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2019 Sorento

The Sorento is Kia's largest crossover. Available with two or three rows of seats, it caters to families with kids, gear, and dogs to haul around.

Recent changes

For the latest model year, Kia updated the Sorento with minor visual tweaks inside and out.


Few manufacturers try to reinvent the wheel in this segment, and Kia isn't one of them. A few hold-outs like to keep their options boxy, but the Sorento's proportions are entirely conventional for a modern, three-row offering. It's not too exciting and not too boring; not too square and not impractically swoopy either.

That's not to say there aren't any flashy elements. Kia's grille is nothing if not prominently featured here, looking as if it does double-duty as a feeding apparatus for marine Mammalia. There are chrome bits here and there, too, and the expected smattering of LED lighting. All in all, it's a solid effort—handsome, but not necessarily studly.

Life aboard

Kia learned years ago that a clean interior is a great way to demonstrate the effort engineers have gone to in the name of improving quality.

To that end, the Sorento's interior layout is fairly conventional. The second-row bench splits 60/40 for passenger ingress/egress and accommodating unusually long cargo. The third row is a fold-flat setup with its own split configuration, if so equipped.

The Sorento offers all the typical gadgets one would expect from a three-row crossover. Climate control is available for third-row passengers, and the rearmost row folds flat when not in use to accommodate large cargo. Buyers can add wow-factor options such as a panoramic sunroof, rear-seat entertainment systems, a 110v power inverter and Kia's UVO infotainment suite depending on trim and configuration.

Cargo capacity checks in at 11.3 cubic feet behind the third row, 38 behind the second row, and 73 behind the first row.

Technical specifications

The base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque, which isn't much in a 3,800-pound machine. It shifts through a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is offered at an extra cost on some trim levels.

Fuel economy checks in at 22 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. The four-cylinder-equipped model tows 2,000 pounds.

Next up in the lineup is a 3.3-liter, direct-injected V6 with 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque on tap. Front-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission come standard, and all-wheel drive is offered at an extra cost.

The EPA rates the V6-powered model at 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg in a combined cycle. Selecting all-wheel drive lowers the last two figures to 24 and 21, respectively. The upside to the V6 is that it allows the Sorento to tow 5,000 pounds.

Standard and optional features

Kia offers the Sorento in six trim levels named L, LX, LX V6, EX V6, SX V6, and SX-Limited V6, respectively.

The list of standard features includes the 2.4-liter four-cylinder, front-wheel drive, 17-inch alloy wheels, tinted windows, intermittent windshield wipers, a tilt and telescopic steering column, a 3.5-inch display in the instrument cluster, cloth upholstery, three rows of seating, a polyurethane steering multi-function steering wheel, manual A/C, a seven-inch display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, a six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, and power locks.

All-wheel drive is optional on all trim levels. Additionally, many of the features that come standard on the fully-loaded, range-topping LX-Limited trim are offered as standalone options on lower trim levels. These include LED headlights, power-folding exterior mirrors, silver roof rails, a panoramic sunroof, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and heated front seats.

Occupant safety

Every Sorento comes with dual front, side, and curtain airbags in addition to a rollover sensor, a side impact sensor, plus electronic and stability control systems.

Upper trim levels benefit from a lane departure warning system, forward collision avoidance, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Key competitors

The Kia Sorento competes in the same segment as the Volkswagen Atlas, the Ford Explorer, the Honda Pilot, and the Toyota Highlander.