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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2015 Kia Sorento - Review

PRICE : 2015 Kia Sorento $25,432 - $41,573

Delivering a premium look and feel the all-new Kia Sorento, blends style, practicality and technology, which builds on the success of the outgoing model. The new Sorento's smoother, swept-back profile and deeply sculpted surfaces introduce a higher level of sophistication for the third-generation model, with more space and numerous innovative features.

The evolutionary styling changes subtly alter the character of the new Sorento, highlighting its sleek, sinuous, profile, creating a sophisticated appearance and ensuring the new model has a bolder on-the-road presence.

The face of the new Sorento incorporates long, wrap-around headlamps and more prominent fog-lamps, as well as a larger, more upright 'tiger-nose' grille, with a distinctive three-dimensional diamond pattern, first featured on the 2013 Kia Cross GT concept.

In profile, the new model retains the Sorento's hallmark long bonnet and characteristic wide D-pillar, but a lower roofline, higher beltline and swept-back shape give the car a more dramatic, muscular stance.

The new clean look is achieved with the introduction of new laser welding manufacturing techniques, then rendering weld lines invisible.

The sleeker look of the new Sorento is enhanced by its increased length (+95 mm to 4,780 mm), reduced height (down 15 mm to 1,685 mm) and extra width (+5 mm to 1,890 mm).

The exterior styling of the new car was led by Kia's Namyang design studio in Korea, with significant input from the brand's Frankfurt, Germany and Irvine, California design studios.


The Sorento received a much-needed redesign in 2011 and a refresh in 2014 that brought all kinds of new goodies, but no huge exterior changes. But it didn’t need many changes, as it was still nicer than most other smaller SUVs on the market, so there are no complaints from me on the 2015 model that I tested.

The issue with the 2015 Sorento SXL is that it plays on both sides of the fence, as it is too expensive to play in the same field as the Dodge Journey Dodge Journey or the Ford Ford Edge, but it is not quite classy enough to battle the Mercedes Mercedes GLK-Class or BMW X3. So that creates a narrow niche for the SXL trim level to survive in, but there is obviously a market for it.

Despite lacking the classic looks of the German luxo-SUVs, the Sorento SXL has plenty of aesthetic niceness to it. The chrome door handles, body molding, grille, roof rails, emblems, and front and rear lips all give it a little blinginess, while not being too overbearing. Chrome also makes its way to the standard, 19-inch, alloy wheels to really tie it all together.

The body is just angular enough without looking too futuristic. This allows the Sorento to look like it belongs in this century without becoming outdated in just a few years — something Hyundai Hyundai and Kia both are guilty of through the 2010s. The front end features a stylish grille graphic, vertically mounted fog lights and a splitter that adds a touch of sportiness. From a straight-on angle, the wheel wells bulge out slightly to give is a little bit of aggressiveness.

From a profile view, the roofline has a mild swoop to it, the xenon HID headlights wrap around the fender nicely and the scalloped doors give the Sorento a more premium look. The small rear spoiler is a nice touch, but the body lines around the wheel wells are just a little too pronounced for my liking and may not age well.

Around back, the taillights have a nice and modern look without going all space shuttle on me. The vertically positioned reflectors and the bumper insert mimic the look of the front end, tying it all together.

My favorite part of the Sorento SXL was its standard power liftgate. You don’t realize just how useful this feature is until you get to use it for a week. As I walked up to the vehicle, I just held down the liftgate button on the keyfob and the liftgate automatically came up. Press the button again, and down it came.

On a whole, the Sorento is a very approachable SUV and gives buyers a `tweener look that bridges the gap between the wildly styled Murano and the relatively bland X3.


Where the Sorento SXL really earns its keep is on the inside. In here, about 95 percent of the Kia is absolutely perfect for the price range. Finding the perfect seating position in the standard premium Napa leather seats was easy, ventilated seats kept the Florida heat in check (there’s heating too), the steering wheel felt perfect in my hands and was also heated, all of the buttons were well placed, the full-length sunroof provided a feeling of unlimited headroom, and the faux-wood trimming was pleasing from a distance. It really was a nice place to spend a lot of time.

As you all know, I like to focus heavily on audio systems, and I found the Infinity Surround Sound system great all the way up to about nine-tenths. If I cranked is up all the way, the highs washed out a little. It could have been a setting on the stereo that was wrong, but I couldn’t find anything obvious except too much power for the tweeters to handle

Also included on my tester was navigation with an eight-inch display. The display was clear and crisp, and the navigation got me where I needed to go with nearly no errors. The touchscreen, on the other hand, was a little finicky and the system was slow to respond to my input.

The back seats are also a nice place to hang out, as they are also coated in premium cow hide and have heat for those of you who live in cooler climates. Unfortunately, the rear seats do not have ventilation, but standard pull-up sunshades will help divert the sun from your kiddo’s sensitive eyes.

The rear seats also have well-built cup holder assembly that opens and closes to custom-fit your cup. For those of you with kids, you know how annoying rear-seat cup holders can be with oddly shaped sippy cups, and these hold my son’s cups just fine. The rear seats also have a 115-volt household plug for various gadgets, and there is also a switch in the front that turns this socket off, so younger kids don’t get shocked should they cram something in the socket — a subtle, but wise addition.

The third row of seats is not a place that an adult over 5’9" wants to spend much time, but it is okay for smaller adults. Kids, on the other hand, fit nicely in the third row and there is an independently controlled A/C system so they aren’t starved of cool airflow.

The Sorento SXL really shines in terms of cargo-hauling capabilities, which I highlighted when I did a write up about my mulch-hauling experience. Kia Kia advertises 72 cubes of maximum cargo room, and I can verify that it has that and then some. Plus, the maximum capacity is easily accessible by completing just four steps.

Now there is about five percent of the cabin that I don’t care for. I already mentioned the finicky navigation input, but I also have to add in that though the dash is partly covered in leather, there is still a whole lot of plastic going on. Granted, this plastic has a soft coating on it, but it is still not very great. Additionally, the faux-wood trimming is a little too "faux" when I look a little closer.


Year: 2015
Make: Kia
Model: Sorento
Price: $ 41700
Engine: V6
Transmission: Six-Speed Auto
Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6400
MPG(Cty): 18
MPG(Hwy): 24
Torque @ RPM: 252 @ 5200
Displacement: 3.3 L
0-60 time: 7.5 sec
Top Speed: 120 mph


The 2015 Kia Sorento comes in four versions: LX, EX, SX, and SX-L. LX models are offered in four-cylinder or V-6 versions, while all LX, EX, SX, and SX-L models are equipped with the V-6. The fold-away third-row seat is optional on four-cylinder LX models but standard on the rest of the model line. All-wheel drive is on every model.

Even if you stick with the base LX model, you get quite the list of standard equipment. All models include conveniences like power locks, windows, and mirrors; air conditioning; cruise control; 17-inch wheels; Bluetooth; tilt/telescoping steering; steering-wheel audio controls; and a sound system with AM/FM/XM/CD, auxiliary and USB ports.

Automatic climate control, a rearview camera, and UVO can all be had, bundled together, in the base LX. It's a smartphone-driven setup that can offer Google mapping and helpful functions like service scheduling and a parking-lot finder, all free of charge. Although for 2015 you no longer have to upgrade to Infinity audio and the enhanced UVO system in order to get navigation.

On the Sorento EX, you get 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.

Infinity audio is optional on the EX and standard on SX and SX-L models. Other options include push-button start, a power tailgate, and blind-spot monitors and reverse parking sensors.

Standard Equipment :

A base model 2015 Kia Sorento LX comes with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive and two rows of cloth seats. Standard-feature highlights include Bluetooth and USB phone/audio connectivity, air conditioning, cruise control and steering wheel-mounted controls. Outside, alloy wheels, body-color side mirrors and LED taillights help the entry-priced Sorento present about as well as the pricier trim levels. The full complement of electronic and inflatable safety equipment is also standard.

Optional Equipment :

A 2015 Kia Sorento SX has all of Kia's best features on display, including a powerful V6 engine and all-wheel drive, leather seats (heated and cooled in front), three rows of seating, a panoramic moonroof, keyless entry and touch-start, blind-spot monitoring and the full UVO eServices infotainment setup, including an 8-inch touch-screen display, navigation and a 10-speaker Infinity audio system. For an additional $3,000 you can step up to the SX Limited, with softer Nappa leather, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and a handful of exterior touches.


The current generation of the Kia Sorento has been offering up well-rounded and thoroughly competent but relatively mild performance ever since it was first introduced in 2011. Although its relatively stiff ride has been one of its more obvious shortfalls, that issue was soothed somewhat last year, and especially in V-6 versions we now think the Sorento is a strong, sophisticated-driving crossover.

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.

Nearly all versions of the Sorento come with a 3.3-liter V-6, as shared with the long-wheelbase Hyundai Santa Fe. Here it makes 290 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque, and it has plenty of gusto to move this family vehicle quickly, even with a full load. Fuel economy isn't far off that of the four-cylinder models, either.

As for that entry engine, it's perky enough most of the time, with 191 hp and 181 lb-ft f torque, but it can feel overwhelmed with a full load, and the six-speed automatic transmission doesn't feel quite as quick to react.

The V-6 works smoothly and efficiently that transmission; though there's a sport-shift mode hanging off the shift lever, it's not very likely you'll need to use it--especially with six other passengers.

Kia has made some meaningful improvements to how the Sorento connects with the road; last year the Sorento got better handling from a stiffer body structure, through variable-effort electric power steering, as well as additional bracing and more isolation in the suspension design. 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.

If you get one of the models with all-wheel drive (keep in mind this isn't an off-road-oriented system), the on-demand system can send torque from the front to the back wheels just as the fronts slip, with a locking differential fixes the split evenly for tackling the worst weather.

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.


Under the hood of the 2015 Sorento SXL sits a familiar, 3.3-liter, V-6 engine that produces a tidy 290 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 252 pound-feet of twist at 5,200 rpm. This is about average output for an SUV this size, and its six-speed auto transmission with Sportmatic and full-time all-wheel drive make acceleration more than adequate.

In terms of time at the pump, the SXL returns a respectable 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. The latter number was right on the nose after a week with the vehicle and about 500 miles on the clock. This is pretty typical of Kia, as it learned in the past to understate fuel economy to avoid possible issues in the future.

This is not the only drivetrain setup available on the Sorento, however. The standard setup includes a 191-horsepower, 2.4-liter engine mated to AWD, which I would suspect feels a little underwhelming. Fortunately, you are stuck with this engine only if you go with the base LX trim.


The 2015 Kia Sorento is a vehicle that's family sized, albeit modestly so. At around 184 inches long, riding on a wheelbase of 106.3 inches, it's shorter than most mid-size sedans, although there's plenty of room for five passengers in the base configuration. Get the available third-row seat and you'll have space for two more, but they'll need to be quite small.

Last year the Sorento didn't look much different on the outside, but it went through a quiet transformation inside and underneath. Kia claimed that the refreshed Sorento was 80 percent new, with modest improvements in legroom for those in the second and third rows, as well as dramatic improvements to interior trim and the dash layout. 

What hasn't changed is that Kia provides a very good driving position and passenger space in front. With good bolstering and wide cushions, as well as good adjustment range to the steering column, it's easy to find a comfortable position. No hard points make contact with the redesigned center stack of the dash, and the footwells are mostly flat. Step up to higher trim grades like the SX, and you get power adjustment, heating, and ventilation--all touches that have become increasingly common in today's premium SUVs but are still relatively rare in affordable models like this.

Passenger space in the second row is only habitable, although 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 has available heaters for the outboard positions (which also recline), and it's split 40/20/40.

