Driving and handling was more than adequate. It was not a family car by day and a race car by night. It was a crossover SUV that could take bumpy roads, icy slick surfaces, and mushy wet dirt roads equally well. The All-Wheel-Drive with a locking center differential was the key to the bad weather driving. The 2013 Sportage has a thick steering wheel which is easy to hold onto during harsh driving conditions. The wheel is both tilt and telescoping, as well as leather-wrapped.
Cargo room was less than what had been expected for a vehicle called an SUV. But remember, this is a Compact Crossover. The rear seats can be folded flat with the rear cargo floor and there is also a storage bin under the floor. Without the rear seats being used, cargo capacity is barely over 26 cubic feet.
There is not very much to complain about in the 2013 Kia Sportage. The door panels are hard plastic rather than soft padded leather. Taking the vehicle on the highway for a several hour road trip made me very aware of how hard plastic can affect your arm when you are resting it on the door panel. I liked the driver's seat height adjustment, which allowed me to raise the seat sufficiently for my height. However, the passenger seat was limited to front and back movement only.
The 2013 Kia Sportage SX is EPA rated at 21 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 23 mpg overall. At the end of the week, I was reading just 22.4 mpg overall and that included about 50% Interstate highway driving. The possible culprit in the lower-than-expected mileage was the severe weather and muddy back roads.
Although it had a little too much hard plastic in the cabin area and not enough cargo capacity, I really did like that turbocharged engine in the SX. It really did handle those back-roads well. The cabin was very comfortable and allowed me to enjoy the ride. The technology was everything needed to make the week enjoyable and entertaining – at least when I was not doing battle with the 'thunder-snow' weather and resulting ice pellets.