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2011 Kia Sorento

Overview
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2011 Kia Sorento Review

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Completely redesigned following a one-model-year hiatus, the 2011 Kia Sorento reflects a wholesale transition that spans everything from its look and feel to its place of origin. Swapping body-on-frame for more car-like unitized construction and available in base/LX/EX/SX trims, the new Sorento boasts a smarter appearance, enhanced creature comforts for up to seven, upgraded powertrains and improved dynamics. Related by architecture to its Hyundai Santa Fe cousin, this "compact-plus" front-drive/all-wheel drive crossover is the first Kia to be made in America at the firm's new facility in West Point, Georgia. The automaker sees four-cylinder Sorento variants facing off against rivals like Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 with V6-powered models taking on foes like the Ford Edge, Mazda CX-7, Nissan Murano and Toyota Highlander.

You'll Like This Car If...

Should words like practical, comfortable, versatile and economical be the first to come to mind when you start scoping out a mid-size crossover, the 2011 Kia Sorento definitely merits a test drive.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those expecting to spend more time off pavement than on will be better served by a more traditional body-on-frame SUV like the Nissan Xterra or Toyota 4Runner. Anyone planning to tow more than a 3,500-pound trailer should consider a Toyota Highlander V6.

What's Significant About This Car?

A comprehensive ground-up remake moves this bigger, better and decidedly more capable 2011 Kia Sorento into the most desirable part of an increasingly popular market segment.

Driving the Sorento

Driving Impressions Well-mannered, well-balanced, easy to maneuver and easy to live with, the 2011 Kia Sorento is truly a driver-friendly travelmate. Although the 2.4-liter four has sufficient power to handle all light-to-medium...

duty work, it's decidedly less stressed when fitted to the front-drive models. The 3.5-liter V6 adds considerably more enthusiasm in either configuration without exacting too much of a fuel-economy hit and ups the Sorento's max-tow rating from 1,650 to 3,500 pounds. Wider track dimensions, a nicely tuned, fully independent suspension and appropriately scaled wheel/tire fitments give this Kia crossover a confident feel and help curtail body roll in corners while its low-key stability control allows for some measure of reasonably spirited driving. However, even modestly rough road surfaces tend to produce more noise and impact harshness than you'd expect in the Sorento's otherwise notably well-isolated cabin. Although lacking a low-range transfer case, the Sorento's torque-on-demand all-wheel drive system does include a lockable center differential.

UVO infotainment system
Introduced on the 2011 Sorento, Kia's answer to Ford's SYNC also is built around Microsoft's Windows Embedded Automotive software and offers a full spectrum of user-friendly features, expanded voice recognition capability and is easy to update.

World-class warranty
The 2011 Kia Sorento is protected by the automaker's outstanding five-year/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper coverage that includes 24-hour roadside assistance as well as a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.

2011 Kia Sorento Details
Interior

Impressively finished and tastefully turned out, the 2011 Kia Sorento cabin gains 15 percent more volume and a new – albeit kid-scaled – third-row seat that's standard in V6 models and optional in all but the "base" four. Numerous soft-touch surfaces effectively counterpoint hard plastic elements, while highly legible instrumentation, logical control layouts and a bounty of standard comfort/convenience touches add appeal, whether teamed with cloth or optional leather upholstery. All iterations match decently supportive front buckets with a generously proportioned 60/40 split/folding second-row bench. The Sorento's modest 9.1 cubic feet of stow space when rigged for seven rises to 37.0 cubic feet with the third row folded and maxes out at 72.5 cubic feet.

Exterior
2011 Kia Sorento photo

Integrating cues from its 2007 KND-4 Concept vehicle with the latest elements of Kia production design, the Sorento's bodywork melds clean, aerodynamic lines with suitably modern detailing in the grille and headlamp/taillamp treatments. Longer, lower and wider than the 2009 model it replaces, the 2011 Sorento rides on a marginally shorter wheelbase but boasts over 1.5-inches of additional front/rear track. Nicely flared fender arches are filled with 17-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in 235/65 all-season tires on base and LX models, while the EX and SX models get 235/60 rubber on 18-inch satin-finish and polished alloys. The top-line Sorento SX adds a bit more brightwork, body-color bumpers and LED taillights.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Beyond a 175-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, five-passenger base and LX Sorento models feature a full range of power assists, air conditioning, multifunction/tilt/telescoping steering wheel, trip computer, cruise control, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with Sirius Satellite Radio, USB/AUX ports and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity. The LX V6 adds rear air conditioning and a third-row seat while the EX trim nets dual-zone climate control, Kia's UVO infotainment system, power driver's seat, upgraded interior trim, a backup camera, fog lamps, automatic headlight control and a rear spoiler. Sitting atop the Sorento range, the SX boasts full-leather seating, a premium Infinity sound system, navigation with real-time traffic and more.

