The Kia Sorento's corporate cousin, the Hyundai Santa Fe, was just redesigned, so it makes sense that Kia is following suit. The automaker's midsize crossover gets fresh styling, a new powertrain, an updated interior and the next generation of Kia's voice-activated multimedia system.
More than 80% of the Sorento's parts are new or significantly redesigned, according to Kia. The crossover is lower and wider, with a more aggressive-looking stance. Its grille gets a makeover, too, with silver or black mesh finishes. Also new are LED- accented headlights. Optional 19-inch wheels are another first for the Sorento.
Trim levels carry over and include LX, EX, LX V6, EX V6 and SX; a top-of-the-line SX Limited is new for 2014. LX and EX models use a version of last year's 191-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Optional on those versions and standard on all others is a new 290-hp, 3.3-liter V-6 with direct injection. It replaces a 276-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.
The redesigned Sorento has room for five passengers in two rows; a third row is still optional. Other interior changes include a revised instrument panel and gauge cluster layout, making room for a larger 8-inch touch-screen. It's used with the next generation of Kia's Uvo multimedia system. Other newly available features include a programmable power liftgate, blind spot detection, panoramic sunroof, second-row sunshades, cooled front seats and a driver-selectable steering system similar to the Santa Fe Sport's. It gives drivers a choice of three steering settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport.
The SX Limited will go on sale during the second quarter of next year. SX Limited-specific standard features include high- intensity-discharge headlights, 19-inch chrome wheels, Nappa leather-trimmed seats, a heated wood steering wheel and heated rear seats.
The 2014 Kia Sorento goes on sale early next year.