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 kiaforever on Friday, April 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very spacious. great value. safe. stylish"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Kia has really stepped up their game! This is very comparable to more luxury SUV's like it! Great handling, drives wonderful in the snow. Huge capacity for cargo! Love this vehicle so much!"
By pook on Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "handling, power, styling"
Cons: "unreliable, tailgate rattle,ride could be smoother"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"bought my 2013 lx v6 awd sorento brand new in september 12, i like the looks of the car an it handles well and the v6 gives plenty of gusto, however two months into ownership i started experiencing trouble. the car would not crank over, turn key and nothing, it was in shop about five or six times, twice on a tow truck, finally in march 13 they seeed to get it fixed, today however april 16 2014, it wouldn't start and had to drive my other vehicle to work, back to dealer on a tow truck, i have also had a vibration at highway speeds that will make my hands go numb after awhile, even after many complaints, the dealer can't duplicate problem, i have had a lemon law case brought against kia, so far no resolution."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By IIBEACH on Sunday, April 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of space, handles well, great MPG, visibility"
Cons: "Not as quiet on the highway as I'd like"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought my 2012 Sorento EX in August 2011. I selected it because Kia gave so much more for the money vs. others I liked. I already have 65K on it, and while I expected it to be competent, I guess I'm surprised that it has been much more than that. It gives me loads of space, it's quite comfortable, exceptional MPG (23/29), great acceleration for a 4 cyl, and with the exception of a seam in the driver's seat that opened (which Kia replaced), I have had no issues whatsoever. I don't keep most cars very long, due to my high miles driven, but when I replace this one (soon), I will give Kia another look. They earned it."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By SC on Friday, March 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Plenty of interior space for a long drive"
Cons: "4 cylinder does not have enough push"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I love my Sorento! It is great for highway driving and meets my needs of having to park in downtown. Fuel efficiency is wonderful, fill up once every 2 weeks, as I have the 4 cylinder. If I were to buy again, I would definitely get a Sorento, but would choose the 6 cylinder, as it lacks a little in power when getting onto the highway."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Douglas on Monday, March 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Dependable, fun to drive, great value"
Cons: "Gas mileage lower than advertised, naviation so-so"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my 2nd Sorento. Love the heated/ cooled leather seats, auto climate control, UVO system, etc. This car has nearly every feature you can get, including a glass roof. The only things that aren't perfect are the navigation system, the gas mileage, and cargo space. The navigation maps are not very accurate. (says my home and work addresses don't exist!) Gas mileage is close to posted ratings, but not quite. I knew about the cargo space when I bought the car, so I'm not saying I am disappointed, just wish it had a little more."
8 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Drew on Tuesday, February 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,899overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "We love it is all I can say, can't say otherwise.."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We started out with a Kia Sportage in 2009 with a 4 cyl, & shifted up to Sorrento w/V-6 So we can better tow our 1650 Crestliner Aluminum Bass boat back & forth to Pleasant & Havasu lake, the Sportage was underpowered & now the Sorrento is powered great at 276HP! We love it as did the older Sportage, this just fits the bill better. A little pricey at 37,750. for the Sorrento FWD SX But it's fully loaded with everything you could imagine except all wheel drive & we like it that way, better mileage & less maintenance, we could have spent WAY LESS ON THE BASE MODEL BUT WE LIKE THE LOADED ONE!!! We decided because it has front twin traction drive, it's plenty of control on surfaces we drive & gets better mileage than the All Wheel Drive by around 2 MPG & is much less maintenance without another Differential, transfer case & other 4wd components! We get around 26mpg loaded on the highway & have lots of room. Very happy & Kia & sister company Hyundai have the best warranty..."
12 people out of 15 found this review helpful