As tested, our 2.4-liter 2011 Kia Sorento EX is a pretty good value with lots of space, acceptable performance, and a surprisingly good array of cabin technology; but the 3.5-liter V-6 model has more power and a few more cabin niceties.
Kia's corporate grill, known as the "Tiger Nose," translates well onto the Sorento's large proportions. Angular headlamps and large lower grill openings with fog lights give the crossover an aggressive look.
Black body cladding along the lower edge and around the wheel wells reduces the visual mass of the Sorento and increases its sleek and sporty appeal. However, the Limited package's chrome wheels are a design choice that we could live without.
Our Sorento may look like a high performer, but beneath its hood is a smallish 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine. Power output is a reasonable 175 horsepower, but if you anticipate ever being in a rush to get somewhere, you're going to want to spec the larger 276-horsepower V-6 engine.
The Sorento's interior varies wildly from fairly classy to downright tacky depending on the color combination chosen. Here, we have a nice two-tone black and tan combo that's been upgraded with the Premium package's heated leather seating surfaces.
The instrument cluster is pretty Spartan by CNET standards, but it gets the job done with a small monochromatic trip computer and clear gauges. When you're driving in a thrifty manner, a small, green ECO light illuminates.