Change can be a good thing even when nobody else notices that you lost weight, bought a new black cocktail dress or got a haircut. These changes more often than not make you feel better about yourself and about what you have to offer the world. This is a notion just as true with people as it is with SUV’s like the 2013 Kia Sorento which has undergone its first face lift in its model cycle.
The Kia Sorento, which mixes commodious interior space with relatively compact exterior dimensions, surpassed our expectations when we tested one equipped with the 3.5 liter 276 horsepower/248 lb. feet of torque V6 as it made the Kia feel like a less expensive, off the rack Acura MDX. But doesn’t Kia also offer an entry level 4-cylinder version of the Sorento? Why, yes, and up until now it wasn’t much cut out for the job of powering this otherwise refined and solidly built crossover. But now for model year 2013 Kia has seen fit to introduce a semi-new direct injected 2.4 liter 191 horsepower/181 lb. feet of torque 4-cylinder motor lifted from the Optima.
At the very least the Sorento now has improved its fuel efficiency ratings to an EPA rated 22 city/32 highway with a very useful 18 gallon fuel tank standing as a reassurance that this family SUV will still be your road trip friend. And, yes, it runs on regular unleaded so you won’t have to worry about whether premium gas really does anything beneficial for your car or if it is a scam meant only to confuse the clinically indecisive.
Otherwise, if you loved last year’s Sorento then you will no doubt love the 2013 model as other changes mainly boil down to cosmetic details such as newly standard LED tail lamps, folding side mirrors with integrated turn signals as well as other various detail enhancements. We knew going into this test that the Sorento had a whole lot going for it but let’s just see if now it has a more suitable engine selection for those of you whose budgets still can’t quite reach the 6-cylinder model.