By KBB.com Editors
Styled and sized like a modern crossover, Kia's mid-size Sorento SUV retains the rugged body-on-frame construction preferred by off-road enthusiasts and those who need to tow heavy trailers. The Sorento's five-passenger cabin has the look and feel of an upscale SUV, making it as equally adept at shuttling business clients as it is the kids and family dog. Of course, the Sorento's long list of standard features, impressively powerful V6 engine and easy-to-swallow low sticker price are also a big draw, as is Kia's 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. Safety is another area where the Sorento shines, with a five-star government crash-test safety rating, full-length side-curtain airbags, electronic stability control and traction control, all included as standard equipment.
If you're looking for an SUV that's bigger than a Honda CR-V but smaller than a Dodge Durango, the Sorento might suit you perfectly. Its long list of standard equipment, low base price and comfortable ride make it a good choice for the casual off-road warrior or those who keep their driving strictly on the pavement.
Powered by their rear wheels, the two-wheel drive Sorento models don't offer the level of traction in ice, snow or mud provided by their front-wheel-drive competitors. The V6 performs well but delivers mediocre fuel economy.
The Sorento has a new, all-aluminum V6 engine good for 262 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The Sorento's interior receives revised gauge faces and center console, new wood trim appliques, active headrests and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
Driving Impressions On the road, the Sorento seems as solid and secure as the best SUVs from Japan and the U.S, and the steering feels light but precise and controlled. The Sorento's...strong V6 engine offers plenty of low-end torque and highway performance. The five-speed automatic delivers crisp shifts and rarely has to hunt for the proper gear. The Sorento's soft suspension displays more front-end dive and rear squat than we would prefer during harder acceleration and braking. However, the handling in turns does not seem to be affected in the same way, and the Sorento delivers good cornering ability without excessive lean or body roll.
The Sorento's wide interior provides for a roomy cargo area and offers plenty of shoulder room.
Array of Standard Equipment
For the money, few other SUVs can match the Sorento's array of standard equipment.
This is a five-passenger vehicle, but we think that, if those passengers are adults, four would be a more comfortable fit. The Sorento's rear seats provide good headroom and legroom and allow for a fairly large cargo area behind them. The interior quality is commendably good, using substantial plastic components, rich textures and plush surfaces. Standard front and rear side-curtain airbags are a worthwhile safety bonus.Exterior
The Sorento looks sharp and, on appearance alone, could easily be mistaken for a high-end Japanese SUV. The flared wheel arches, high windowsill line and wide side moldings impart a feeling of solidity, while the high ground clearance and optional Torque-On-Demand four-wheel-drive system promise good traction in slippery conditions.
The LX trim level includes the 3.8-liter V6 engine, a five-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), rear defroster, illuminated entry, remote keyless entry, auto-off headlamps, electronic stability and traction control, dual heated power mirrors, power windows, power locks, AM/FM stereo with MP3-compatible CD player and 10 speakers, front and rear side-curtain airbags, fuel tank skid plate, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, four 12-volt outlets, alloy wheels and a rear wiper/washer. The EX with Luxury package adds fog lights, side cladding, power sunroof, eight-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, leather seating and interior trim, 16-inch machined alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic temperature control and full-time four-wheel drive.
Options include Torque-On-Demand (TOD) full-time four-wheel drive, fog lights and a rear spoiler. For the EX, options include power moonroof, leather interior, rear-seat entertainment package, side step bars and a trailer hitch.
The Sorento's new 3.8-liter V6 is a strong engine with good pulling and passing power, and it works particularly well with the five-speed automatic transmission. The new engine not only adds an additional 70 horsepower, it also achieves better fuel economy than the previous 3.5-liter V6.
262 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 (2WD), 17/22 (4WD)
By Sunkist on Tuesday, February 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,600overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "There isn't enough good I can say about this car."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car off the show room floor. I only had the cassette player installed extra. It has been the most reliable car I have ever owned. No recalls and nothing major to fix. I love my Kia and if I ever did trade it in it would be for another one!!"
By Dennis on Saturday, February 14, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "no major repairs through 120,000 miles"
Cons: "interior wears early"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"On the down side the interior is "ticky-tacky" and I find I am changing head lamps and light bulbs a bit too often, but this is a great performing car"
By Dee on Saturday, February 07, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "good value for price"
Cons: "wish every purchase was this good"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The Sorento EX offered most buttons and whistels for the money. Paying cash, I found best buy researching fair price and then approaching fleet dealer for best deal. This driver found all makes and models of SUVs test driven handled poorly. But Kia did not display the drawback of high balance center so obvious in others. Airbag function (as indicated by dash light) took several trips back to dealer, and one to a neighboring state, before Kia issued a recall. Beyond that, independant mechanic i.e. not dealership, replaced AC compressor and one window motor in door. A few minor electrical issues at first. And I replaced struts on rear hatch door once in the 10 years of ownership. Kia was new manufacturer at time of purchase. I was pleased that make has established reasonably good reputation. I would buy another Kia."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Sandy on Wednesday, February 04, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"have had no trouble with it, rides good, handles well and have enjoyed owing it, and will probably buy another one if I ever buy another car"
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By Kearstinv on Monday, January 26, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 104,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, spacious, handles well"
Cons: "Cheaply made"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"I bought this used about a year and a half ago before I moved down to Mexico for a job. I needed a 4-wheel drive SUV to get me through some rough dirt terrain on occasion and to be able to carry a lot of stuff. I have been really happy with how it handles, the size, the space it offers and the amount of storage. The size is perfect because it is big enough to fit a lot in (I fit a washing machine in the back with the seats laid down!) but still small enough to fit in most parking spaces with ease. However, I am now looking into trading it in. When I bought it, we went through and changed all the hoses and spark plugs and other little things to know that most of it was up to date (you just never know with a used car when the last time things were changed). About 9 months later the coolant reservoir broke- a known problem with this make and model apparently. Then a couple months later a hose burst and it was back in the shop. Then my check engine light started going off because of a sensor that goes bad. Now my air conditioner is shot. As much as I love this car, the environment I am driving it in requires that I can truly trust this car to not break down or blow a hose or overheat and I just can't say that about my 2004 Kia Sorento."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Soccer Dad on Sunday, October 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great vehicle"
Cons: "Could get better gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Prior to owning this SUV I had never kept a car longer than 1-3 years. Also until this car I went through every series of BMW's and MBZ's with the exception of the MB SL sports car and the C series. I only bought new cars and they were all German. I bought this vehicle when I decided to retire young and needed it for my kids and their soccer playing. This car has had no problems that I can remember. I replace the oil and filters regularly and have the car aligned regularly, the wheels balanced and I only run Synthetic Oil in it. I have never burned any oil in this car. The gas mileage could be better but the car is faster than I would have expected. If you take care of this car it will take care of you."
26 people out of 45 found this review helpful