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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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With the third-row seats up, there is no cargo area at all.

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Putting the third- and second-row seats down leaves a large, cavernous cargo area.

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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.

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The second-row seating is not luxurious, but better than we would expect at the Sorento's price point.

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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.

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Kia sticks to hydraulic boost for the steering wheel, tuning it for responsive handling.

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Audio controls sit on the left spoke of the wheel, with voice command for the Bluetooth phone system on the lower spokes.

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The Sorento comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, which also offers manual gear selection.

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The navigation system is somewhat basic, only showing 2D maps, but it does offer traffic integration.

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The navigation system shows a good points-of-interest database, accessible through category browsing or search.

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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.

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The stereo also supports Bluetooth audio streaming, a more convenient way of listening to music from a smartphone.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
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