The third generation of Kia's Sorento continues the time-honored tradition of the midcycle refresh with a new 2019 model at this year's LA Auto Show. The update includes a selection of exterior and interior tweaks aimed at refining the design, improving performance and enhancing value. There's also some new tech inside, so we'll start with that.
The Sorento's 630-watt, 10-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system gains new "QuantumLogic" sound processing that takes stereo recordings and redistributes them into a surround soundstage that fills the cabin. Along with the Clari-Fi processing carried over from the previous generation, Kia and Harman Kardon claim this system can breathe life back into digitally compressed recordings.
The Sorento also gains wireless charging to go along with its excellent UVO tech suite. Stick to a USB connection, however, and you'll still be able to enjoyconnectivity.
The Advanced Driver Assistance Systems package is now standard equipment on the Sorento's upper trim levels (EX and higher). The system now also features a driver alertness monitoring system and lane-keeping assist steering. The latter uses the power steering system to prevent the SUV from unintentionally crossing out of its lane. If a driver activates lane keeping too often, the former system kicks in, encouraging a fatigued or inattentive driver to take a break.
The new features join the front precollision warning system, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and others held over from the previous model.
Under the hood, the Sorento drops the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine from the lineup, retaining the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter inline-four and 3.3-liter V6 engine options. The 185-horsepower four-banger gets efficiency revisions to its six-speed automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the 290 horsepower V6 is now mated to the eight-speed automatic from the. Ideally, that means smoother performance and, hopefully, a few more mpgs.
The cabin gets a makeover too, including a new steering wheel, shifter knob and instrument cluster. The biggest change here is that the third-row folding seats are now standard equipment for all Sorento models.
We'll expect to learn more about pricing and fuel efficiency closer to next year's launch. For now, stay tuned to the rest of our coverage of the 2017 LA Auto Show.