By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.7
Kia gave the Sorento SUV a thorough makeover last year, enhancing its chassis, engines and interior. For 2015, the Sorento continues with only a few minor improvements designed to make it even more appealing to tech- and fashion-conscious buyers. The Sorento's 7-passenger flexibility makes it ideal for growing families, but Kia also offers a 5-passenger option that allows for more generous permanent cargo space. Although the Sorento scores big in the areas of power, safety and fuel economy, its biggest attraction is the amazing amount of features offered for the money. Because of its flexible seating, the Sorento can be cross-shopped with a number of popular models, including the Ford Edge, Dodge Journey, Toyota Highlander and Nissan Pathfinder.
If you're looking for a 7-passenger crossover SUV big on comfort, safety, style and in-cabin technology, the 2015 Kia Sorento ranks among the best in class.
Changes to the Kia Sorento SUV for 2015 are mild and include minor alterations to the grille and front end, the addition of a navigation option without having to upgrade to UVO and the Infinity sound system, and a more fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine.
Driving Impressions While the Kia Sorento for 2015 may not have the vast interior space of some competitors, it gains advantages from its more maneuverable size and sporty chassis. Seven inches shorter...and with a smaller wheelbase than the Honda Pilot, the Sorento has no problem fitting into tight parking spaces and its tight turning radius makes it less ponderous when negotiating crowded parking structures. Get the Sorento out on the open road and the 290-horsepower V6 and seamless-shifting 6-speed automatic deliver smooth and responsive performance, yet return surprisingly good fuel economy figures. On our long-term test drive, we found the Sorento's seats to be comfortable and supportive and the driving experience very relaxing, with none of the fatigue that is sometimes a trait of larger, truck-like SUVs.
Kia's UVO voice-activated system allows for smartphone integration with the existing audio and navigation setup, allowing an owner to plot a trip from a home computer and then send that information to the car's navigation system. UVO can also automatically dial 911 in the event of an airbag deployment.
Kia's driver-selectable steering system, dubbed FlexSteer, allows for three settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport. Each setting is designed to enhance the driving experience, depending upon driver preference, although we found the Comfort mode to be the least artificial and most enjoyable of the three.
Interior highlights from the well-equipped 2015 Kia Sorento models we've driven include small touches, such as a leather transmission selector boot, and unexpected features, including an LCD speedometer, retractable 2nd-row window shades and a huge panoramic sunroof. Combined with a next-gen level of refinement for Kia, you'll have a hard time finding a nicer interior for the money. The Sorento definitely gives up some passenger and cargo room to just about every other 3-row SUV worth considering, but a rear seat that slides, reclines and folds down in 40/20/40 sections adds valuable flexibility. The optional third row is best reserved for little ones.Exterior
Subtle changes for the 2015 Sorento include a choice of anodized silver metal or black mesh grille and a wider crosshatch lower air intake. The Sorento's headlights offer an LED design element, the exterior mirrors will fold in at the push of a button and the exterior door pockets light up to welcome you back at night. Stepping all the way up to the SX Limited nets xenon HID headlights, unique 19-inch wheels and red brake calipers, but even the base models have a finished look that includes 17-inch aluminum wheels.
A base model 2015 Kia Sorento LX comes with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive and two rows of cloth seats. Standard-feature highlights include Bluetooth and USB phone/audio connectivity, air conditioning, cruise control and steering wheel-mounted controls. Outside, alloy wheels, body-color side mirrors and LED taillights help the entry-priced Sorento present about as well as the pricier trim levels. The full complement of electronic and inflatable safety equipment is also standard.
A 2015 Kia Sorento SX has all of Kia's best features on display, including a powerful V6 engine and all-wheel drive, leather seats (heated and cooled in front), three rows of seating, a panoramic moonroof, keyless entry and touch-start, blind-spot monitoring and the full UVO eServices infotainment setup, including an 8-inch touch-screen display, navigation and a 10-speaker Infinity audio system. For an additional $3,000 you can step up to the SX Limited, with softer Nappa leather, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and a handful of exterior touches.
Because the 4-cylinder engine isn't markedly cheaper or more efficient than the V6, and because the V6's 290 horsepower is a lot to feed through only the front wheels, we recommend the 2015 Kia Sorento with its new V6 engine and all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive system features a locking center differential for especially difficult conditions and incorporates a new Torque Vectoring Cornering Control system that further enhances drivability. All Sorento configurations offer the same 6-speed, manually-selectable automatic transmission.
191 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
181 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg (front-wheel drive), 19/25 mpg (all-wheel drive)
290 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
252 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (front-wheel drive), 18/24 mpg (all-wheel drive)
The 2015 Kia Sorento starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,995 and climbs to just shy of $42,600 for the Nappa-leather-clad SX Limited specialty trim. That upper end sounds like a lot of money for a Kia, but the 2015 Sorento is a lot of car, both in features and refinement. Kia's dramatically improved resale values only bolster the Sorento's already-impressive value proposition. To make your best deal, be sure to check out our Fair Purchase Price that shows what others in your area are paying for a Sorento.
