• (4.5) 25 reviews
  • MSRP: $3,375–$11,263
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 17-19
  • Engine: 242-hp, 3.3-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: 4x2
  • Seats: 5
2008 Kia Sorento

Our Take on the Latest Model 2008 Kia Sorento

What We Don't Like

  • Unproven reliability
  • No third-row seat
  • Not as roomy as some competitors

Notable Features

  • Two V-6 engines available
  • Two available 4WD systems
  • Body-on-frame construction
  • Side-curtain airbags
  • Electronic stability system

2008 Kia Sorento Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Kia's Sorento was the Korean automaker's first foray into midsize sport utility vehicles. At less than 182 inches long, the Sorento technically is a compact SUV, but interior dimensions are comparatively closer to midsize SUVs such as the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer and Toyota 4Runner. For 2008, there's a new V-6 engine in the base LX Sorento.

For 2007, Kia bumped the Sorento's V-6 engine up to 3.8 liters. That engine is still available on the uplevel EX, but LX models now have a new 3.3-liter V-6. Though Kia lists the same competitors as before, shoppers might also consider some recently upsized compact SUVs such as the Toyota RAV4 and Mitsubishi Outlander.

Rear-wheel drive is standard, and two types of four-wheel drive are available.


Exterior
The Sorento looks much like Kia's smaller Sportage SUV. Shared Sportage styling cues include a multi-slat grille, narrow air dam and larger headlights with orange borders.

Both the LX and EX have 16-inch wheels, but 17-inch wheels are optional. The Sorento EX includes fog lights, while an EX Luxury Package trims the door handles in chrome.


Interior
The Sorento's dashboard incorporates updated audio and climate controls as well as new instrument gauges. LX models include standard power accessories, remote keyless entry and a 10-speaker CD audio system. Amenities increase with each trim level, topping out with the EX Luxury Package, which includes dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery and a moonroof.

Rear seats fold in a 60/40 split. Cargo volume behind the seats measures 31.7 cubic feet. That's notably less than a similarly configured RAV4 (36.4) or Highlander (39.7). The Explorer beats all three, with 45.1 cubic feet behind its second-row seats.

All three competitors have optional third-row seats, which the Sorento lacks.


Under the Hood
The 3.8-liter V-6 generates 262 horsepower and 260 pounds-feet of torque, a healthy gain over the previous 3.5-liter V-6's 192 hp and 217 pounds-feet of torque. The new 3.3-liter engine makes 242 hp and 228 pounds-feet of torque. It is the only engine available in the LX for 2008.

Rear-wheel drive is standard, while part-time four-wheel drive is optional. It includes a shift-on-the-fly provision and a low-range transfer case. With the EX Luxury Package, Sorento owners get Kia's Torque-on-Demand system. Similar to all-wheel drive, Torque-on-Demand automatically transfers power if it detects wheel slippage. It also includes a low-range transfer case.

Kia discontinued the Sorento's five-speed manual, leaving a five-speed automatic as the sole transmission. It offers a sequential-shifting mode.

Thanks to the larger engine, towing capacity increases from 3,500 to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. That puts the Sorento past the V-6 RAV4 and Highlander (both 3,500 pounds) and close to the truck-based V-6 Explorer (5,210 pounds).


Safety
Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are standard, as are an electronic stability system and active front head restraints. Side curtain airbags cover the interior, and a knee airbag underneath the steering wheel aims to prevent drivers from sliding under the seat belt in a frontal collision.

Consumer Reviews

(4.5)

Average based on 25 reviews

Write a Review

Reliable

by Kemcakes from Albany Ga on October 2, 2017

This car met my financial needs. $350 a month is exactly what I wanted. This 2008 Kia Sorrento is just what I needed

Read All Consumer Reviews

6 Trims Available

Photo of undefined
Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2008 Kia Sorento trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Kia Sorento Articles

2008 Kia Sorento Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Kia Sorento Base

Head Restraints and Seats
G
Moderate overlap front
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Kia Sorento Base

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
G
Overall Rear
G
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
G
Left Leg/Foot
G
Overall Front
G
Restraints
A
Right Leg/Foot
M
Structure/safety cage
G

Other

Head Restraint
P

Side

Driver Head Protection
P
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
P
Driver Torso
P
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
P
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
M
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Kia Sorento Base

Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Kia Sorento Base

Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Front Seat
Rear Seat
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Recalls

There are currently 3 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

60mo/60,000mi

Powertrain

120mo/100,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

60mo/60,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

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.

Powertrain

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.

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).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

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.

Other Years