Kia's largest SUV is not some mammoth nation cruiser, but a nicely packaged vehicle with plenty of versatile interior space. It embodies Kia's value proposition very well.
The grille shows the standard Kia tiger nose design, leading back to nicely rounded headlight casings and fenders. The overall look is modern, but not remarkable.
At 15.25 feet, the Sorento is not very long, but has ample space for five passengers. The optional Premium Plus package adds a third-row seat, increasing the utility.
Kia offers the Sorento in all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive versions. The suspension is somewhat rigid, making for decent handling but a sometimes harsh ride.
With the third-row seats up, there is no cargo area at all.
Putting the third- and second-row seats down leaves a large, cavernous cargo area.
In the mid, EX trim level, Kia offers a nice cabin interior, including leather seats. The driver-side seat is power-adjustable, and the passenger-side becomes power-adjustable with the Premium Plus package.
The second-row seating is not luxurious, but better than we would expect at the Sorento's price point.
The Premium Plus package also brings in the navigation head unit. When this package is selected, it eliminates the UVO advanced voice command system available on the base model.
Kia sticks to hydraulic boost for the steering wheel, tuning it for responsive handling.
Audio controls sit on the left spoke of the wheel, with voice command for the Bluetooth phone system on the lower spokes.
The Sorento comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, which also offers manual gear selection.
The navigation system is somewhat basic, only showing 2D maps, but it does offer traffic integration.
The navigation system shows a good points-of-interest database, accessible through category browsing or search.
When using an audio source such as a USB drive, the interface shows the file and folder structure. With a connected iPod, the interface shows a complete music library.
The stereo also supports Bluetooth audio streaming, a more convenient way of listening to music from a smartphone.