The 2009 Kia Sorento is a four-door midsize sport utility vehicle (SUV) that is built using truck-type construction. It seats five and is equipped with either a 3.3-liter V-6 engine or a 3.8-liter V-6 engine, depending on the model. There are three trim lines for the 2009 Kia Sorento: Base, LX, and EX.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 3.3-liter V-6, 3.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed automatic with manual shift override
Models: Sorento, Sorento LX, Sorento EX
A slight exterior refresh is the only noticeable change with the launch of the 2009 Kia Sorento. In production since 2002, the Kia Sorento had several upgrades and modifications on the 2007 model, leaving the 2008 and 2009 Kia Sorento relatively the same since then.
When the 2009 Kia Sorento was introduced to the market, the only change made from previous years’ models was to the exterior. In fact, the refresh of the exterior was due to a grille update. Other than this small change, the 2009 Kia Sorento is identical to the 2008 model year line.
As the 2009 Kia Sorento is a truck-based SUV and not a car-based crossover SUV, it is built using body-on-frame, which includes a solid rear-axle suspension. This can lead to the ride being bumpier when compared to more forgiving suspensions. The base and LX models are fitted with 16-inch steel wheels, while the EX model has 17-inch alloy wheels. Both of the LX and EX models have a sunroof, and the EX also has an additional rear spoiler.
The interior can seat up to five passengers in two rows of seating, although adults may find the second row of seating a tight fit. The second row folds flat to provide additional cargo room as needed. Seating is comfortable and the console is set up to be easy to use, although some may find the quality of materials used to be lacking. Standard features across all trim levels include air-conditioning, power locks, windows, and mirrors, and a 10-speaker audio system. A leather interior with wood trim and power driver’s seat are standard for the EX model.
Performance & Handling
The 3.3-liter, V-6 engine found in the base and LX models of the 2009 Kia Sorento produces 242 horsepower and 228 lb-ft of torque. The larger, 3.8-liter, V-6 engine of the EX model provides 262 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Towing capacity for the LX model is 3500 pounds, while the EX model can tow up to 5000 pounds. All models are fitted with a five-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift override. Both engines provide suitable power, but gas mileage leaves something to be desired. On smooth surfaces, the ride is comfortable, but it can get bumpy as the road conditions change. Steering could be more precise, and a lean can be felt during cornering.
Both rear- and all-wheel drive (AWD) systems are available for the 2009 Kia Sorento, but like the engine size, the drive system is based on the model. Part-time AWD can be fitted with the smaller of the V-6 engines, while the Torque-on-Demand (TOD) AWD created by Kia only comes with the EX trim level. This feature automatically adds the front wheels to the drive to improve handling when road conditions or the weather changes. This feature also can be left turned on at all times, as the system will switch between rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive as needed. The driver needs to engage the AWD system in the base and LX models when the additional driving capability is required. AWD will impact fuel economy by about one to two mph.
For front and side impacts, the 2009 Kia Sorento received perfect crash test scores. All versions of the 2009 Kia Sorento are equipped with anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, full-length side-curtain airbags, and driver knee airbags as standard safety equipment.
EPA Fuel Economy
Sorento 3.3-liter V-6: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Sorento 3.8-liter V-6: 15/21 mpg city/highway
- Top crash test scores
- Passenger and cargo space
- Powerful engines
- Good towing capacity
- Off-road capability
You Won't Like
- Poor gas mileage
- Quality of interior materials
- Ride can be bumpy on rougher surfaces
Comfortable SUV with off-road capability that sometimes feels bumpy.
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