NEWS

2016 Kia Sorento: First Look

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Competes with: Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder

Looks like: Kia Sedona minivan meets the Toyota Venza

Drivetrain: 185-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, 240-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or 290-hp, 3.3-liter V-6 with six-speed automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: First quarter of 2015

The redesigned 2016 Kia Sorento grows in size, has all-new interior styling and is offered with a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Like its predecessor, the 2016 Sorento is available with seating for five or seven. Pricing will be announced nearer to the crossover SUV’s on-sale date early next year.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

Exterior

The previous Sorento’s design language carries through to the 2016 model. The front-end styling is similar, but the upright, bigger grille plays a larger role in the overall appearance. There are new headlights and taillights as well as an updated version of the crossover’s V-shaped D-pillar. The redesigned Sorento is about as wide and tall as its predecessor, but both its wheelbase and overall length are up 3 inches.

Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, LED positioning lights, heated side mirrors and a rear spoiler. Options include 18- or 19-inch wheels, xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights, LED fog lights, power-folding side mirrors, acoustic glass, a panoramic sunroof, roof rails and a power liftgate.

Interior

The Sorento’s new interior styling is a much bigger shift than the exterior. The new dashboard layout emphasizes the crossover’s width, and it separates controls into various planes. It’s similar to what the brand has done in its new minivan, the 2015 Sedona.

Five-seat models have a 40/20/40-split folding second row, and seven-seat versions add a 50/50-split folding third row. Fabric upholstery is standard, and two grades of leather are optional. Heated and ventilated front seats are also optional, as are heated second-row seats.

Standard features include manual air conditioning, cruise control, a CD stereo with satellite radio, MP3 and USB connectivity, and Bluetooth. The list of optional features includes dual-zone automatic climate control, two extra USB ports for charging portable devices, a navigation system with an 8-inch color touch-screen, an Infinity premium stereo, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, push-button start, a 7-inch instrument panel screen, piano-black trim and Kia’s UVO system that incorporates features like Apple Siri Eyes Free mode and Google search.

Under the Hood

A 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is standard; a 240-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 290-hp, 3.3-liter V-6 are optional. All the engines team with a six-speed automatic transmission, and front- and all-wheel-drive models are offered.

The base four-cylinder is rated to tow 2,000 pounds while the turbo four-cylinder can pull 3,500 pounds. The V-6’s trailer-towing rating is as high as 5,000 pounds for all-wheel-drive Sorentos.

Safety Features

The Sorento has six standard airbags, but the side curtain airbags only cover the first two rows of seats. As required by law, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system are standard. Active head restraints for the front seats are also standard.

Safety options include forward collision warning, a blind spot warning system, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and a surround-view camera system.

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Mike Hanley has more than 20 years of experience reporting on the auto industry. His primary focus is new vehicles, and he's currently a Senior Road Test Editor overseeing expert car reviews and comparison tests. He previously managed Editorial content in the Cars.com Research section. Email Mike Hanley

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