As you know I had the opportunity to test drive another Kia vehicle for a week. And I honestly have to say that (after all of these years) Kia just keeps getting better and better.

When they first rolled out in the U.S. I truly was not that impressed. Ok, I was not impressed at all. I honestly never gave them a second look. All I could think was “oh boy, just another cheaply made piece of crap”.

But with the hard work and sweat that Kia has put into their vehicles in the last decade, oh boy has my opinion quickly changed!

I fell in love with the Kia Optima Hybrid that I had the privilege of driving back in August. You may remember I loved it SO much that I was heartbroken when it was returned. I know it seemed silly that I would feel down but it truly was a memorable car.

This time around I received the 2013 Kia Sorento SX FWD. And although I did say (in my last vehicle review) that after driving an SUV and now our mini van for SO long, that I was looking forward to getting a CAR. Now, I can honestly say that I was quite impressed with the Sorento. Even if it DOES have four five doors and seats up to 7. haha!

What I loved most about the Sorento is exactly some of the things I loved so much about the Optima, but surprisingly there’s a little more.

First, this baby comes with the push button start as well. Just like the Optima, the Sorento operates when the Smart Key is in the vehicle but it’s not inserted inside an ignition. You just carry the Smart Key inside a purse, briefcase or even your pocket. To start the Sorento, put your foot on the brake and press the START button.

For security reasons, if you don’t put your foot on the brake, the vehicle won’t go anywhere. This isn’t a feature you’ll quickly forget. Or at least, let’s hope not. hahaa!

Something else that’s extremely appealing is the multi-functional steering wheel. You can easily change the station on your stereo, increase or decrease the volume, talk on the phone via bluetooth, set the car to cruise, and check your trip/gas mileage info — all at the push of a button.

A few more favorites — Programmable seat adjustments. This allows you to adjust your seat to fit your needs. Once it’s comfortable enough for you, push the “set” button on the driver side door, then push the number 1. From then on, every time you get in the car, it remembers your settings. Ahh, a comfy seat that’s customized just for you!

1.) Programmable seat controls   2.) Dash controls
3.) Drivers side controls  – locks, windows, side mirrors

I don’t know about you but those features alone make me feel pampered!

Something else that gets my attention is the Power Folding Side Mirrors. This is totally handy for tight parking spaces. Not only can you adjust your mirrors (which is pretty standard in most vehicles) BUT you can bring your side mirrors in, flush with the vehicle. This can be done either while inside the vehicle from the drivers seat or by pressing the lock button the key fob twice. SO cool!

If you’re always on the go you’ll love the digital goodies such as built-in GPS navigation, Sirius Satellite Radio + MP3.

1.) Sirius radio & dual temp controls   2.) GPS
3.) MP3 connection

You have a touch screen right there at eye level that includes easy-to-follow instructions so you can set your trip and leave the GPS to do the work. We had no problem locating or making it to our destinations because everything you need to know to use this system is right there at the touch of a button.

We decided to take a trip downtown one evening and although hubby thought he knew where he was going and was ignoring the gps directions, as soon as he would pass up his turn, the gps quickly provided an alternate route. I love that! Sorry hubby but I trust the gps a little more. haha!

The large LCD screen provides a clear, colorful image display and even alerts you of road construction. Need to make a detour? No problem, just drag the map and change your direction.

What fun is driving if you can’t listen to your favorite tunes? The 2013 Kia Sorento comes with an awesome sound system. Boy does this thing rock! The Infinity Surround Sound Audio System sounds crystal clear.

With the Sirius Satellite radio you can listen to music from all over. Searching is extremely easy with the large touch screen. Oh, and don’t forget your controls right there in the steering wheel. You can turn the music up or down, or even change the station without taking your eyes off the road. Try that when your spouse is enjoying one of their favorite songs. Inconspicuously turn the volume down or change the station using the steering control and see what they do. haha!

