The new 2014 Kia Sorento is an outstanding car that combines sophisticated styling with exciting performance, delivered through either a 191 hp 2.4-L 4-cylinder or an optional all-new 290 hp 3.3-L gasoline direct injection (GDI) V6 engine. The EPA fuel economy rating for the V6-equipped models is 18 city and 24 highway. My week of driving the Sorento EX got just a little over 20 mpg.
The 6-speed automatic transmission operated smoothly thanks to the Sportmatic design, which allows you to choose between automatic shifting and, for a sportier driving experience, clutch-free manual shifting. The handling was effortless and the inside was meadow quiet because of the unibody design and a new suspension system. The Sorento is filled with technologically advanced features designed to enhance the comfort of the driving experience.
Even though it is packed with many standard features such as dual-zone automatic climate control, Sirius Radio, rear camera display, plus Bluetooth Wireless Technology, I recommend including the Touring Package in your purchase. The standard price is $31,700 and the Touring Package adds another $4,000.
In this Touring Package you get the Infinity Surround Sound System, blind spot detection, 4-way power passenger seat, panoramic roof with power sunshade and the power tailgate; on top of the standard features like push-button start with smart key, cruise control, and auto light control.
One small gripe is that the center stack consumes enormous amounts of space, leaving little open space for pocket size items like keys and phone.
The power tailgate was my favorite feature. It made loading and unloading cargo convenient. Just open the power liftgate using the key fob or a button on the tailgate . The programmable tailgate height feature allows you to set the tailgate to open to any height you select. This allowed me to open the gate while parked in the garage without fear of hitting the ceiling.
The best feature overall was the versatile and cavernous cargo space. This versatility comes from the 40/20/40 split-folding second-row seats and optional 50/50 split-folding third-row seats. These let you conveniently carry passengers, cargo, or both. Carrying long items is also made much easier with this split-folding feature.
Behind 3rd row – 9.1 cu ft
3rd row down – 36.9 cu ft
All rows down – 72.5 cu ft
The towing capacity is 3,500 lb.
Beneath the cargo floor, out of sight, is a spacious compartment. There is an available removable tray for loose items.
At the time of writing, NHTSA still has not released the 5-star safety rating test results for the 2014 Sorento, but a manufacturer’s spokesman said it would be published at any time. Nonetheless, the Sorento is loaded with safety features. Front active headrests, air bag and seat belt sensors, and an array of airbags comprised of dual front airbags, front-seat mounted side airbags, and side curtain airbags for both front and second row seating positions. These airbags are managed by an advanced sensor system that can respond even in certain rollover situations.
A reinforced body and a tire monitoring system protect passengers inside while technological features like anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic stability, and Hill assist control help keep the Sorento from getting into dangerous situations.
The 18-inch alloy wheels compliment the stylish designed front fog lights, privacy glass, heated outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, and rear spoilers for good looks and safety.
The Sorento is proudly built in West Point, Georgia.
Industry leading warranty program
10-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty
5-year/100,000 mile limited anti-perforation warranty
5-year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty
5-year/60,000 mile 24-hour roadside assistance
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or firstname.lastname@example.org.