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2013 Kia Sportage Takes on Las Vegas: Review

Yes, it takes this much luggage to survive a week in Las Vegas.

The 2013 Sportage is one of those cars that isn’t quite ready for a full size family, but isn’t looking to be single anymore either. It is spacious enough to pack in some overnight luggage comfortably, but not a stroller and several bags from Costco. That makes it the perfect car to put to the test in Las Vegas.

The Sportage may not have been given the typical rigorous highway tests we usually perform, but a week in Vegas was enough to put the vehicle through its paces. Stuffing the car with 4 people, ranging in different body types and sizes, along with 5 bags of luggage and 4 backpacks between all of us. It was enough for the Sportage to want to head back to Seoul and leave our sorry blogging butts behind. Seating was comfortable for everyone and the panoramic sunroof was a nice touch while going down the strip with its bright lights. Loading the car with our luggage required a bit of finesse, but after some pushing and pulling we accomplished our task without the hatch popping open. A few bags did make it to the backseat. At one point we were even able to stuff 5 people in the backseat of the Sportage, yes it required some yoga moves to make it happen but in the end, we managed to get everyone in without limbs sticking out of the panoramic sunroof.

Kids, don’t try this at home.

The sporty look of the Sportage is certainly welcome and perfect for a youthful group of writers hitting the strip. Who wants to drive around in an old fart looking SUV – not us! While we zipped from meetings to events along Las Vegas Boulevard, the Sportage kept up with pep and handled quick turns swiftly and tightly. U-Turns were especially clean and we did plenty of the them… The handling and braking was smooth and when we hit a few bumps in the road, the Sportage bounced right out of it and without the horrible rattling of some other Kia models we have previously tested.

Because we were strictly doing street driving, we didn’t put much of a dent into the gas tank after 70 miles. Which for alot of stop and go traffic, was very impressive. At the end of the one week jaunt, we hadn’t touched the half-way mark on the gas tank. The gas tank size is 15.3 gallons and on average you can get about 20 MPG for street driving and 27 MPG for highway miles.

It also kept us all juiced via the built-in USB port. Charging up Smartphones and other gear before we hit the Las Vegas Convention Center was essential for this team.


The Kia Sportage starts at an MSRP of $19,000 and can go as high as 30k if you select different trims or packages. The Kia Sportage is a great SUV for hanging out with friends or for those who are looking to get a starter SUV that isn’t too overwhelming on your pocketbook. It may lack the adorableness of the Kia SOUL, but it is a solid SUV that is sporty, attractive and can handle the sins of Sin City. What more could you want.

The Good: Sporty SUV that shines on the inside and outside. Smooth driving experience. Was able to cram an excessive amount of people and luggage into the car. Decent gas mileage.

The Bad: Seats and interior easily showed dirt. Blind spots.

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