When the midsize Kia Sorento first appeared, it featured a traditional, trucklike body-on-frame design that provided a level of ruggedness not typically found on crossover SUVs. Blessed with above-average off-roading and towing abilities, the V6-powered first-generation Kia Sorento won our respect for its practical nature. It also boasted impressive value, offering the dimensions of a midsize SUV at a compact-crossover price point.
The Kia Sorento is a midsize SUV offered in base, LX and EX trim levels. A third-row 50/50-split-folding seat with room for two is available. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is standard, and it produces 175 horsepower and 169 pound-feet of torque through either a six-speed manual transmission (base only) or a six-speed automatic. The EX has an optional 3.5-liter V6 good for 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque; the only transmission here is a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive with a locking center differential is available.
Even the base model Kia Sorento comes with alloy wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping multifunction steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity and a CD/MP3 audio system with satellite radio and a USB audio jack. Upper trims net standard and optional niceties like rear parking sensors, a back-up camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, a navigation system and an Infinity sound system.
The ride is smooth and quiet, the handling is secure and the driving position puts you at a commanding height. The optional V6 pulls hard and sounds good doing it. Seating is comfortable, and the available third-row bench can even accommodate adults on short trips, making the Kia Sorento an affordable alternative to full-size three-row crossovers. And with all those available luxuries, the Kia Sorento should have something to offer every shopper in this competitive segment.
Most consumers want carlike unibody construction in their SUVs these days, so Kia decided to provide precisely that with the current, second-generation Kia Sorento. The present model also offers a usable third-row seat, standard four-cylinder power with a V6 option, and Kia's extensive warranty package. Even more so than its predecessor, the current Kia Sorento offers midsize functionality and refinement at an extraordinarily reasonable price.