Most compact family SUVs are about as sexy as reality star Honey Boo Boo Child’s 350 pound inbred, redneck stage mother. But there is only one clear, concise and simple way to explain our feelings about the deliciously naughty turbocharged SX variant of the 2013 Kia Sportage—it is dear readers, true S-e-X on a stick. Not only visually but to drive as well which is a true rarity in this class. In fact, this is probably the only vehicle in this class that not only visually stimulates but also stimulates the cerebral cortex as a driver’s car.
Now, the 2013 Kia Sportage SX faces a lot of stiff competition from the competition mainly in the form of the admittedly excellent 2013 Honda CR-V and 2013 Mazda CX-5 which by comparison are unfortunately rather plain and Amish-looking. Our harlot red (not the real name but appropriate given how slutty looking a hue it was for a compact SUV) 2013 Kia Sportage SX turned heads wherever it went thanks to its uniquely proportioned and utterly styling hind quarters and front end design. As far as exterior designs go in SUV terms, the Sportage is a true game changer and much like Britney Spears sang in her hit, “Oops! I did it Again,” it’s not that innocent.
But the aspect of the 2013 Kia Sportage SX that really will sell you on it as a purchase is the intoxicating thrust courtesy of the 2.0 liter 280 horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder that offers buyers about 100 horsepower more than your average CR-V or CX-5. Or any other competitor for that matter. EPA fuel economy estimates for this engine are surprisingly decent at 21 city/28 highway and we were shocked to find we averaged 25 miles per gallon over a week especially given how often we activated the turbocharger. We think such devices should be used when available much like we are sure Honey Boo Boo’s mama feels about a 9 month old tin of SPAM. No matter where or when, it’s always appropriate to enjoy it.
The only aspect where the 2013 Kia Sportage SX lags a bit behind the competition is in overall utility and that is due to its unique rear end styling. The cargo hold is a bit smaller than you find in the utility-leader Honda CR-V with a still perfectly useful 28.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats growing to 54.8 cubic feet with the cubic feet with them folded flat. So, all you need to decide is how important is that extra cargo space? Because for any other compact SUV to satisfy you this completely it would have to take a double dose of Viagra.
Compared to the 2013 Honda CR-V...
The Sportage Turbo is priced ideentically to the top line CR-V model but admittedly the Honda has higher quality leather and interior plastics and a more sensibly sized cargo hold But once you stomp on the accelerator in the Kia you will know for sure which one you would pack to the gills when taking your annual summer trip to the redneck games where Ms. Boo Child became a star. And a CR-V is a bit too sensible for a girl with a pet pig.