While the 2014 Kia Sorento looks similar to the models that came before it starting in 2009, there's a lot more to this crossover than a mild update. In fact, we're going to go as far as to say that it's been so extensively revised that it's a shame that Kia didn't do more to make it look more different from the outgoing vehicle. From a revised chassis that's 18 percent stiffer to a more powerful V-6 engine, the Sorento builds on the successful formula that the best-selling crossover that propelled it into one of Kia's first 100,000-per-year sellers.
For the 2014 model year, Kia is chopping off the base 175-horsepower four-cylinder and raising the top of the lineup with a luxurious Sorento SX Limited that's modeled after the Optima Limited and gives the Sorento Nappa leather, exclusive 19-inch wheels, and xenon headlights.
Who It's For
The Kia Sorento has possessed a no man's land of midsize crossovers, as it's one of the smaller vehicles to still offer a third row. But unlike so many other third rows in vehicles of its size, it's fairly usable. We think it's safe to say that this one's for families who want a crossover but may be too budget-oriented to get something larger. However, as the Sorento can top out at nearly $40,000 with all the options as it sits, we imagine the Sorento SX Limited will likely crest that number, shod with options usually reserved for high-end luxury cars.
Kia wasn't kidding when it said that it extensively revised the Sorento. Some of the more noteworthy changes include:
- A 3.3-liter V-6 with 290 horsepower replacing the 276-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine at the top of the range.
- Kia's first implantation of blind spot warning sensors.
- A 7-inch monitor built into the gauges, as well as an 8-inch available navigation system screen with UVO.
- A redesigned panoramic sunroof with a full-length shade.
- Rear window shades.
What We Think
Interior materials were one of our biggest gripes about the current Kia Sorento; that's fixed. So was ride quality. Kia says it fixed that, too. We'll see in a few months when we have the chance to drive it.
But other than that, we think this could help bolster Kia's sales even further. We wonder how much more expensive the base model will be since the 175-horsepower engine is being dropped. And we wonder if a $40,000-plus Kia can be a good value. If Kia makes the vehicle more than 10 pounds of stuff in a bag that was only designed to carry five, we'll be excited to see what the 2014 Sorento brings. As much as luxury features contribute to that, so much more has to do with the Sorento's ride and handling.
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