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2004 Kia Sorento

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$1,123 — $7,591 USED
7
Photos
Sport Utility
5 Seats
17 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Price and value
  • Easy and enjoyable to drive
  • Offroad capability
  • Handling
  • Seat comfort

The Bad

  • Ride quality
  • Unproven reliability
  • Engine noise

What to Know

about the 2004 Kia Sorento
  • 192-hp V-6
  • Choice of 4WD systems
  • New manual gearbox
  • Body-on-frame construction
  • Side-curtain airbags

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Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Shortly after dropping its compact Sportage, Kia introduced a larger, value-priced Sorento. The Sorento is “a tough, true sport utility vehicle,” said Peter Butterfield, Kia’s chief operating officer, during the vehicle’s unveiling.

Rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive versions are available. The four-wheel-drive models may be equipped with either part-time or full-time Torque-On-Demand operation. The Sorento comes in LX and upscale EX forms and competes against such SUVs as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander.

Few changes, including a newly available manual gearbox and metallic interior accents that replace woodgrain in the previous model, are on tap for the 2004 Sorento. A new Sport Package features side step bars, a roof rack, alloy wheels and other extras.

Exterior
The Sorento uses body-on-frame construction with a ladder frame that contains nine cross-members. It rides a 106.7-inch wheelbase and measures 179.8 inches long overall.

Short front and rear overhangs permit navigation on steep terrain. Ground clearance is just over 8 inches. All models have four-wheel disc brakes, 16-inch Michelin tires, a side-opening rear hatch and a full-size spare tire that stows beneath the body. Additional equipment on the EX model includes a power sunroof, alloy wheels, fog lamps and two-tone body cladding.

Interior
The Sorento seats five people. Flip-and-fold 60/40-split rear seats fold to create a flat floor, and carg...
Vehicle Overview
Shortly after dropping its compact Sportage, Kia introduced a larger, value-priced Sorento. The Sorento is “a tough, true sport utility vehicle,” said Peter Butterfield, Kia’s chief operating officer, during the vehicle’s unveiling.

Rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive versions are available. The four-wheel-drive models may be equipped with either part-time or full-time Torque-On-Demand operation. The Sorento comes in LX and upscale EX forms and competes against such SUVs as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander.

Few changes, including a newly available manual gearbox and metallic interior accents that replace woodgrain in the previous model, are on tap for the 2004 Sorento. A new Sport Package features side step bars, a roof rack, alloy wheels and other extras.

Exterior
The Sorento uses body-on-frame construction with a ladder frame that contains nine cross-members. It rides a 106.7-inch wheelbase and measures 179.8 inches long overall.

Short front and rear overhangs permit navigation on steep terrain. Ground clearance is just over 8 inches. All models have four-wheel disc brakes, 16-inch Michelin tires, a side-opening rear hatch and a full-size spare tire that stows beneath the body. Additional equipment on the EX model includes a power sunroof, alloy wheels, fog lamps and two-tone body cladding.

Interior
The Sorento seats five people. Flip-and-fold 60/40-split rear seats fold to create a flat floor, and cargo space amounts to 66.4 cubic feet when the rear seat is folded down. Kia claims the Sorento has 107 cubic feet of interior volume. Six cupholders and an under-seat storage tray are included.

The well-equipped LX base model has air conditioning, cruise control, an eight-speaker CD audio system, and power windows, locks and mirrors. The EX model adds an eight-way power driver’s seat, a HomeLink universal garage door opener, remote keyless entry and a Delphi premium CD/cassette stereo. Leather upholstery is optional.

Under the Hood
Kia’s 3.5-liter V-6 engine generates 192 horsepower and 217 pounds-feet of torque; it teams with a four-speed-automatic transmission or the new five-speed-manual unit. Part-time four-wheel drive features a dashboard knob for shift-on-the-fly operation and is not intended for use on dry pavement. Available only on the EX, Kia’s Torque-On-Demand four-wheel-drive system operates automatically. Each transfer case includes a Low range. The Sorento can tow as much as 3,500 pounds, and an automatic-leveling system is available.

Safety
Side curtain-type airbags protect front and rear occupants. Antilock brakes are offered as optional equipment.

Driving Impressions
The Sorento can clamber up steep, narrow inclines with barely a hint of strain, and its four-wheel-drive capability makes dirt-road treks look easy. Performance is similarly strong on regular pavement, but it’s not necessarily better than the competition. The automatic transmission behaves well. Other than some engine blare on hard acceleration and a touch of wind noise at times, the Sorento is quiet.

Its handling is a major plus. The Sorento steers with a somewhat light feel and delivers excellent control and satisfying confidence. Ride comfort actually seems better on rough gravel roads than on the interstate because body motion is a little too noticeable on paved surfaces. The taut suspension can overreact to imperfections.

The Sorento’s firm seats are especially comfortable and offer pleasant cushioning and impressive support. Rear-seat space is ample, and the gauges are easy to read.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 8/27/03

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.2
20 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.0)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.4)
Reliability
(4.2)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

very good car

by Sandman.. from Atlanta ga on August 7, 2018

Very dependable car met all of my expectations.I would recommend this car to a friend our family member.I love this car, ride and drive.Priced to sale.. Read full review

(5.0)

Best Car I Have

by Blackroses2486 from Greer, SC on March 11, 2018

I love my Sorento. When I first bought it the only major problem it had was the hose for the power steering had a big hole in it. Once I changed it, it did have other any problems. Only thing I also ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2004 Kia Sorento currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Kia Sorento has not been tested.

Latest 2004 Sorento Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Sorento received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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