Search Cars

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2014 Kia Sorento

PRICE : For 2014 Kia Sorento $24,100

The new Sorento sports a more athletic look than its predecessor due to restyled front and rear fascias, a slightly wider stance and attractive new taillights, but the bigger news is an almost completely redesigned suspension. It provides safe, predictable handling dynamics in addition to a ride that's soft but not floaty. The new setup also includes several NVH-reducing measures that result in a whisper-quiet interior.

The cabin has also been enhanced with additional soft-touch materials, a reworked instrument cluster and a new center stack with more premium-looking controls. An available eight-inch touchscreen controls navigation and entertainment functions in addition to Kia's UVO eServices infotainment system.

UVO provides Bluetooth-based smartphone integration, streaming audio and voice command functionality for everything from placing calls to changing radio stations. It also includes vehicle diagnostics info and maintenance reminders, and lets users send directions or Point of Interest info from Google Maps searches on their smartphone to the Sorento's nav system, which itself offers access to Google Maps and Google Places.
For more information on UVO eServices, visit our Spotlight On: Kia UVO eServices in-depth article.

The Sorento has ample room for five passengers in the first two rows seats, but the optional third row is best left to small children. With the third row in place, just nine cubic feet of cargo space is available - carrying seven passengers and a healthy amount of cargo isn't an option. However, fold down the third row and there's an impressive 37 cubic feet available, and a full 72 cues can be had by tucking away the second row.


The first thing you’ll notice about the 2014 Sorento is that it looks smaller than its predecessors. Don’t get us wrong, as a crossover, we didn’t expect a hulking SUV, but a case can be made that the new Sorento seems to have been designed with an eye towards giving it a sportier and more dynamic look. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Kia’s offering three colors for the crossover — Ebony Black, Snow White Pearl and Titanium Silver — although we certainly wouldn’t mind seeing it in other shades, too.

The front and rear fascias have been redesigned to enhance the look of the car. The tiger-nose grille, in particular, was a big with its new anodized silver-metal or black-mesh appearance. Even the front LED positioning lamps have been modified, creating dynamic eyebrows. It’s a setup that’s both eye catching and functional, underscoring the entire purpose of the 2014 Sorento as a refreshed model.

Wheel options for the Sorento vary from redesigned 17- and 18-inch models all the way up to 19-inch wheels, making this the first Sorento ever to have 19-inchs rims. Technology was also a critical element to the overall setup of the new Sorento. No more was that evident than Kia using advanced sonar sensors, and making the 2014 Sorento the first of many Kia vehicles to begin offering a blind-spot detection system.

Finally, as the top-of-the-line model, the SX Limited comes with its own set of new features, including the addition of self-leveling Xenon HID head lights, exclusive 19-inch chrome wheels, sporty red-painted brake calipers, and exclusive SXL badges that have been plastered around the exterior to complete the look.

What Kia did with its new crossover just goes to show the lengths it’s gone to turn their entire model range around, the Sorento included.


Like the rest of the new models from Kia, the 2014 Sorento was treated to a plush interior makeover. It’s a refreshing take, especially when you consider that the market it belongs to pays less attention on being pretty than anything else. To its credit, Kia wanted to give the Sorento some new shine and did so by dressing it up with unique and luxurious Nappa leather trimmed seats. A wood-trimmed, heated steering wheel is also part of the improved interior makeup of the Sorento as are the heated rear seats, both of which come as standard features to the crossover. In addition, Kia also added an exclusive soft-touch headliner and pillar accents to the Sorento SX Limited.

For all of the aesthetic improvements on the Sorento, Kia also paid careful attention to giving the crossover plenty of functionality, highlighted by a redesigned instrument panel that combines technology with proven ergonomics. On the Sorrento EX and above, the crossover’s large center gauge cluster comes with a 7-inch TFT LCD screen that projects plenty of travel information for the convenience of the driver and the passengers. It displays info like trip and vehicle information, along with navigation updates with the latter coming as an added option.
The Sorento’s center stack — a part of the interior that usually gets ignored — was modernized to provide a cleaner look to the button positions, thus creating a more user-friendly 

This design was also done in large part to provide room for the Sorento’s larger, albeit optional, touchscreen. This screen can be used to integrate a host of features on the Kia crossover, including navigation, SiriusXM Traffic with real-time road information updates, a premium Infinity audio system, SiruisXM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, vehicle settings and UVO eServices, the automaker’s next generation of infotainment and telematics.

