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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
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 275 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

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

2011 Kia Sorento - Great Car

By on Saturday, June 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Bells and Whistles. MP3, Voice Everything, & Room."

Cons: "It Gets around 20 to 24 MPG. City/HWY - 3.5 Liter"

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

2011 Kia Sorento - 3.5 Liter 276 HP Engine (FWD) Seats 7, USB MP3 Player 4GB Flash Drive Holds 1,000 Songs (Highly Recommend)

"I was looking for a Ford Escape when I came across this Vehicle. I wanted to spend around $15,000. I Test Drove MANY Ford Escape Cars and Every Time I liked what I drove except Once. But for Laughs I stopped at a Kia Dealer and Test Drove a 2011 Kia Sorento (Because My Wife said I wouldn't buy anything But a FORD..) But Let Me Tell you that after you drive a Ford Escape then go and Test Drive the Kia Sorento. The difference between a Nice Escape and a LX Sorento (base Model). Is that the LX Sorento is Much Nicer and More Powerful. I was shocked at the Quality of the Kia Sorento. The Base Model has All the Bells and Whistles that you WILL pay ALOT more for if you choose the Escape. The USB MP3 Player that comes standard on ALL Kia Sorento's allows you to plug in a 4GB Flash Drive with 1,000 Songs. Or the Hands Free Phone Use (again Standard on the Kia). Along with the 276 HP allows for No problem when passing Other Vehicles. I really couldn't get over the difference. So take it from a Man that has Bought Ford's ALL His life (Age 42). Before you buy a SUV, You MUST Test drive a Kia Sorento BEFORE you make your final Decision. I Promise you, that you won't be disappointed."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

2011 Kia Sorento - 3.5 Liter 276 HP Engine (FWD) Seats 7, USB MP3 Player 4GB Flash Drive Holds 1,000 Songs (Highly Recommend)

I am very happy with my KIA Sorrento

By on Sunday, June 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "affordable"

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

"I am a petite person and I am very comfortable in my car however my grandson is almost 6' and over 200lbs and he finds the driver seat a LITTLE uncomfortable because of the way the side of the seat wraps around a little. I am very happy with that."

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

I love this car and hope to have it for 10 yrs.

By on Monday, May 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,500

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "This vehicle has the best warranty of all the car"

Cons: "can't think of any"

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

"This car is exactly what I wanted. The size, the cargo space, the warranty, the handling. Just everything. This 2012 Sorrento had the best in comparison to all of the multiple vehicles that I researched."

13 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Terrible gas mileage and uncomfortable

By on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "nice looking"

Cons: "gas, material of seats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Seats are tan, no matter how much you clean them spots keep coming back. Mileage is terrible and just not very comfortable when driving any distance"

1 person out of 10 found this review helpful

Love just about everything except for performance

By on Monday, May 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Styling, value, options & reliability."

Cons: "Engine performance & mileage."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I had a 2013 Sorento SX with 100,000+ miles that I traded for a 2014 Sorento SXL. Just about everything in the new car feels upgraded except for the engine & performance. The V6 on the 2014 is smaller than the 2013. They said this was done to improve mileage, yet still added horsepower. I've found the opposite true. The engine is louder, seems to lag when pushed, especially in ECO mode, and my mileage average is 2 MPG less than before. On the positive side, the interior feels richer and the value for the money is still outstanding. If I didn't have the 2013 to compare it to, I'd probably give it 9's all around."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

First ever crossover

By on Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,030

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I have owned my Sorento for 3 years. It was purchased used, and that is how I discovered that the 10 year 100,000 mile warranty does not hold true. Only if the car is purchased new does this warranty exist. At 65,000 miles things have seemed to fall apart. First it was a seized up brake caliper, now it's a pinion bearing in the rear differential. My previous car (Dodge Intrepid) never had these issues....even with 140,000 miles. Another draw back with this vehicle is the interior. I have the beige seats and they show absolutely everything! I spilled water and thought, "no big deal". I was wrong....even water leaves a stain like you wouldn't believe. Even so, it isn't all bad with this car. I live in an area that has brutal winters and this has been hands down the best vehicle I've ever had for winter driving. The fuel mileage for the V-6 isn't too bad either. The Sorento rides and handles very well, and has plenty of room for my family."

24 people out of 33 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?