Highlight: The Sorento is now available with Kia’s version of Ford’s MySync System, the UVO, an infotainment system.
Test vehicle’s MSRP: $34,390 (Base Model starts at $23,950)
Seating Capacity: 5 to 7
Standard Safety Features: airbags (front and side); electronic stability control; abs; traction control system; a tire pressure monitoring system; and a downhill brake/hill-start assist system
Standard Equipment: 17-inch tires; heated outside mirrors; tilt-and-telescopic steering; steering wheel mounted controls; a manual a/c; remote keyless entry; cloth manually adjustable seats; power windows and power door locks
Standard Audio: AM/FM/CD/MP3 Player with a limited subscription Sirius XM audio.
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
Bluetooth Compatibility: Standard
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder/175-hp
Recommended Fuel: Regular
Standard Fuel Mileage: 21-city/29-hwy
What’s New: For the 2013 model year, pricing on the base model Sorento increased by nearly $2,000, when compared to the 2012 base model. The healthy price increase is due to adjustments made with the content. For example, the midlevel EX model now includes both leather and a third-row.
Seat Comfort/Support: Very Good
Pros: For a midsize SUV, the Sorento is one of the best buys on the market. Not
only is the Sorento packed with a number of features, it offers one of the best warranties in the industry for thousands less than its competitors.
The low-tech Sorento is easy to use and operate. There are no complicated smart-like phone menus to use or a voice-activated system unless one opts for Kia’s UVO system, which is similar to Ford’s Sync System.
The Sorento is available in a front-wheel drive and an all-wheel drive configuration. The well-built vehicle is available with such features as 18-inch wheels, an upgraded 10-speaker Infinity sound system, a rearview camera, an audible back-up alert system, a dual zone automatic temperature control system, power front (leather) seats, a rear a/c system to accommodate third-row passengers, a pushbutton starter system and a dual sunroof.
Cons: Unlike a number of automakers, Kia lacks some of the high-tech features available with some of its competitors. In fact, don’t expect such features as an electronic blind spot system, a radar cruise control system or a power liftgate.
Also, while the Sorento offers third row seats, most will find it quite cumbersome to enter and exit. And with the third row seat in use, the headrests compromise the driver’s vision, while at the same time limiting the cargo carrying capacity, too.
The Verdict: For consumers looking for a roomy SUV, crossover type vehicle, offering loads of content, below the pricing point of most of its competitors, the Sorento is one of the best buys in the market. While the Kia name may still be haunted by its past negative reputation of being both low-cost and non-reliable, today’s Sorento is a force to be reckoned with.
Competition: Chevy Equinox, Ford Escape, GMC Traverse, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Nissan Murano
Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to JeffCars.com. Follow him http://twitter.com/#!/JeffCars/.