1.) Sunglasses compartment   2.) Keyless entry button (a feature the Optima didn’t have)
3.) Dual sunroofs    4.) Console storage

There’s also a USB auxillary for your iPod or iPhone — should you prefer to listen to downloaded music, or need to access your contact list to make a call. Once plugged in, your music and contact menus are synchronized (pulled up) on the LCD screen so you’re not forced to control your gadget (taking your eyes off the road) and risk an accident. Safety first!

One of our favorite features of all is the dual temperature controls. Hubby and I tend to prefer different temps while driving. And it was plain evident the first time we drove the Sorento. I looked down to see what his side said and we were 20 degrees different. Wow!

We also took advantage of the heated seats. With the Optima Hybrid we both loved the cooled seats (since it was summertime) but now that it’s colder outside, the heat function (offered in the Sorento) works just as well. Driving with ‘toasty’ buns is pretty fab. haha! Oh yeah, the steering wheel is heated also.

A few luxury features I want in MY next vehicle (that the 2013 Kia Sorento offers) is the Back Up Camera. This one spoils me every time. Obviously no one has eyes in the back of their head and most vehicles have ‘blind spots’. Each time you put the Sorento in reverse the camera is activated and the LCD screen on the dash shows you everything that’s behind you. There are also green, yellow and red guide lines on the display to alert you of how close you are to objects that you are approaching.

This makes backing up a breeze!

It just keeps getting better and better!
Kia, you think of everything, don’t you?

1.) Setting up the rear seats   2.) Rear seats folded for cargo space
3.) Rear vents   4.) Rear seat cup holder/ storage 

Additional Features:

  • Rear Air Conditioning with 3rd row controls
  • Auto dimming rear view mirror with Homelink
  • 9 cup holders
  • First aid kit
  • 18″ mirror-finish wheels
  • Rear spoiler
  • Leather interior
  • 3.5L V-6 engine with 276 horse power
  • Wood grain accents in dash, doors & steering wheel

When driving a 2013 Kia Sorento, you can rest easy in knowing how safe this baby is. It’s designed with dual front, front seat and 1st and 2nd row air bags, anti-lock brakes, traction and electronic stability control. This is one reason the Sorento gets a 5-star side crash rating!

Pretty darned nice, right?

If I asked you what you would expect to pay for this vehicle, what would you say? What if I told you this particular Sorento has an MSRP of $35,075? Quite impressive huh? With pampering, luxurious features like these it’s really hard to believe, let alone say ‘goodbye’!

Speaking of ‘goodbyes’, when the driver left with the Sorento, they also left with my favorite sunglasses. I didn’t realize that until after he left. Ugh, I was not a happy girl. But after contacting Matt from STI to let him know, he was kind enough to return them to me. Thanks Matt!!! It’s kind of funny that my sunglasses got a free ride to Chicago, a place I’ve never been. hahaa!

Find a Kia dealer near you!

~ Disclaimer: A huge thank you to Kia for loaning us the Sorento SX free of charge for the sole purpose of providing my honest review! My opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this post. ~

© 2012, BellaSavvy. All rights reserved.


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65 Responses to 2013 Kia Sorento SX FWD review

  • Dawn Ganey says:

    Kia makes a sporty suv. This looks like it would be a nice economical medium sized suv. It is probably cheap on gas prices too.

  • Michele says:

    Wow-put your foot on the brake and push a start button? Soon we will be driving like the Jetson’s!! I LOVE it!!

  • joanna garcia says:

    OMG that car is gorgeous!! congrats!!

  • lisa says:

    Love the dual temperature controls.

  • Danielle says:

    Whoa, I LOVE this! I got to review the 2012 Sorento but it wasn’t the Hybrid – I would LOVE to test drive THAT ONE! Great review!

  • sara m ford says:

    How lucky is that where you get to borrow a new car for a week to test drive it for a review very cool!!

