Fresh off a redesign a year earlier, the Sorento midsize three-row SUV is in the second year of its fourth generation and slots above the Sportage compact and below the Telluride three-row in Kia's SUV lineup. Upgrades are few for the model's sophomore year, but Kia has expanded the trim range to include two new off-road-oriented grades.
Looking for the Kia Sorento Hybrid? Check it out here.
We once described the exterior styling of a past generation of Kia Sorento as "puffy and anonymous" but the 2022 model is anything but. It sports a wide angular grille with integrated headlights that is the centerpiece of a more chiseled design language. Additional eye-catching highlights including its vertical taillights, distinctive character lines, and raised rear badging remind us of the Sorento's SUV-of-the-Year-winning stablemate, the Telluride.
Inside, the 2022 Sorento looks fantastic and well assembled. Buyers can spring for premium features such as leather seats and metal inlays or open-pore wood accents, but even lower trims are nice to sit in. Kia notes this generation Sorento offers more legroom and cargo room than before, with both six- and seven-seat configurations available, but the third row is sized best for small children (which is not uncommon among midsize three-row SUVs).
Like last year's model, the 2022 Sorento's biggest weakness might be its dual-clutch eight-speed automatic transmission, which is the transmission used with the lineup's turbocharged powertrain. The gearbox lacks refinement, but when it works right, it helps the 2022 Sorento hustle to quicker 0-60 mph acceleration times than the V-6 equipped Honda Passport or Ford Edge. Handling and braking are adequate, with the Sorento getting a bit floaty over undulating road and offering little in the way of steering feedback.
As is Kia's MO, the Sorento comes abundantly equipped, offering more of almost everything and making a compelling feature-per-dollar case. Today's Sorento is outfitted with more standard safety tech, more power from the base engine, more efficiency in every configuration, more engine options, and more interior space. And although the price of the Sorento has gone up to reflect this more-ness, it's still one of the most affordable three-rows in the industry.
Depending on trim level, the 2022 Sorento is equipped with either a 191-hp 2.5-liter naturally aspirated inline-four or a 281-hp 2.5-liter turbo-four. Both powertrains are linked to eight-speed automatic transmissions, but the dual-clutch unit in the turbo Sorento is the less smooth of the two. The Sorento is standard with FWD and AWD is available.
With an EPA estimated 24/29 mpg city/highway, the 2022 Sorento FWD with the naturally aspirated powertrain gets the best non-hybrid fuel economy. City fuel economy compares favorably to the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan FWD, which gets 23 mpg in urban settings, but the Sorento trails the VW in highway mileage by one mpg.
The Sorento X-Line S and X-Line EX add a modicum of off-road capability to AWD versions of the Kia SUV. The trim levels are right in the middle of the Sorento range and feature an AWD system with center-lock differential, as well as add Snow Mode to the Sorento's Drive Mode Select options. Sorento X-Line models are equipped with trim-specific bumpers and wheels, a roof rack, matte exterior trim pieces, and distinctive X-Line badging.
The 2022 Sorento has yet to be rated by the NHTSA, but last year's model earned a four-star overall safety rating from the administration. Similarly, the IIHS hasn't released results yet for the 2022 Sorento, but the previous model year nabbed a 2021 Top Safety Pick designation from the institute. In that IIHS testing, Sorento LX, S, and EX models received Poor headlight grades for LED reflector lamps that provided inadequate side visibility, which led to the SUV not getting the more prestigious Top Safety Pick+ award.
Base model Sorento LX are equipped with standard automatic emergency braking, lane keeping, and lane centering, as well as automatic high beams. Move up to the Sorento S and blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic monitoring, and parking sensors are unlocked. Adaptive cruise control is a standard feature of the Sorento EX trim level and up.
The 2022 Sorento has configurations for six and seven passengers while a rival like the 2021 Toyota Highlander offers seating for up to eight. The Sorento provides a bit more breathing room for occupants, but the Highlander has an advantage in cargo space.
Cargo space (behind first/second/third rows):
2022 Sorento: 75.5/45.0/12.6 cubic feet
2021 Highlander: 84.3/48.4/16.0 cubic feet
Headroom (first/second/third rows):
2022 Sorento: 40.3/39.1/36.8 inches
2021 Highlander: 39.9/39.4/36.1 inches
Legroom (first/second/third rows):
2022 Sorento: 41.4/41.7/29.6 inches
2021 Highlander: 40.4/41.0/27.7 inches
One of the 2022 Sorento's strengths is its abundance of standard features. The entry-level Sorento LX, for example, is equipped with standard automatic LED headlights and heated side mirrors with integrated LED turn signals on the outside, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen, six speakers, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility on the inside. At the Sorento S trim level, upgrades include heated front seats, a dual-zone climate control system, push-button start, 10.3-inch touchscreen with navigation, and 10-way power adjustable driver's seat with two-way lumbar support.
The turbo models begin with the Sorento EX, which gets standard LED foglights, wireless phone charging, and a hands-free power liftgate. The Sorento X-Line EX further upgrades to LED projector beam headlights, daytime running lights, taillights, and cabin lights, as well as an eight-way power adjustable passenger seat. Top of the range Sorento SX Prestige and X-Line SX Prestige models go full premium with a 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster screen, ventilated 14-way driver's and 10-way passenger's power adjustable front seats, and a 12-speaker Bose sound system.
The 2022 Kia Sorento is available with eight trims this year: LX, S, X-Line S AWD, EX, X-Line EX AWD, SX, SX Prestige, and X-Line SX Prestige AWD. We think the S trim is the best, as it's offered in either FWD or AWD and comes with the naturally aspirated powertrain and more conventional (and less troublesome) eight-speed automatic. EPA fuel economy isn't terribly different from the turbo models, and it comes with conveniences like heated front seats, push-button start, and the larger infotainment screen with navigation.
|$0||1.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models.||01-31-2022|
|$0||2.5% Financing for a maximum term of 66 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models.||01-31-2022|
|$0||3.25% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models.||01-31-2022|
|$0||4.25% Financing available for varying term lengths : 75, 84 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models.||01-31-2022|
|$400||Kia announces a Bonus Cash on select models for eligible military personnel.||01-31-2022|