Hello all!. Dropped my my local Concord (No. California) KIA dealership and they had TWO '13 hybrids. They were kind enough for a quick test-drive and a photo shoot!
1. Visual Differences. Compared to my 2012 there's a EX on the trunk and Hybrid on the sides - that's it; There are no other visual differences between the 11's and 12's.
2. Interior. I sat in both a Leather/Cloth and full Leather EX's and I immediately noticed a big difference. The seats are better contoured, the headrests sit further forward (more supportive), and the seats are much more cushier. Chris told me that Kia is using memory foam on the front seats... not sure about that, but they are much more comfortable. The heated steering wheel button now sits next to the dash dim toggle switch (no longer on the steering column), and the leather rapped steering wheel is as smooth as a baby's bottom (mine is far more granular); feels very nice in my hands - more upscale. All other features are there. That's it, everything else inside looks the same.
3. Trunk. Kia claims more space... the vent was re-routed - it looks slightly bigger, but not by that much.
4. Test Drive. Here's the big surprise... wow, what a difference! During my brief drive the electric motor did more work than I'm currently used to. Under normal acceleration, the '13 felt much quicker with the gas engine not coming on at all (up to about 40 MPH), that hardly happen in my '12. Furthermore, once the '13 gas engine kicked in, it was a far smoother event. The Kia dealer told me that new power train addressed and corrected all of the jerkiness of the current hybrid system. He also told me that the mileage estimates are far more realistic as well. I believe that the torque was raised by 40 ft/lbs and the car sure felt much quicker - I did not notice the gas engine struggling on/off during brisk acceleration but again, it was a short test drive. Very different feel!!! (for the better)
5. Sales pitch. Chris told me that they would pay top $ for my '12 and that there is a $1,000 cash-back on all '13 hybrids and a $2,000 loyalty bonus cash... I paid $28,200 1 1/2 years ago and currently owe about $22,000 - maybe, just maybe I'll see what they have to offer. It may be worth doing for the ultra comfy seats & improved drive (will have to take it on the freeway as well!). Enjoy the pics and let me know what you all think!