Rounding out the available interior features in the 2014 Sorento include a programmable power liftgate, a redesigned panoramic sunroof with a one piece power-operated shade, integrated 2nd row sliding sunshades, dual ventilated air-cooled front seats, a 115-volt power inverter, and illuminated door handle pockets...SEE ALL PHOTOS


 Year : 2014
 Make : Kia
 Model : Sorento
 Engine : GDI Four-cylinder
 Transmission : Six-speed automatic transmission
 Horsepower @ RPM : 191
 Torque @ RPM : 180
 Displacement : 2.4 L


 Substantial design and engineering updates
 New standard and optional engines
 Available Flex Steer electric steering
 Optional Torque On Demand all-wheel drive (AWD)
 Torque Vectoring Cornering Control with AWD
 Available UVO eServices technology
 Available blind-spot monitoring
 New comfort and convenience options
 New SX Limited (SX-L) trim level tops the lineup


Most drivers will find that the 2014 Kia Sorento feels a bit underpowered with the base four-cylinder engine. Considering its negligible fuel economy advantage, the V6 engine is well worth the upgrade if your budget allows. On the road, the Sorento is exceptionally quiet with a scarcity of road noise. We also like the way it rides, as the suspension soaks up bumps with ease. Around turns, the Sorento's handling and steering are far from sporty, but most drivers should find it sure-footed enough for a family vehicle.

When navigating the confines of a parking spot, the big Kia feels smaller than it really is and in general it's quite a bit more maneuverable than larger seven-passenger SUVs. Poor rearward visibility can make the task of backing into a tight space seem daunting, but the available rearview camera and parking sensors help out here. All told, the 2014 Kia Sorento should be a good fit for a wide swath of SUV buyers.


The 2014 Kia Sorento comes in three versions: LX, EX, and SX. Standard on all versions are conveniences like power locks, windows, and mirrors; air conditioning; cruise control; 17-inch wheels; an AM/FM/XM/CD player; auxiliary and USB ports; Bluetooth; tilt/telescoping steering; and steering-wheel audio controls. All-wheel drive and a fold-away third-row seat are options on every model.

Major options on the LX four-cylinder edition include automatic climate control; a rearview camera bundled with the new version of Kia's UVO infotainment system. In this edition, UVO drops its Microsoft underpinnings and adopts a simpler smartphone-driven setup that can offer Google mapping and helpful functions like service scheduling and a parking-lot finder, all free of charge. Infinity audio, pushbutton start, a power tailgate, and blind-spot monitors and reverse parking sensors are also available.

The Sorento EX adds the V-6 engine as standard equipment; it also gets a large 7-inch LCD screen between the gauges for secondary display of navigation; 18-inch wheels; fog lamps; a leather-wrapped steering wheel; a 115-volt power outlet; and a power driver seat and heating for both front seats. Options include a panoramic sunroof, a power passenger seat, and ventilation for both front seats.

The Sorento SX gets 19-inch wheels; panoramic sunroof; roof rails; navigation; an Infinity audio system; ventilated front seats; and a power tailgate standard.

The SX Limited tops off the lineup with 19-inch chrome wheels, red-painted brake calipers, and inside, Nappa leather seats, a wood-trimmed and heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats as standard equipment....SEE ALL PHOTOS


The Sorento also offers an Eco mode, ostensibly to improve mileage. However, I could not discern much of a difference in throttle response when the green Eco icon was lit up in the instrument cluster.

Kia's 3.3-liter V-6 demonstrates the efficiency of direct injection technology. Producing 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque, it has higher output than many port injection 3.5-liter V-6 engines on the market. And with the six speed automatic transmission, the Sorento earns EPA fuel economy estimates of 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. Monitoring the trip computer average, I found the vehicle stayed well within that range. My final average, after a mix of highway and city driving, came in at an impressive 22.8 mpg.

And while the transmission could be slow to kick down when I jumped on the gas, the engine responded with a very satisfying growl. A little too much throttle on hill starts made the front wheels spin for a moment before letting the Sorento take off, and when I needed to pass other cars, that engine gave the Sorento the necessary pull.

