The Kia Sorento is one of the more expensive models of the Kia brand, but previous buyers claim the value is well worth the price. The Sorento has an attractive, modern, SUV body design that looks good and is functional. With a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine, the performance is superior to other less expensive models that use a four-cylinder engine.
The fuel economy is not outrageously efficient, but this vehicle still has better gas mileage than a variety of the competing brand’s SUV models. The list of standard features is longer than the average Kia brand model, and the interior materials are high quality. This SUV has decent off-road performance and is solidly constructed with the ability to handle off-road terrain without major setbacks. The suspension is a little harsh when the Sorento encounters significantly uneven terrain, but is otherwise satisfactory.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 3.5-liter 192 horsepower V-6 with double overhead cam
Transmissions: five-speed automatic with overdrive and a five-speed manual with overdrive
Models: Kia Sorento LX, Kia Sorento EX
There is an optional sports trim package available on the 2005 model of the Kia Sorento. Two additional features that come with this package are blacked-out headlamps and a premium quality audio system. A new five-speed transmission is used in the 2005 model, replacing the four-speed transmission that was used in the 2004 model year.
This SUV has skid plates underneath to protect the vehicle from any damage during serious off-road adventures. The LX has steel 16-inch wheels and comes with a steel spare wheel, while the EX submodel comes with 16-inch alloy wheels with a spare alloy wheel. An all-season, full-size, matching spare tire comes mounted on the underbody of both models with new purchases.
Both the EX and LX submodels have privacy glass installed to discourage curious passersby. The rear window is equipped with an intermittent wiper and a defogger to remove rain, fog, and ice during adverse weather situations. The EX model has a roof rack for external cargo carrying capacity and a power glass sunroof to help keep the interior well-ventilated during hot weather. Both submodels have a manual lift gate window and rear lift gate door for access to the rear cargo area. Cargo tie downs and trailer wiring are installed on the EX and LX to assist with cargo.
The interiors of the EX and LX have slightly different features. The upholstery in the LX is a high-quality cloth, while the EX seats are upholstered with higher-quality velour. Both submodels have bucket seats in the front, and the driver’s seat is equipped with manually-adjusted lumbar support. In the EX, the driver’s seat is eight-way power adjustable, further increasing the driver’s comfort. The rear seats in the LX submodel have slightly more room than the EX, with 1.5 more inches of headroom. Both models have split folding bench seats with a folding center armrest. A rear ventilation duct is included for extra air in the rear of the cabin.
Power features on both submodels include power door locks, which are remote on the EX, heated power mirrors, and a single one-touch power window. Cruise control and speed-proportional power steering make highway driving more convenient, and three 12-volt outlets are handy for activities when taking a break during an off-road adventure. The steering wheel in both submodels is tilt-adjustable, and in the EX submodel, the steering wheel has the audio and cruise control buttons on it. The EX has the extra luxury of leather on the steering wheel and wooden trim on the console. The EX also has a 10-speaker audio system, while the LX has an eight-speaker system; both models have a single disc CD player.
Performance & Handling
The V-6 engine in this SUV gives it enough power to climb up steep inclines without showing signs of strain. This vehicle is available with rear or four-wheel drive. The four-wheel drive has the additional option of a torque-on-demand system. The four-wheel drive also makes off-road adventures fun and easy, especially on dirt tracks. This SUV also performs very well on pavement, but not significantly better than competitors. The movement of the body is more noticeable on pavement than on gravel, according to previous drivers’ reviews.
The brake system on the Kia Sorento has ventilated disc brakes in both the front and the rear. Head airbags are available in both the front and the rear of this SUV. Fog lights accompany the headlamps to add extra light in foggy conditions or in off-road situations when visibility is not so clear. The rear center three-point seat belt increases the safety of the fifth passenger.
EPA Fuel Economy
Kia Sorento EX: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Kia Sorento LX: 14/20 mpg city/highway
- Satisfying off-road performance
- Leather and wood trim in the EX
- Low engine and wind noise
You Won't Like
- Less than optimal fuel economy
- Sensitive suspension on paved roadways
Pleasantly surprising bang for the buck.
If You Like This Vehicle
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