  • randy fulgham says:

    super nice car and the review is GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Debra F says:

    At first look ~~ it really didn’t make a great impression on me but when you started describing all the info about it ~~ it started getting my interest. I wouldn’t mind checking it out especially if I could get it in the color I want! :)

  • Joanne Gregory says:

    Beautiful car. And I love all the features.

  • Jenn says:

    Love teh color. I know it’s trivial but 9 cup holders is awesome

  • Tegan L. says:

    My fave is definitely the gps navigation system, it looks so nice. Thanks for sharing! :)

  • Heather! says:

    Interesting. Like you, my first impressions of Kia were not good. I considered one when I was last car shopping, and I didn’t feel they put enough thought into driver (or passenger) comfort, and I’d heard bad stories about service following purchase. But your review makes it pretty clear that I should take another look! I do have a lot of respect for a company that listens to potential customers and makes the changes to their product that we suggest are needed. Thanks for the review…and for getting me to reconsider Kia!

  • Crystal Irvin says:

    I love suv’s and am planning on getting one next year

  • lisa says:

    The vehicle sounds great. Kia keeps safety and comfort in mind.

  • Wanda McHenry says:

    Wow! I agree with thinking the Kia was crap, but after reading this review you’ve changed my mind. I especially like the cooled seats, I could definitely use that where I live. It has a beautiful interior and great features, especially the back up camera. When I’m in the market for a new car I will certainly check the Sorento out and if I decide to get one I want that same color!

    Great review, Dee!

  • krista grandstaff says:

    What a great car… The fact that it is that decked out and can still seat 7, is awesome… I hate a car that can hold all of my family, but looks like a utility van…lol..

  • Gianna says:

    Sounds like a nice car.

  • Crystal Irvin says:

    I love suv’s

  • Tracy says:

    This would be a great car for a mom. I really like it. This would be an awesome car to have for myself with 3 kids.

  • lisa says:

    That’s cool that you get cars to review!

  • Mer says:

    Wow. I can’t think of a feature this doesn’t have. I really like the idea of programmable seats, great for those of us who have multiple drivers of very different sizes.

  • Jennifer Mae Hiles says:

    Wow, it has everything I could want in a car! I love the touch screen navigation, the lighted side mirrors and the push start sounds very interesting – that is probably hard to get used to!

  • Jan says:

    Ok you had me at adjustable driver’s seat and can lock the setting in !! I am very short and therefore have short legs and need to pull the driver’s seat farther up than most people. I have a mini van so when we go on family outtings my brotherinlaw will drive but he’s 6’2″. Needless to say he moves the seat back every time and I forget when I go to get in the next time to drive! It’s so frustrating, lol I like alot of the other features too, the warm seats and steering wheel sound wonderful :) Thanks for the review!

  • Naomi says:

    I am so hopeless at backing up! What a great feature to help with that!

  • I’m impressed. I have to say I had the same opinion of Kia in it’s early years, but I am quickly changing my tune, as well. And with my large family, there aren’t many cars that will fit all of us, much less any additional passengers. It is nice to know this is another option down the line for us. Thanks for the post/review!

  • Anita Leibert says:

    Wow! Such luxury! I don’t see myself being able to afford this anytime soon :)

  • NIcole Strunk says:

    I am very fond of Kia’s I would love to have a Sorento in the purple color!!!

  • Jerri Davis says:

    A Very Cute Car Reminds me of my old Toyota Liftback. Thank you. Jerri Davis

  • lisa says:

    Your review is so good they should let you keep the car!

  • Anne-Marie Sears says:

    I love the cupholders in the back! That’d been nice for the drive-in when we sit in the back to watch the movie. My friend and I went in her jeep, but this looks much more comfy!! I love my other friend’s KIA Sportage…..lots of room for us long-legged gals :)

  • Sarah Hayes says:

    Very nice! Looks great and has so many useful features

  • Tammy Horn says:

    Wow! Beautiful color! We are in the market to buy a new car soon.

