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2006 Kia Sorento

2006 Kia Sorento

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$1,939 — $7,175 USED
Sport Utility
5 Seats
17-19 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

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 2006 Kia Sorento
  • 192-hp, 3.5-liter V-6
  • Two 4WD systems available
  • Five-speed automatic
  • Body-on-frame construction
  • Side-curtain airbags

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2006 Kia Sorento Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Shortly after dropping its compact, first-generation Sportage, Kia introduced a larger, value-priced Sorento sport utility vehicle as a 2003 model. The midsize Sorento is available with rear- or four-wheel drive. Four-wheel-drive models can be equipped with either a part-time or full-time Torque-on-Demand system.

The Sorento comes in LX and upscale EX trims and competes against such SUVs as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander.

A new five-speed automatic went into 2005 models. At highway speeds, the transmission automatically downshifts to fourth gear when manual mode is engaged. The Sorento meets LEV-II emissions standards. Blacked-out headlights and side step bars are included in the Sport Package, which comes with a manual transmission.

Automatic load leveling has been dropped as an option for the 2006 model year. New alloy wheels replace the prior steel units on LX models.

Exterior
The Sorento uses body-on-frame construction with a ladder frame that contains nine cross-members. Built on a 106.7-inch wheelbase, the SUV measures 179.8 inches long overall.

Short front and rear overhangs permit navigation on steep terrain. Ground clearance is 8.2 inches. All models have four-wheel disc brakes, 16-inch Michelin tires and a full-size spare tire that stows beneath the body. Additional equipment on EX models includes a power moonroof, alloy wheels, fog lamps and two-tone body cladding.

Interior
The Sorento seats up to five people. Flip-a...

Vehicle Overview
Shortly after dropping its compact, first-generation Sportage, Kia introduced a larger, value-priced Sorento sport utility vehicle as a 2003 model. The midsize Sorento is available with rear- or four-wheel drive. Four-wheel-drive models can be equipped with either a part-time or full-time Torque-on-Demand system.

The Sorento comes in LX and upscale EX trims and competes against such SUVs as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander.

A new five-speed automatic went into 2005 models. At highway speeds, the transmission automatically downshifts to fourth gear when manual mode is engaged. The Sorento meets LEV-II emissions standards. Blacked-out headlights and side step bars are included in the Sport Package, which comes with a manual transmission.

Automatic load leveling has been dropped as an option for the 2006 model year. New alloy wheels replace the prior steel units on LX models.

Exterior
The Sorento uses body-on-frame construction with a ladder frame that contains nine cross-members. Built on a 106.7-inch wheelbase, the SUV measures 179.8 inches long overall.

Short front and rear overhangs permit navigation on steep terrain. Ground clearance is 8.2 inches. All models have four-wheel disc brakes, 16-inch Michelin tires and a full-size spare tire that stows beneath the body. Additional equipment on EX models includes a power moonroof, alloy wheels, fog lamps and two-tone body cladding.

Interior
The Sorento seats up to five people. Flip-and-fold 60/40-split rear seats fold to create a flat floor, and cargo space totals 66.4 cubic feet when the rear seat is folded down. 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 stereo, 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 cassette/CD stereo.

Under the Hood
The Sorento’s 3.5-liter V-6 generates 192 horsepower and 217 pounds-feet of torque; it teams with a five-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission or a five-speed-manual gearbox. Part-time four-wheel drive features a dashboard knob for shift-on-the-fly operation; the system isn’t 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 up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

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

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 easy. Performance is similarly strong on regular pavement but doesn’t necessarily beat the competition. Other than some engine blare on hard acceleration and a touch of wind noise at times, the Sorento is quiet.

Handling is a major plus. Steering with a somewhat light feel, the Sorento 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 firm seats are especially comfortable and offer pleasant cushioning and impressive support. Rear-seat space is ample, and the gauges are easy to read.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.0
23 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.0)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.3)
Reliability
(4.0)
Value For The Money
(4.0)

Read reviews that mention:

(1.0)

If you see a Kia and think about getting one. RUN!

by Unsatisfied from Jackson,MS on November 26, 2019

We had a 2006 Kia Sorento. It kept smelling like raw gas and it was using more gas than normal. It was sitting in the drive way and it wouldn't crank. It was like it was flooding. My husband looked ... Read full review

(4.0)

Mixed feelings about replacing mine

by mule deer from Monroe, CT on November 21, 2019

Bought new. Expected to see 100,000 miles out of it. That was 13 years and almost 200,000 miles ago. 140,000 of those miles have been towing 2000# or so. Still looks good, engine still strong. Rear ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2006 Kia Sorento currently has 1 recall


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2006 Kia Sorento has not been tested.

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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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