By Jennifer Geiger on November 27, 2012
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.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer