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Saturday Road Test
Kia Sorento SXL AWD
By Ron Amadon
DAMASCUS, MD. – Some things you just perfectly fit into from day one, like they were made for you.
Finely tailored suits, shoes and the Sorento are good examples.
Kia’s midsize sport utility coddles with luxury trim and a fit and finish that assures customers they made the right choice in opting for an upscale model. Nappa leather covered seats, for example, that were heated, cooled and comfortable plus controls that were easy to figure out and reach. Wish I could say that of every vehicle.
In the back, back, back there was plenty of room for kids. But with the power folding third row seats in the upright position, there was not a lot of storage space before you hit the liftgate. Cheers that it can be raised hands free.
Built at Kia’s plant in West Point, Georgia, Sorento enters 2017 with only a few changes such as Android1 Auto and Apple2 CarPlay. Also driver assistance features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking and Dynamic Bending Lights.
And a welcome touch in the test Limited was all-wheel drive with a locking differential that splits the power division 50-50 between front and rear, handy with so much snow in the nation’s forecast as I write this.
Sorento is offered in five trim levels. Ours was a top of the line SX Limited that brought upgraded steering, 19-inch wheels, LED running lights and taillights, special exterior trim, a 10-way power driver seat (plus four-way power lumbar), driver memory settings, an 8-inch touchscreen interface with a navigation system and a 10-speaker Infinity sound system.
Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds with all-wheel drive. Max cargo capacity 154.2 cubic feet.
Sorento received a top rating in crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
For performance reasons, I would recommend the 3.3-liter V6 with 290 hp and 252 lb-ft. of torque matched to a 6-speed automatic as the powertrain of choice. Standard in base models is a 2.4-liter 185 horsepower four.
The EPA rates the six at 17 city, 23 highway for a combined 19 mpg. I registered 20 mpg during the week’s testing even with lots of stop and go suburban operation, much like prospective owners. No craft brewed petrol here, the Sorento is happy with 87 octane.
Out on the highway, the ride was quiet, the seats, after some initial flummoxing, were comfortable, and the six delivered adequate power for all tasks. Three drive modes were available, but there was little difference between them and I settled for normal.
All-wheel drive with a locking differential split the power division 50-50 between front and rear, handy with so much snow in the nation’s forecast as I write this.
With a long list of standard equipment, and not a single option, not that it needed any, the SXL carried an MSRP of $46,595. A base L model with Front Wheel Drive starts $25,400.
The Sorento comes with a 10 year, 100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty, and 5 year, 60,000 mile basic warranty.
With that long warranty, luxury interior touches, responsive six, and finely tuned suspension that softened the blow from already pock marked highways, the Sorento was, in short, an easy vehicle to get to like.
If you are in the market for a midsize cargo and people hauler with the promise of long term durability, the Sorento should be near the top of your shopping list
Overall Length: 187.4 inches
Overall Width: 74.4
Overall Height: 66.3
Max cargo capacity 154.2 cubic feet