The Kia Sorento is a mid-size crossover sold only as a four-door SUV. The Sorento pairs a front engine design with front-wheel or four-wheel drive. The first generation of Sorentos launched in 2002 to lackluster reviews. The SUV has undergone a comprehensive redesign for 2011 and has garnered positive results. Kia has also added trim options and juggled the Sorento's standard equipment. Sales are predicted to improve for the redesigned model over the first generation's numbers.
Sorento buyers can choose from a four-cylinder engine producing 175 horsepower or a V6 with 276 horsepower. The four-cylinder with front-wheel drive is expected to average 21 miles per gallon in city driving and 29 mpg on the highway. The four-cylinder with four-wheel drive should make 21 mpg in city conditions and 27 mpg on the highway. The V6 with front-wheel drive is predicted to have 20 mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway. The V6 paired with four-wheel drive should achieve 19 mpg under city conditions and 25 mpg on the highway.
Kia introduced the Sorento in 2002. The first-generation Sorento used a body-on-frame design as the base, similar to a traditional truck's frame. Critics derided the Sorento's performance. While it operated well off-road and towed an above-average load for its weight, the Sorento's ride was uncomfortable. Kia switched to a unibody design for the second-generation Sorento, which allowed it to perform more like a car. Reviews of the redesign have been positive and sales have increased.
The Sorento is available in base, LX, EX or SX trim levels. Base trim includes a manual transmission with six speeds, powered accessories and bluetooth capabilities. LX trim has a six-speed automatic transmission, a heating element in the outside mirrors and LED turn signals on the mirrors. A Convenience package for the LX trim includes rear parking sensors, heated front seats and a rear view camera. The EX upgrades the wheels to 18-inch alloy, adds key-free entry and provides climate control in two zones. The SX changes the exterior's styling, tunes the suspension and adds leather upholstery. Some SX features are available to EX models as optional packages named Premium and Limited. The packages also include a navigation system that updates in real-time and is available for SX models.
Kelley Blue Book placed the Sorento on its 2011 Top 10 Family Cars list. Consumers Digest named the Sorento a 2011 Best Buy. US News and World Report includes the Sorento on its list of Best New Cars for 2011. Independent automotive reviewers have praised the Sorento's redesign for its handling and warranty, but noted the suspension is firm.
... View more