• The 2019 Sorento has updated styling and a more upscale interior
  • Smart Shift & Drive automatically switches between drive modes based on driving style
  • Starts at $26,980 (including destination charges) | Price yours


Kia’s midsize SUV receives a refresh for 2019 that adds standard features, updated styling, and expanded tech and safety equipment. The powertrains have also changed. For the 2019 model year, the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine has been dropped. However, the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder returns, now backed by a revised 6-speed automatic transmission, which is said to be more efficient. The 3.3-liter V6 also returns, now with an 8-speed automatic.  Kia has teased that it is working on a new diesel engine for the Sorento as well.

The Sorento’s previous Drive Mode Select has been replaced by a new feature that Kia calls Smart Shift & Drive. It automatically switches between Eco, Sport and Smart modes based on how the vehicle is being driven. It can also be set based on the driver’s preference.

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New Look, Inside and Out

While the dimensions of the vehicle remain relatively unchanged, there are new styling cues in the front and rear, and the interior has gone more upscale. Up front, there’s a new grille and redesigned fog lights. In addition, the upper SX and SXL trims are available with full LED lighting. The front end is finished off with a new bumper design. There’s also a new bumper in back, as well as new taillights – LEDs for EX and higher trims – as well as an updated liftgate and a new exhaust tip. There are three new wheels to choose from, ranging from 17 to 19 inches in size. The five trim levels, L, LX, EX, SX and SXL, remain the same.

Inside, Kia has given the Sorento an updated steering wheel, shifter knob and instrument panel. The center console and air vents have been changed as well. The third row is now standard equipment, making all Sorentos capable of seating seven. New for 2019, the front passenger seat will have 2-way power lumbar on SX and SXL trim levels.

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New Tech

Within the updated cabin, there are several new tech features. Kia offers a suite of safety tech, called Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, now standard on the EX trim and above. It includes lane-keep assist and driver attention warning (both new for 2019), as well as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot detection, forward collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and a surround view monitor. Rollover mitigation and cornering brake control continue to be standard on all all-wheel-drive models.

Higher-level Sorentos have an updated navigation system, and the base L comes standard with a 7-inch screen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available. Also available is wireless smartphone charging, which works with some Android and Apple phones. A new 10-speaker, 630-watt Harman Kardon audio system uses an 11-channel amplifier, as well as QuantumLogic surround sound. You can also download apps for your Sorento.

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