  • sharon winne says:

    Great looking car, it kind of has a similar body to a Audi. I love the fact it has a 5 star rating! safety is my number one priority in a car.

  • Cheryl Chervitz says:

    I have always wanted to get a KIA, it looks really nice.

  • lisa says:

    I like the GPS. I always get lost!

  • Danielle says:

    I have been looking for a new car! This looks like a nice option!

  • Nikkie Cossairt says:

    Awesome review! Looks like fun to drive!

  • Kristi Cartwright says:

    This car sounds great but I certainly don’t need one that big any time soon! :) Our first little one is due in January so we are going to stick it out with our little car that’s so good on gas for as long as possible! Informative review though!!

  • Wendy T says:

    Looks beautiful.

    I love the color, too!

  • Jennifer Mae Hiles says:

    Two sunroofs sound great. I also love the usb port. I wish my car had that. I’d love to take one for a test drive!

  • Eileen says:

    We were just discussing which car we might get next…our van is 13 and truck is 7. It’ s TIME. But, I thought we should still stick with a van, as my two teens are big sports nuts and have SO much equipment. I said there was NO way we were paying the out rageous gas prices of an SUV. I had never thought about the Sorento! It’s BEAUTIFUL and looks comfortable! Leather…yummy! And my husband has a thing for cup holders. NINE? how come NINE if it fits 7. That’s funny! Anyway the price is good but we usually buy used so maybe in another year we can hold out and grab one used!

    thanks so much, I do appreciate this review. Gonna show my hubby!

  • Noelle says:

    Wow, it looks fabulous!

  • Jennifer Hedden says:

    I have never been much of a Kia fan but this review makes me think that I need to reconsider. There are so many great features that I would love. I like that all the buttons are on your steering wheel. I also would love to have the back up camera. Another thing that would be perfect for our family is the rear air conditioning with 3rd row controls. Thank you for the great review!

  • courtney b says:

    wow never thought i’d want a kia but this looks fabulous! think im gonna take this for a test drive!

  • Tara A. says:

    I’ve heard some good things about Kia. I especially know a few people who have the Soul and really love it.

  • I like the car..we ride the bus right take this one!

  • Sarah L says:

    Sounds like a beauty of a car. I’ll take one, please. Can I win it?

  • Lynn Matthews says:

    go anywhere

  • Michelle Tucker says:

    I, too, used to feel the same way about KIA. Thanks for opening my eyes to the awesomeness that is KIA now.

  • Christine Vaughn says:

    I used to have a very bad impression of KIA, until we rented one for a trip. It was such a pleasure to drive.

  • Sarah Hirsch says:

    sounds like a great car, i’d love to try out the backup camera

  • Nathan C says:

    Looks like a pretty nice car.

  • Charlene Shaver says:

    Great review, I’ve always wanted one, but sadly this is out of my budget :(

  • Rich Hicks says:

    Like the color and it has so many wonderful features. I want one now!

  • Charlene Shaver says:

    I really like the multi-functional steering wheel :)

  • Lisa Brown says:

    Such a cute car, nice and small. I love the GPS, I need that bad :)

  • Gianna says:

    Nice car!

  • Bella T. says:

    I am so happy to have seen this review! We don’t have a car but the Kia Sorento is one of the vehicles we want to look at. I love the way it looks and its built in goodies. I just may be test driving this car soon. lol

  • michelle gilliland mcafee says:

    My friend got a new Kia a few months ago, she loves it. I have to admit it’s pretty nice. It may be my next vehicle option actually.

  • Melissa Shirley says:

    Looks like a nice car

  • Rich Hicks says:

    love the look of it and the instrument cluster is easy to see and read!

  • Nikki Strong says:

    Great reviews. I have considered purchasing a Kia before, as well.

  • mae says:

    hoping i can have my own car like this..looks great

  • meme says:


  • Thomas Murphy says:

    My GF has a Kia sorento, its awesome!


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