I’m leaning slightly — could just be me; it is odd indeed.

The exterior of this crossover is downright sexy, the wheels are pushed out right to the corners, giving it a very aggressive and sporty stance. But the visibility is horrible as a result — forget seeing anything out back, learn to rely on that backup camera and keep it clean, because otherwise you may as well just back up with your eyes closed.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Day by Day Review: 2013 Kia Sportage car test drives kia daily car reviews
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There certainly are some very passionate people in our forums, both for and against this Kia. I’m not passionate about it either way, to be brutally honest. It is a nice vehicle but after driving it for a few days it has some traits that I am not enjoying.

The ride quality is on the harsh side, on rough and uneven pavement it feels like the vehicle is bouncing around and as a passenger inside you really get thrown around. When you aren’t being thrown around you are being punished by the potholes. On smooth pavement, the Sportage feels very well planted and through the curves the suspension takes a nice set as the Sportage hugs the corner.

Day by Day Review: 2013 Kia Sportage car test drives kia daily car reviews

Steering feel is good and the brake feel is solid for a crossover vehicle — again even biased slightly towards the sporty side.

Out on the highway the ride is quiet with very little road and wind noise. The engine, however, can be heard even in city driving; as you accelerate it makes a high pitch type of sound. Once underway, the automatic shifts into high gear and there is very little noise.

The 2.0L turbo puts out a lot of punch and acceleration is very brisk if you mat the accelerator to the floor. But in normal day-to-day driving I have found that the accelerator is programmed in such a way as to discourage rapid starts or quick acceleration. What this translates into is very tepid acceleration until you stomp on it because you are fed up — and then BAM — a huge amount of power as the transmission downshifts.

This isn’t a problem only on this new Kia; many new small turbo engines with automatic transmissions suffer from this. The programming that Kia has provided certainly aims for fuel economy — and if you are happy being the guy or girl with a car weaving behind them after every red light it won’t bother you one bit.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Day by Day Review: 2013 Kia Sportage car test drives kia daily car reviews
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I mentioned last week that I have been disappointed lately with my fuel consumption results – this week I think I am pleased. I averaged 10.3 L/100 km this week with an all-wheel-drive crossover sporting 260 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque – not bad!

I may have been a little harsh in my assessment of throttle response and ride quality but at $40,000 I expect a better ride and slightly better programming to use the power efficiently. I talked to a Kia salesman when I returned the Sportage on the weekend and asked him if many of these loaded EX models were sold. His response was that, I would be surprised at how many $40,000 Kia’s leave the lot … so to those that feel it is too much for a Kia, it seems the average buying public disagrees.

The features offered in the Sportage at this price level are very competitive. Most competitors do not even offer such features, like cooled seats and a heated steering wheel at any price. This is what many consumers want, if you want these features without paying the large luxury price tag, this is a vehicle to look at.

2013 Kia Sportage
Acceleration Day by Day Review: 2013 Kia Sportage car test drives kia daily car reviews
Handling Day by Day Review: 2013 Kia Sportage car test drives kia daily car reviews
Comfort Day by Day Review: 2013 Kia Sportage car test drives kia daily car reviews
Interior Day by Day Review: 2013 Kia Sportage car test drives kia daily car reviews
Audio System Day by Day Review: 2013 Kia Sportage car test drives kia daily car reviews
Gas Mileage Day by Day Review: 2013 Kia Sportage car test drives kia daily car reviews
Overall Day by Day Review: 2013 Kia Sportage car test drives kia daily car reviews

*Rating based on vehicle’s classification
MSRP as tested (including destination): $39,345

For more information on Kia and the Sportage visit Kia Canada

For even more on this car FOLLOW James on Twitter

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