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2008 Kia Sorento

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$2,019 — $10,083 USED
6
Photos
Sport Utility
5 Seats
17-19 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 4 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Value
  • Offroad capability
  • Seat comfort
  • Impressive standard safety features
  • Towing capacity

The Bad

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

What to Know

about the 2008 Kia Sorento
  • Two V-6 engines available
  • Two available 4WD systems
  • Body-on-frame construction
  • Side-curtain airbags
  • Electronic stability system

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2008 Kia Sorento Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

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...

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

What drivers are saying

4.6
37 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Solid and Dependable

by Sgenakos from Townsend,MA on September 3, 2019

We bought this car in 2010 with 52,000 miles on it, it was my wife's daily driver to and from work, We upgraded her to a 2013 Sorento in 2016, I became the daily driver of it since then. I currently ... Read full review

(5.0)

Most reliable car i owned

by NandoCC from Paterson, nj on August 3, 2019

I bought this vehicle in 2012 with 38000 miles. It has 80200 miles now. Since i bought it i have only spent 20 dollars in a pulley. 2 batteries. 2 exhaust flex pipes. Besides tires, brakes, oil and ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2008 Kia Sorento currently has 2 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Latest 2008 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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