I really like this engine, and it works perfectly for Kia's larger cars.

The Sorento uses a fixed suspension, offering no modes to match the steering tuning. But I found it reasonably comfortable when driving over a variety of roads, competently handling the bumps. I noticed over one rough section a recurring bass thump in the cabin, which I verified was not coming from the speakers. But the suspension handled the associated road bumps with appropriate damping.

The suspension kept the Sorento reasonably stable in the turns, but understeer kept me from pushing the car too fast.


To entice buyers, Kia adds technology upgrades to the 2014 Sorento. Electric steering is standard this year, offering driver-controlled Flex Steer settings of Comfort, Normal and Sport. Most models are equipped with a new 7-inch LCD information screen in the gauge cluster and a larger 8-in color touchscreen for the center control panel, while Sorento AWD models feature new Torque Vectoring Cornering Control (TVCC) technology. 

New options include a next-generation UVO infotainment system with eServices technology, a new Blind Spot Monitoring System, a new programmable power rear lift gate, a 115-volt power inverter and ventilated front seats. The luxury-themed Sorento SXL model is equipped with self-leveling Xenon headlights, a heated steering wheel and a heated rear seat, among other features.

While we think the most significant of these new features are the Blind Spot Monitoring System and new UVO eServices technology, there's no denying that the new 2014 Sorento is a more technologically sophisticated vehicle than the SUV it replaces.


At 184.4 inches long, riding on a wheelbase of 106.3 inches, the Kia Sorento has plenty of room for five passengers in its standard configuration. Two more will fit in its available third-row seat, but they'll need to be small.

The Sorento has gone through a discreet transformation for 2014. It doesn't look very different, but Kia says it's 80 percent new, with small increases in leg room for second- and third-row passengers as a result of the changes. The interior room isn't very obvious at all in the front seats, where Kia already provided a good driving position and passenger space. The seats have good bolstering and wide cushions, with good adjustment range to the steering column. The redesigned center stack leaves knee room untouched--no hard points make contact--and the footwells are mostly flat. Moving through the higher trim grades adds power adjustment, heating, and ventilation, touches becoming more common in premium SUVs but still pretty rare in mainstream crossovers like the Sorento.

In the second row, we've found space just as habitable, though the Sorento doesn't have the twin captain's-chairs layout of the similar Hyundai Santa Fe. The bench seat does adjust to flex leg room between the second and third rows, and by Kia's reckoning, there's more than an inch of additional leg room behind the front seats--we think, primarily, from redesigned seats. The second-row bench is split 40/20/40 and the outboard sections recline, for great nap potential, and heating is an option, another welcome premium touch.

In the optional third-row seat, it's purely a kid zone. The Sorento may be a three-row crossover, but by interior volume it's smaller by a good margin than the bigger three-row utes--the Pilot, the Ford Flex, and the Chevy Traverse. The rearmost seat has minimal head and leg room for even small adults, and there's less than 10 cubic feet of space behind it for cargo--a spec that rises to about 36 cubic feet when the third row is folded down.

A thorough rework of the cabin delivers a much better impression of quality inside the Sorento, and that impression extends to noise levels, too. The materials are a finer grade, particularly on the pricey SX-L, and powertrain noises are subdued on V-6 versions, with just some tire noise keeping the back-seat passengers from hearing front-seat conversations clearly...SEE ALL PHOTOS


Solid but mild performance has been a hallmark of the Kia Sorento since it was new in 2011, and a pretty stiff ride has been one of its more obvious shortfalls. This year, the suspension's been redesigned and the powertrains have been revamped--and as a result, the Sorento's ride is more mellow, and its V-6 nets nearly 300 horsepower.

The direct-injection four-cylinder is still the base engine on the Sorento, however. As rare as it's likely to be, it's worth a look, given our past experience with it. The carryover four-cylinder has 191 hp and 181 pound-feet of torque, both lean figures for a vehicle weighing in at more than 3600 pounds. Coupled to the standard six-speed automatic, the four-cylinder is offered with front- or all-wheel drive, and hangs on to its slight advantage in price and gas mileage though it's unlikely to break the 10-second 0-60 mph mark with any more than one passenger on board.