Optional Equipment

The modest Sorento LX option roster includes a Convenience Package (roof rails, fog lamps, heated front seats, Backup Warning System) and folding third-row bench. The LX V6 can be upgraded with the same Convenience Package as the four-cylinder and EX buyers can add a Premium Package (leather, heated front seats, backup camera) and/or a Limited Package (Navigation with real-time traffic, 18-inch chrome-finish wheels, and special interior trim/mood lighting) as well as a rear-seat DVD entertainment system [V6 only]. A panoramic sunroof is the sole SX option.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Kia Sorento offers two gasoline engines. Its port-injected 2.4-liter four makes 175 horsepower and 169 pound-feet of torque while the 3.5-liter V6 turns out a far more energetic 276 horses and 248 pound-feet of torque. Save for the "base" front-drive Sorento, all other versions feature a new Kia-designed six-speed "Sportmatic" automatic transmission. Offsetting the four's lower entry price point, the more capable and enthusiastic V6 equals its 20-mpg city rating and sacrifices but one mpg on the highway when motive force only goes to the front wheels. Interestingly enough, a four-cylinder/front-drive Sorento LX/EX actually nets better EPA figures in both categories with the new automatic than a base model does with its six-speed manual.

2.4-liter in-line four cylinder
175 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
169 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg (FWD 6-sp manual), 21/29 mpg (FWD 6-sp automatic), 21/27 mpg (AWD 6-sp automatic)

3.5-liter V6
276 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 mpg (FWD 6-sp automatic), 18/24 mpg (AWD 6-sp automatic)

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2011 Kia Sorento Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 231 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Great, Reliable, Comfortable, Car.

By on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable seating, great drive, great price"

Cons: "None"

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

"I have owned this car for over 2 years. I have a 2011. Purchased it as a certified preowned with very low mileage. Great car for the money. Great Warrenty. Great, comfortable ride. I have a 6 cylinder all wheel drive with the 3rd row seating. The middle row of seats recline fully and are just as comfortable as the front seats. I have grown children and have taken several trips from NJ to Florida in it. Very comfortable ride. The 3rd row seat is tight for adults but great for kids."

7 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Most comfortable SUV and priced reasonably

By on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfy seats, easy to drive, roomy"

Cons: "Don't like set up on steering wheel for phone"

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

"I bought this 4 cyl SUV new and love it-more power than imagined! Much roomier than my Honda-CRV and gas mileage is comparable. I am looking at the new 2015 because I put a lot of miles on this SUV in the last 2 yrs. Everyone that has rode in it says it is so comfy -even my grandkids! The back seats are as comfy as the front-except my front seats are heated. I recommend this SUV and guarantee you won't be sorry."

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

What's not to like? Looks good, drives good.

By on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good looking machine."

Cons: "Gas mileage could be better."

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

"Very, very good price for the vehicle. I really believe it is as good as $40,000 and up similar SUV's. Looks as good as the Lexus RX 350 and is comparably equipped. Feels solid and after two years and 35,000 miles, nothing but routine service. I have the six speed, six cylinder version. Actual mileage around town is 21-22 mpg. On the road at the speed limit, 23-25. The UVO entertainment system is a good one."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

What a great deal

By on Thursday, July 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great value, very comfortable"

Cons: "not the greatest gas mileage"

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

"I've owned one for over 2 years. This vehicle is comfortable, has a ton of amenities, is roomy, and is a fraction of the price of similar SUVs. The handling of a vehicle of this size is quite surprise; it has a very tight turn radius and is extremely stable and secure. I don't even think about roll-overs in this vehicle. I have the V6, so it has lots of power when you want it, especially with the semi-manual transmission. I added a tow hitch, which adds a lot of possibilities to its use. It has been reliable so far. The only complaint is that the gas mileage is on the low side: I average 22-24 MPG."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Im Happy

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,670

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Everything as far as Im concerned."

Cons: "None...Its a good car"

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

"I am on my second Sorento. I now drive a 2014 after trading my 2012. Great Ride! I really like this vehicle. Really good power for a 4 cyl. Great at cruising the expressway, or buzzing around town. Im a big guy, 6'2 225 pounds and I have plenty of room. Very comfortable seats and you are able to obtain many configurations with the seats and adjustable steering wheel. Really good steering response for a vehicle of this type. I do a lot of driving on the expressway and get really good mileage at cruising speeds, about 31 mpg. I get around 25 around town. Stereo is great and so is the voice command. Im impressed with the voice command. Great Feature that actually works. I recommend a Kia for sure!"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

I love this car

By on Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Warranty first, and cargo space second."

Cons: "The tires that come with it will be replaced."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I did alot of research and I love this car. It is great to drive on long or short trips. The warranty package is great and I'm covered for 10 years and 7 years on paint etc, i figure that I will have it for 10 years, because I like it so much."

4 people out of 4 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

Buying this car?