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2008 Kia Sorento

Overview
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2008 Kia Sorento Review

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Styled and sized like a modern crossover utility vehicle, Kia's mid-size Sorento SUV retains the rugged body-on-frame construction preferred by off-road enthusiasts and those who need to tow heavier 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 at hauling the kids and family dog. Of course, the Sorento's long list of standard features, a choice of impressively powerful V6 engines, easy-to-swallow low sticker price and Kia's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty are also big draws. Safety is another area where the Sorento shines, with a five-star government crash-test safety rating, full-length side-curtain airbags and electronic stability control and traction control, all included as standard equipment.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for an SUV that's bigger than a Honda CR-V but smaller than a Dodge Durango, the 2008 Kia 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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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 two V6 engines perform well but deliver mediocre fuel economy.

What's New for 2008

The Sorento LX receives a new 3.3-liter V6 engine good for 242 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque. A 3.8-liter V6 remains standard on the EX trim level.

Driving the Sorento

Driving Impressions On the road, the 2008 Kia 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 somewhat 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.

Wide Interior
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.

2008 Kia Sorento Details
Interior

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, with substantial plastic components, rich textures and plush surfaces. Standard front and rear side-curtain airbags and a driver's knee airbag comprise a worthwhile safety bonus.

Exterior

The 2008 Kia 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The LX trim level includes the 3.3-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, driver's knee airbag, fuel tank skid plate, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, four 12-volt outlets, alloy wheels and a rear wiper and washer. The EX with Luxury Package adds a 3.8-liter V6, fog lights, side cladding, power sunroof, eight-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, leather seating and interior trim, automatic headlamps, 16-inch machined alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic temperature control and full-time four-wheel drive.

Optional Equipment

Options include Torque-On-Demand full-time four-wheel drive, fog lights, remote start and a rear spoiler. Stand-alone options and accessories include a power moonroof (EX), trailer hitch and side step bars.

Under the Hood

The Sorento's 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 3.3-liter V6 in the LX reduces weight and cost, but delivers nearly as much power as the larger 3.8-liter. Those who need to tow up to 5,000 pounds, however, will want to opt for the larger engine, as the 3.3-liter is tow rated up to only 3,500 pounds.

3.3-liter V6
242 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
228 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 (2WD), 15/22 (4WD)

3.8-liter V6
262 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (2WD), 15/20 (4WD)

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2008 Kia Sorento Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 614 Ratings for the 2003 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.1/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    8.3/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Love it!!

By on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfort, stylish, huge trunk space"

Cons: "No auxillary input"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have been driving this car since January, and have already put over 11,000 miles on it, and it goes without a hick up! It gets much better gas mileage than I expected. I average about 18 in the city, which I love for the size of car it is. It has enough room for everything I need to carry around, and makes me feel like I'm in a huge car without the huge car gas bill. I would recommend this car to EVERYONE and anyone looking for a mid-sized SUV."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

TERRIBLE PURCHASE.

By on Friday, August 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 133,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Does well in the snow and ice."

Cons: "Constant mechanical problems, NEVER ENDING."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I have a 2008 Kia Sorento and as soon as it hit 100,000 miles almost everything on the car that could break - did. There's this mysterious problem that causes my Sorento to randomly (about once every few months in the beginning, about once a week now) NOT drive. The transmission gets jumpy, it won't accelerate, it lurches back and forth when shifting gears. I've paid literally thousands of dollars to 4-5 different mechanics to replace and fix everything they could possibly think would be causing the problem - yet, the problem is still here. The consensus seems to be that there's an electrical issue causing problems between my gas pedal and the car's computer. ANYWAY - I'm not happy AT ALL with my Sorento and will NEVER buy Kia again."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great warrantee and price.

By on Saturday, August 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "The price and 100,000 mile warrantee."

Cons: "The gas mileage at 18+/_ is not the best."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"It has been a great dependable car for my wife and me. There have been several minor recalls that were quickly taken care of by Kia. We checked out a number of similar makes and models when we were looking for a new car and the Kia Sorento provided everything we wanted and at the best price!"

I love this SUV!

By on Sunday, August 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "reliable, flexible, seats 5 comfortably"

Cons: "radio reception stinks! only 18 mpg"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this SUV new and have driven it almost every day. As a hockey mom, we cover a lot of territory in cold weather. With family in Tucson, we spend some time in the heat. One scary trip followed some incomplete drive train work in Santa Fe, but the dealership in Tucson got us on the road again. No unexpected repairs. I am looking to buy a new one someday. Still loving this one!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

service was horrible

By on Friday, August 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Good on milage"

Cons: "rough ride - hard to get problems solved at dealer"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"dealerships rarely have Kia parts. waits for service has been as long as 4 weeks. Would not purchase again."

never let's me down

By on Thursday, July 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfortable ride and the a/c is wow great"

Cons: "wish had better gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Love it since day one~ I can always count on it to start right up to run great get me where I'm going.I always have oil changed every 3000 miles and everything is in great shape I love it cuz I can drop the back seat and when I buy something large I just slide right in the back there."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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