The near-mandatory engine in the Sorento is the uprated 3.3-liter V-6 shared with the long-wheelbase Hyundai Santa Fe, and spec'ed out this year at 290 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain isn't just more powerful, it's more practical given its flexibility with a fully loaded vehicle, and fuel economy not far off the four-cylinder's mark (21 mpg versus 22 mpg combined for front-drive models, for example).

The V-6 works smoothly and efficiently with the six-speed automatic; though there's a sport-shift mode hanging off the shift lever, it's not very likely any Sorento driver will engage athlete mode, especially with six other passengers on board.

Kia's all-wheel-drive system is an on-demand system that can send torque from the front to the back wheels as the fronts slip, and a locking differential fixes the split evenly for tackling the worst weather--not that you'll be going deeply off-road in it. There's also a simulated torque-vectoring application for the anti-lock brakes that clamps down on an inside wheel to help tighten the Sorento's line through corners.

You'll give that some thought, given that the Sorento connects with the road in a more positive way than it did just last year. This year's Sorento gets better handling from a stiffer body structure, through variable-effort electric power steering (on SX models), and from additional bracing and more isolation in the suspension design. All versions have a detectable improvement in ride quality--no more pounding or thumping harshly over smaller road bumps, though new 19-inch wheels cut into that gain--and the SX versions with three-mode steering feel more engaging just from the presence of weight in Sport mode. We'd leave it in normal or comfort most of the time, but sometimes even a token gesture is a welcome one.


The 2014 Sorento is offered with a new Blind Spot Monitoring System, a useful technology that, when the turn signal is used to change lanes, alerts the Sorento's driver to the presence of vehicles traveling in adjacent lanes and hidden in the SUV's blind spots. An all-new chassis also debuts on the 2014 Sorento, providing an 18 percent increase in torsional rigidity. The stronger frame is designed to improve ride and handling, but could have safety implications as well.

We say the new chassis could have safety implications because, at the time this article was written, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has performed crash tests on the 2014 Sorento. Previously, the 2011-2013 Sorento models received a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS. In NHTSA testing, the 2011 Sorento received a 3-star rating for rear seat passenger protection in a side-impact collision, but scored either 4 or 5 stars in all other evaluations. In 2012 and 2013, the Sorento was upgraded from 3 stars to 5 stars for rear seat passenger protection in a side-impact collision.

Though the 2014 Sorento has not been subjected to crash tests at the time this article was published, it is likely to prove to be just as safe as the previous model, thanks to its stiffer platform and the availability of a Blind Spot Monitoring System, which is a significant improvement over the old model. Likely advantage: 2014 Sorento. However, it remains to be seen if the chassis upgrades help the 2014 Sorento pass the new small overlap frontal-impact crash test conducted by the IIHS, which will allow Kia to retain the Sorento's Top Safety Pick rating.


The Kia Sorento delivers better gas mileage for 2014 than it did in the first half of its life cycle, with six-cylinder versions faring as well as other three-row crossovers.

The front-wheel-drive Sorento is rated at 20 miles per gallon on the EPA's city cycle, 26 miles per gallon highway, or 22 mpg combined when fitted with the four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission. The numbers drop to 18/25 mpg, or 21 mpg combined in the six-cylinder Sorento with the automatic transmission.

The all-wheel-drive Sorento is rated by the EPA at 19/24 mpg, or 21 mpg combined as a four-cylinder, and 18/24 mpg, or 20 mpg combined, as a six-cylinder.

Compared to vehicles like the Toyota Highlander or the new Nissan Pathfinder, the Sorento's combined figures are in line, when it's outfitted with the six-cylinder engine. As a four-cylinder five-seater, the Sorento's simply pitted against more efficient and sometimes smaller-displacement offerings. Ford's Edge, for example, offers a turbocharged four-cylinder rated at up to 28 mpg highway; the Toyota Venza isn't far off that mark.


Video by : Testdrive


By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars

= Shahen Tharammal

1 comment:

  1. The Kia Sorento is an awesome vehicle if you are an active person. The interior space is huge enough to pack camping, scuba, and fishing gear inside. You can leave all the gear in there throughout the year. I do that. No crime in taking advantage of massive space. In addition to all that space, the vehicle handles well no matter where its driven.

    Douglass @ Viva Kia