Kia has made a name for itself with its modest sedans that offer plenty of style and convenience but are also available at some of the lowest prices on the market. When you think conservative and practical vehicle options, Kia is likely one of the first brands that you think of.
Over the years, Kia has expanded its offerings and has started to create a reputation for more luxury offerings and larger vehicles. The Kia Sorento is a mix of both.
This seven-passenger crossover includes some of the most cutting-edge features on the market right now, and the stylish design rivals that of models like the Ford Explorer or Nissan Pathfinder.
Kia has refreshed the Sorento for 2016, just two years after its last makeover. The changes are a little more pronounced this time around, and buyers should be pleasantly surprised by what they see.
The Sorento has always had a grown-up look, but the 2016 update make it look even more sophisticated. The exterior design creates a more intense look with a longer and wider frame, a more focused front end and bolder accents.
On the front end, the headlights are brought closer together without creating a "squinty" look that has turned off so many buyers of other vehicles. The large mesh grille still takes up a good deal of real estate on the front fascia. The air intakes are large and bold, including a unique fog lamp pattern that catches the eye.
Buyers can also opt for LED lights in this pocket. The side panels include elegant sculpting from wheel to wheel, and the rear hatch ends with an understated spoiler. The rear windows end at an angle, creating a nice parallel design with the hatch.
The Sorento is an excellent choice for parents who want the room to drive around their children comfortably but who don't want to settle for a dowdy minivan. The Sorento is stylish enough to appeal to those who don't even need the extra passenger space, such as young professionals or couples.
Any good makeover will pay as much attention to the interior as it does the exterior, and the 2016 Kia Sorento is no exception.
One of the most notable features of the new Sorento is its updated dashboard, which borrows from Kia's own luxury sedans such as the K900 and the Cadenza.
The streamlined design features high-quality materials, steering-wheel mounted controls, and a center stack with an Infinity sound system and a 4.3-inch color touch screen for Bluetooth controls, navigation and more. Soft-touch plastics are used for the dash and paneling, and high-quality cloth is used for the upholstery.
Leather is available on higher trim levels.
The first and second row have plenty of head and leg room, but the third row is reserved for only the smallest passengers (as is the case in most third-row seating). The optional third row folds down to make additional room for cargo, and the seat has a 50/50 split for more flexibility.
The total cargo space has been increased to 1.5 cubic feet to a total of 74 cubic feet.
Power and Performance
The 2016 Kia Sorento comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 185 horse power and 178 pounds per feet of torque. For higher trim levels like the EX and Limited, the Sorento comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that puts out 240 horse power and 260 pounds feet of torque.
The Sorento appeals primarily to a luxury or family market, not the off-roading crew, so these engines should offer more than enough power for those needs.
For higher trim levels with the third row of seating, the Sorento comes with a 3.3-liter V6 engine that puts out 290 horse power and 252 pounds per feet of torque.
All trim levels come with all-wheel drive except the base model, and all models come with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Performance gets a boost from the locking center differential (useful for situations with low traction such as rain or snow) and Torque Vectoring Corner Control (helping to take corners easier even in those low-traction situations).
Overall, when you drive the new Sorento, you'll feel like you have more power under your wheels and you'll feel in better control. You'll also get exceptional fuel economy for the class -- 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
Convenience and Safety Features
The 2016 Kia Sorento is loaded with features that improve the fun and safety of the ride. Bluetooth connectivity is standard for streaming audio or making hands-free calls. The premium audio system includes satellite radio, a USB port and steering wheel-mounted controls.
An optional 12-speaker system is available with an 11-channel amplifier.
Depending on what trim level you choose, you can also enjoy a sound-deadening windshield, dual-zone climate control, eight-way power driver's seat, blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert, stability and traction control, heated and ventilated front seats, and a navigation system.
Kia's UVO infotainment system is optional, and it comes with an 8-inch touch screen and backup camera. The UVO system also comes with parental controls, which include speed alert, curfew alert and a driving score.
Parents can keep tabs on their young drivers to make sure they are not being reckless behind the wheel or violating any rules for the road.
Other optional equipment include backup sensors, push button start, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and a panoramic parking monitor.
The Sorento also comes with a power liftgate that automatically opens when you stand near it with the key fob in your pocket. That's an excellent feature when you have your hands full with groceries or other cargo.
Overall, the 2016 Kia Sorento offers exceptional performance and a comfortable ride. You can buy the Sorento starting at an affordable $24,900, which is phenomenal considering everything the crossover offers.
You can start visiting Miami Lakes Automall later this year to check out the 2016 Kia Sorento and to take a test drive. You'll fall in love with this stylish crossover.