Highlights: The Sorento is available with third-row seats. The crossover also received the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 5-star overall safety rating, the highest score given.
Test vehicle’s MSRP: $46,720 (Base Model starts at $25,795)
Seating Capacity: 5 or 7, depending upon the seating configuration
Standard Safety Features: air bags; ABS; electronic brake distribution; electronic stability control; a hill start assist system; a tire pressure monitoring system; and rollover sensors
Standard Equipment (Base Model): 17-inch wheels; a 6-speed transmission; cloth manually adjustable front seats second row seats; a rear spoiler; manual a/c; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; and a rear spoiler
(SX Limited Model): 19-inch chrome wheels; a 3.3-liter, 6-cylinder engine; all-wheel drive; a push-button keyless starter system; a rear camera with a rear cross traffic alert system; a blind spot detection system; two driving modes: sport and economy; acoustic front door windows and windshield; auto headlights; fog lights; LED front lights; panoramic sunroof; power folding exterior mirrors; rear tail lights with LED; roof rails; Nappa leather seats; power front seats; heated and ventilated front seats; heated outboard second-row seats; sunshade screen for second row seats; dual zone automatic temperature control; a 630-watt,12-speaker Infinity audio system with AM/FM/HD/CD; 8-inch navigation/infotainment screen; power programmable liftgate; and UVO (Ford Sync-like system)
Options on SX Limited: a Tech Package, which consist of a forward collision assist system, a radar-activated cruise control system, a surround view monitor, HID (High Intensity Discharge) headlights, and an electronic parking brake; carpeted floor mats; and a carpeted cargo mat
Rear– stabilizer bars
Standard Audio: an AM/FM/CD with satellite
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes
Towing Capacity: 2,000 lbs
Recommended Fuel: Regular
Standard Fuel Mileage: 21-city/29-hwy
Other Trim Levels:
iPod and USB ports: Yes
What’s New: The third-generation Sorento wears a more athletic exterior with its longer wheelbase, which leads to more people and cargo space. The Sorento offers a host of safety and high tech features that will rival any import luxury crossover.
Pros: The redesigned Sorento is available in several trims with three engine choices. The engine choices include a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder, a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder turbo and a 3.3-liter, 6-cylinder. The sporty crossover is also available in either a front wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration.
In comparison to the model it replaced, the current generation Sorento is more refined and polished. In fact, by appearance purposes, the new Sorento offers a level of workmanship and craftsmanship that could easily rival any premium class luxury crossover, especially when comparing the higher end SX Limited trim. The Sorento offers a level of style, sophistication and class that would have been unheard of in a Kia just a few short years ago.
Not only is the mystique of the Kia evident outside, but inside too. The layout of the interior of the all-new Sorento is the same as both the luxurious Hyundai Genesis sedan and the brand’s minivan sibling, the Sedona. The only difference is that the Sorento is dressed up as a crossover and offers more towing ability, as opposed to a car or a minivan. Everything is well laid out, easily placed and of course user friendly. It’s quite obvious, that there was definitely a lot of attention to detail.
And depending upon the trim, the Sorento can be outfitted with a number of firsts for the crossover. Some of those include a forward collision alert system, a rear cross traffic alert system and a radar activated cruise control system. By having these safety driving aids, this definitely provides a peek into the world of autonomous vehicles.
Overall the handling capabilities of the Sorento proved that the vehicle is capable of both short and long haul rides. The longer wheelbase improves the overall ride and handling capabilities. And with this being a Kia, its offers one of the best warranties on the market and a price point that undercuts its rivals.
Cons: The only hindrance to the recently revised Sorento is the Kia name. Despite its significantly improved quality, Kia still has a stigma to overcome as it relates to building reliable vehicles.
The Verdict: For consumers, seeking a value-added price, style, class, a host of high tech safety amenities and a well-built vehicle, the Kia Sorento is a no brainer. The 2016 Kia Sorento, with the brand’s signature Tiger nose front grille, can rival any crossover in the segment, especially when fully optioned. Yes, with the new Sorento, Kia has both a price point and trim package that can meet everyone’s needs.
Competition: Acura MDX, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia Denali and Infiniti QX60
Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of an educational car-buying guide. His radio program Auto Trends with JeffCars.com airs on the last Saturday of the month. To learn more about his radio program, his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to www.JeffCars.com. Follow him @ Twitter/JeffCars.
(Photo Source: Jeff Fortson)