As for the optional third-row seat, it's purely a kid zone. By interior volume, the 2015 Sorento is considerably smaller than any of the bigger three-row utes--the Pilot, the Ford Flex, and the Chevy Traverse--and it shows in the rearmost row, which has minimal head and leg room for even small adults. There's less than 10 cubic feet of space behind it for cargo; although if you keep that row folded down, as most are likely to do anyhow, that rises to about 36 cubic feet.

Thanks to last year's thorough rework inside, the cabin delivers a much stronger impression of quality than before; and that extends to noise levels as well. There's just a little tire noise audible from the back (the third row especially), while powertrain noises are nicely subdued on V-6 models and the materials are a finer grade, particularly on the pricey SX-L.


Family vehicles need to ace all the safety ratings. And rest assured, the 2015 Kia Sorento has done exactly that.

In tests from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), it's earned nearly all top scores. In federal NHTSA testing, it earns five stars overall, with only a single four-star rollover-resistance rating keeping it from perfection. And as for the IIHS, the Sorento gets mostly 'good' ratings from that agency. The one thing that keeps it from doing any better than the '8' we've given it is its bottom-of-the-heap 'poor' rating in the IIHS small overlap frontal impact test.

The 2015 Sorento includes all the expected airbags, as well as an electronic stability system. It also has a driver knee airbag and Bluetooth as standard equipment, while a rearview camera is an option on the Sorento LX and EX. Although there's a caution for those who are holding specs up against some of the rival crossover models: Its third-row seat isn't covered by its curtain airbags.

But there are plenty of safety features that will help keep you out of trouble, and visibility is quite good from the driver's seat. Blind-spot monitors, which alert the driver if vehicles are approaching in out-of-sight places, are available on the LX and EX and standard on the Sorento SX. And parking sensors, another handy feature for close quarters, are an option on the LX and standard on all other trim levels.


Because the 4-cylinder engine isn't markedly cheaper or more efficient than the V6, and because the V6's 290 horsepower is a lot to feed through only the front wheels, we recommend the 2015 Kia Sorento with its new V6 engine and all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive system features a locking center differential for especially difficult conditions and incorporates a new Torque Vectoring Cornering Control system that further enhances drivability. All Sorento configurations offer the same 6-speed, manually-selectable automatic transmission.

2.4-liter 4-cylinder
191 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
181 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg (front-wheel drive), 19/25 mpg (all-wheel drive)

3.3-liter V6
290 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
252 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (front-wheel drive), 18/24 mpg (all-wheel drive)


The 2015 Kia Sorento is mid-pack with respect to fuel economy, where its numbers are about on par compared with those of other mid-size crossovers.

That said, its powertrain changes last year phased in better mileage than this model had in the first half of its life cycle, with six-cylinder versions faring as well as other three-row crossovers.

Base four-cylinder models with front-wheel drive are rated at 20 miles per gallon on the EPA's city cycle, 27 miles per gallon highway, or 23 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.

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.

The all-wheel-drive Sorento is rated by the EPA at 19/25 mpg, or 22 mpg combined as a four-cylinder, and 18/24 mpg, or 20 mpg combined, as a six-cylinder.


The Kia Sorento SXL kind of sits in an awkward spot between the Chevys and Ford of the world and premium models from Acura, Lexus Lexus and BMW BMW. To keep things fair, let’s keep the competitors to those in the lower end of the spectrum, like the Equinox. Fully loaded, the Equinox LTZ checks in at $37,365, which is about $5k cheaper than the Kia. Though it is cheaper, the Chevy lacks the premium feel and look of the Sorento, plus it only seats five, doesn’t have ventilated seats and lacks a true premium sound system. Additionally, the Equinox is rather boring to look at.

In terms of power, the Equinox slightly beats the Sorento, thanks to its 3.6-liter V-6 that cranks out 301 horses and 272 pound-feet of twist. this power allows the Equinox to beat out the Sorento in straight-line speed at 7 seconds, plus its sport-tuned suspension will make it out handle the Sorento.


By : Testdriven

By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars

Posted by : Shahen Tharammal

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