By Judy on Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
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."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Jim on Saturday, June 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,570overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price and sharp looks"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Our 2013 Sorento is the second Sorento we have owned. Totally our family has owned 5 Kias. Each has always had a high quality for the price. The 2013 Sorento has all the luxury we could want plus excellent gas mileage of between 22-23 highway and 19-21 city."
11 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By Coop on Friday, June 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good bang for buck, great value"
Cons: "S-l-o-w motor, cheap seats"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"We've had this 3rd row equipped Sorento for a couple years, with the I-4. My chief complaint is the flat feeling seats, I have trucks, so I'm used to padding, my wife came from an uber cheap 06-ish Malibu, so she's used to cardboard seating, I am not. The 3rd row is very helpful with people who need a minivan but refuse to buy one (ahem!!! Wifey), but with the rears up, you won't hold much beyond a single gym bag, and maybe a gallon of milk back there with it. The rear doors are large enough to get kids in and out, the 2nd row passenger seat "tumbles" forward, looks easy enough to get in, my 250lb over 6ft frame can get back there, once I'm there, getting back out is the trick! Aside of the cheap seats, I hate the steering wheel size, feels video game small. This is just me and trucks I'm sure, but I personally don't like it. I don't like the chrome trim around the gauges, it reflects sunlight in the eyes quite often. The overall interior is really nice looking, is holding up well to kids, but we are the "don't eat, don't drink" in the car parents, so that helps a ton. The little engine, it really seems to struggle. It's a little 4 cylinder, and it shows it. I use the manu-matic mode just to get it up around 3K so it feels like it's moving, it really feels sluggish. Gets mid to high 20's for mileage, which was below the reported mileage, so we get rebate money from that, but I don't know if you'd get that buying it used. Overall, it's a nicely styled car/van/SUV thing, rides pretty well, cruises along nicely, just has troubles passing people, and getting up to speed from a stop. It holds 6 comfortably, and 7 if the middle row has children or real small (skinny) adults. Has a lot of options, the XM/Sirius is cool, good sounding stereo, and the backup camera is really handy, as these vehicles aren't exactly the easiest thing to back into a parking spot, or a garage."
6 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Disgusted Owner on Friday, June 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas mileage, price"
Cons: "Quality, reliability"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have a 2011 Kia Sorento and a 2010 Kia Forte. Both were bought brand new within 6 months of each other. Both are very comfortable, nice looking, get great gas mileage and affordable. However, we have had multiple problems with both vehicles. Just on the Sorento: Brake switch (replaced twice because the first one failed and the replacement part was recalled), power lock/window controls, heated seat on passenger side, fan motor, screws fell out of the dome light, transmission failed & was finally replaced after multiple repairs, gas cap door had to be adjusted multiple times because it wouldn't open, transmission sensor just had to be replaced (in the new transmission). The list goes on plus there have been a couple recall repairs. We've had similar issues with the Forte - steering wheel controls for stereo/cruise control failed (volume button activated the cruise control, station button changed the volume etc), brake switch failed, rear brakes extremely corroded after only 15k miles, speaker wires came loose, etc... While all repairs have been under warranty, the factory warranty is now expired on the Sorento and we were actually persuaded NOT to buy the extended warranty because Kia is supposed to be so reliable and has a 10 year 100k mile powertrain warranty. I now regret not buying the extended warranty because many of the repairs would not be considered powertrain issues and will now not be covered if similar things fail in the future. Kia needs to significantly improve their quality and reliability before I will ever consider owning another one. We've spent far too much time back and forth at the dealership for cars that were bought new and have less than 65k miles on them."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By H on Tuesday, June 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good pick up with 6 cyl"
Cons: "auto dim illumination, window shade rattles, space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I cannot safely drive this car. The instrument cluster auto dims to the point on bright/sunny days that the speedometer needle, KMH and 5mph markers are very hard to see or are invisible. 8 complaints have been made to NHTSA for same problem. Kia says it "is working as designed" "Kia cannot help you". Since design features are not covered under warranty I am out of luck. Had a 2012 which I loved. I will have to get rid of this car soon as it is not safe for me to drive since I have to take my eyes off the road to check on speed. Also rattling window shade "no adjustment available". Otherwise the car runs great. I wish I had kept my 2012."
2 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Hawkman7 on Friday, May 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Seven seats, spacious, sleek style & features.."
Cons: "maintainence of new technology.."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We purchase our Burgundy/Cherry Sorento SX March of 2013 and currently have 34,000 miles. We constantly have people do double takes when they see the car because they can't believe it's a Kia. The third row fold down seats are perfect when our kids friends tag along. All the whistle and bells are awesome, however, my only grip with so much technology is when it has a gliche. After taking our car in for it's recommended 30k mile check up, the dealership rotated our tires. Every since, our TPS (tire pressure sensor) light on the dash continues to sporadically come on. Each time it comes on we've taken it to the dealer and they've run a diagnostic to no avail. Tires have been replaced,tire pressures have been checked all by the dealer to no avail and after the fifth trip to the dealer they've replaced all the TPS. Today it's at the dealer again for the TPS light coming on... Other than that we love the car, just frustrating not being able to trust the technology when it tells you the tire is flat or low. I know, get out and look at the tire, but that's not the point..."
14 people out of 21 found this review helpful