KIA manufactures SUV’s in two sizes, with the biggest being the Sorento, now produced in its third generation configuration. I tested a 2015 Sorento this past week, an SX model painted bright silver metallic. This year marks the fourteenth year of production of the Sorento, a mid-size crossover SUV, and the SX represents the middle of the line of Sorentos, with a generous list of standard equipment items included in its base price of $38,300.00.
Like pretty much all of the Hyundai and KIA lineup (Hyundai owns KIA), the Sorento is good looking. It is a brother-in-law of the Hyundai Santa Fe, and this new model seats seven passengers. Luggage space in the far rear of my test car was limited to 9.1 cubic feet, a number that can be increased to 36.9 with the third row of seating folded flat. Double that amount is available if all seats are folded down behind the heated and ventilated power bucket seats that are up front.
All the upholstery in the test SX was black leather and amenities inside included an Infinity surround sound audio setup with ten speakers, navigation/backup camera with 8” screen, panoramic moon roof, blind spot monitor, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, tilt/telescope, rear window shades, pushbutton start, keyless entry, front/rear air conditioning, and satellite radio. Total passenger volume for the seven passenger SX was 151.4 cubic feet.
I won’t mention the test car I turned in the day this Sorento arrived, but will say that upon entering the Sorento, I found the seating and interior materials to be an upgrade and very nice. Visibility, ride, acceleration, and handling are good, and guidance is acceptable.
Speaking of acceleration, zero to sixty for the KIA is reportedly ten seconds. It is accomplished with a 3.3 liter V-6 with 290 horsepower (6,400 rpm) and 252 lb. ft. of torque (5,200 rpm). The full-time all-wheel drive train utilizes a six-speed electronically controlled transmission. EPA fuel economy ratings are 18 mpg-city, 24 mg-highway, and 20 mpg-combined. My calculation came out to 21.1 mpg for my week with the Sorento, and the fuel tank holds 17.4 gallons.
I mentioned the looks of my SX, and the recruitment of Peter Schreyer to KIA (from Audi) eight years ago is a big component of that styling prowess. His TT model at the prior company was an award-winning design. The KIA I drove featured chrome door handles, ten-spoke alloy wheels, metal fascia integration front and rear, and a chrome luggage rack up top. The tires were Kumho Crugen Premium P235/55R19’s.
Base price of the KIA is $38,300.00, and along with freight of $895.00, the total M.S.R.P. came to $39,195.00. This is where the KIA Sorento SX shines, in the value proposition department. Many comparably-equipped seven passenger SUV’s come in at somewhere north of $50,000.00, so when shoppers are interested in such a vehicle, they best consider one of these KIA’s.