2013 Kia Sportage Review Photos

Click on any image to see a larger slideshow and captions. Cars.com photos by Kelsey Mays, except where noted.

2013 Kia Sportage
Mostly unchanged since it arrived in late 2010, the Sportage bears Kia's attractive corporate styling. LX and EX models get LED accent lights for 2013; last year's LED accents went on the EX only. The range-topping Sportage SX, meanwhile, has LED daytime running lights.

2013 Kia Sportage
The Sportage's overall length is just 174.8 inches, a few inches short of the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The Chevrolet Equinox is a full 13 inches longer.

2013 Kia Sportage
The Sportage comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, but 17s and 18s (shown) are also available. SX models have dual tailpipes that indicate their turbo four-cylinder engine.

2013 Kia Sportage
Interior materials remain so-so — the sheet of smoked plastic across the dash puts cost-cutting on display — but the cabin's sharp, simple design hides much of that. One gripe: A telescoping steering adjustment, which is widely standard in the segment, remains optional.

2013 Kia Sportage
Our test car's touch-screen navigation system was the fanciest of three available center-control layouts. The standard CD stereo has USB/iPod connectivity and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, while a midlevel system includes all those features plus a small screen with Kia's UVO ("your voice") voice-activation system. Dual-zone automatic climate control (shown) comes on EX and SX models.

2013 Kia Sportage
When it comes to cabin quality, small SUVs are a spotty bunch. Kia is right there with them. The doors have good armrest padding but cheap, hard upper panels, and the handles are silver plastic instead of chrome or metal.

2013 Kia Sportage
The cupholders sit within a sort of built-in cavity between two bordering rails. You can wedge plenty of other stuff beside them. Convenient.

2013 Kia Sportage
The Sportage comes with two types of fabric — one of them stain-resistant — or leather of uninspired quality (shown). A manually height-adjustable driver's seat is standard, with a six-way power seat (shown) optional.

2013 Kia Sportage
The Sportage EX and SX have optional heated front seats, as well as an air-cooled driver's seat. The seat cooler is more effective than the air-conditioned seats in some six-figure cars we've tested, but in bright sunlight — you know, when it's hot out — the blue indicators make it hard to tell it's on. (Cars.com photo by Ian Merritt)

2013 Kia Sportage
Adults should find rear legroom modest but workable. Headroom is OK, given our test car had a headroom-deminishing panoramic moonroof, but the tradeoff is a seating position that's low to the floor. The seat has no reclining or forward/backward adjustments.

2013 Kia Sportage
Cargo room behind the second row totals a modest 26.1 cubic feet — below the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, which all have between 30 and 40 cubic feet.

2013 Kia Sportage
The rear seats fold in a 60/40 split via releases near the head restraints. EX and SX models add spring-loaded seats with pull-straps to raise and lower more easily (shown). With the seats down, maximum cargo volume totals 54.6 cubic feet — again, small for this class.

2013 Kia Sportage
You pay a price for the Sportage's sleek styling, which compromises window height all around. Thick rear pillars don't help, either.

2013 Kia Sportage
A small rear window hurts the view out back. So does the Sportage's center seat belt, which anchors in the ceiling rather than the seat itself, as hatchbacks and SUVs increasingly do. If you leave it stowed in the ceiling to maintain a clear view, there's a higher chance center passengers won't use it.

2013 Kia Sportage
The Sportage's 2.4-liter four-cylinder (shown) makes 176 hp and 168 pounds-feet of torque; it works through a six-speed manual on base models and a six-speed automatic everywhere else. SX models have a 260-hp, turbo four-cylinder.

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