Three-row Sorento is impressive offering in Kia lineup
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The 2018 Kia Sorento is a mid-size crossover that delivers the oft-coveted third-row seating and the even more rare 100,000-mile Kia warranty. Seating seven is a unique club for an SUV and Sorento impresses with its interior dimensions and excellent fuel economy.
Having just received a redesign in 2016, the Sorento is a great-looking SUV with an athletic stance and sleek profile. This is an attractive mid-size SUV that looks modern, sophisticated and fluent in being aerodynamic on the highway and around town. Look for standard 17-inch rims with bigger upgrades available.
Inside the Sorento you will find soft-touch surfaces and wide, comfortable seating. While top-line Limited models get soft leather seats, the base and mid lines are superb in their comfort with a seemingly indestructible fabric surface.
A contemporary dash blends straight-forward backlit gauges with easy-to-see technology highlights and warnings. While the first- and second-row seats are comfortable, the third row is a bit tight.
Cargo space behind the third row is somewhat limited, but easily fold the seats down and there is ample room for bigger items. A hidden rear subfloor on lower-trim models is a huge benefit to storage.
The SUV is all about utility and the Sorento delivers big on cabin convenience, flexibility and storage capacity.
The Sorento offers three powerplants. A base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine delivers a respectable 185 horsepower, while a larger 3.3-L V6 provides up to 290 horsepower. I recently tested the turbocharged 2.0-L four-cylinder with 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque and I can honestly say it was a blast to drive.
Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, each powertrain comes with a front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive variation. Look for a locking differential that splits the drive 50/50 front/rear. The V6 is clearly the best for towing with a 5000-pound rating.
The base 2.4-liter engine gets an EPA-estimated 21 miles per gallon City, 29 Highway, and 24 Combined. The V6 drops to 17/23/19 mpg, and the turbo-four gets you 20/27/23 mpg. All those specs are with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive brings the mileage down by one mile per gallon.
Kia’s Smart Liftgate makes it really easy to open the Sorento’s optional power hatch when your hands are full by eliminating the need for a push button on the SUV’s key fob and allowing you to simply stand near the rear for a few seconds with the fob in your pocket, and the liftgate opens.
The Sorento earns top crash test results in all five categories from the IIHS, as well five stars from the NHTSA. Standard safety equipment includes side airbags and active headrests in front, side as well as curtain airbags with rollover sensor. Extensive active safety features are available.
The 2018 Kia Sorento midsize SUV delivers the expected value from a Kia vehicle, while it combines handsome exterior styling with a load of amenities and one of the best warranties in the business.
The 2018 Sorento has a base price of $25,900 for the four-cylinder with front- or all-wheel drive and a high-water mark of more than $43,000 for the V6-powered top-line Limited.
This auto review was researched and written by SteinPro Content Services and provided to the Sun-Times for publication