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2011 Kia Sorento

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2011 Kia Sorento Review

Nicer, neater, more stylish -- a real improvement

Reviewed by Automotive on

In a Nutshell
The seven-passenger 2011 Kia Sorento is a redesigned crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) that is a little shorter longer, and lighter. Available with a 2.4 liter four-cylinder 175 horsepower engine or 3.5 liter V-6 engine with 276 horsepower mated to an automatic six-speed automatic transmission, the all-wheel-drive Sorento SUV is offered in three trims: Base, XL, EX, and SX.

The new upgraded Kia Sorento has a more car-like unibody, upgraded engines, and a new third-row seat. Due to the increase in length, the Sorento now has more cargo space and legroom. The Sorento earned the IIHS's top score for safety, and it gets respectable EPA rated fuel economy, in the 19-20 mpg city/27 mpg highway range.

New for 2011

The 2011 Kia Sorento has been completely redesigned and is now a unibody, three-row crossover. It is propelled by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V-6 engine backed by a six-speed automatic. In the new longer Sorento, the steering is nimbler, and it now has fully independent suspension. While it can accommodate seven passengers, the third row is a bit tight for adults.


Engines: 2.4L I-4, 3.5L V-6
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Body Style: Crossover SUV
Trims: Base Sport Utility, LX Sport Utility, EX Sport Utility, SX Sport Utility

On the Outside

The Sorento now has the notched front end that reflects the new nose of Kia. More sophisticated in design than before, the Sorento crossover and is larger and has standard 17-inch wheels, with 18-inch alloys as an option. The Sorento also has an optional roof-rail system, which is great for stowing luggage during long trips.

From the Inside

The base trim is pretty bare compared with other trims, but Sirius Satellite Radio, Bluetooth, and tilt/telescoping wheel have become standard. Seat heaters, a third row, navigation, and rearview camera are options.

Driving Performance

While the engine sounds quicker than it actually is, the transmission shifts are fairly smooth. The four-cylinder powered EX scoots from 0-to-60 mph in 9.6 seconds, but the V-6's straight line performance of 0-to-60 is only 7.6 seconds.

Safety Equipment

Standard safety equipment on the Kia Sorento includes driver and passenger front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, and two-row side curtain airbags. Also standard are four-wheel ABS, stability control, hill-start assist control, downhill brake control, and a rollover sensor.

Gas Mileage

Overall: 19-21 mpg city/25-29 mpg highway


  • Sophisticated styling
  • Good mileage for class
  • Seating for seven


  • Cramped third row
  • Smallish cargo area behind third row
  • Less power with four-cylinder engine


Nicer, neater, more stylish -- a real improvement

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See the New 2015 Sorento.

Front & Driver Side View