Kia’s Sorento is the automaker’s midsize SUV offering. The Sorento is available with two different V-6 engines and three different drivetrains in two trim levels, LX and EX.
The Sorento competes with the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet TrailBlazer and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
There are no significant changes to the Sorento for 2009.
Up front is a three-bar grille with chrome overlays. The lower body features optional side cladding with a two-tone paint scheme. Front-end skid plates and front and rear towing hooks come standard. The rear liftgate has a flip-up window.
Ground clearance is 8.2 inches. At 180.7 inches long and 73.3 inches wide, the Sorento is the smallest of its competitors.
- Available 16- or 17-inch wheels
- Standard automatic headlamps
- Standard rear window wiper
- Available roof rack
- Optional power sunroof
- Optional rear spoiler on EX
- Dual heated power mirrors on EX
The Sorento has 105.8 cubic feet of passenger space, which is about average for its competition. The Sorento lacks a third-row option, which is becoming increasingly common on midsize SUVs.
Cargo volume behind the seats measures 31.7 cubic feet, with a maximum of 66.4 cubic feet when the rear 60/40-split bench is folded. The Sorento has less cargo volume than the Explorer, TrailBlazer and Grand Cherokee.
- Available cloth or leather seating surfaces
- Available metallic or wood-grain trim
- Standard air conditioning with rear air vents
- Standard 10-speaker audio system with steering-wheel-mounted controls
- Standard power windows, locks and keyless entry
- Optional dual-zone automatic climate control on EX models
- Optional leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter (standard on EX)
The Sorento has a body-on-frame design, which gives the vehicle offroad and towing potential.
Rear-wheel drive is standard, while part-time four-wheel-drive and full-time four-wheel-drive systems are optional. The part-time system has a shift-on-the-fly provision and a low-range transfer case. Kia’s Torque-on-Demand system, which is a full-time four-wheel-drive system, comes with the EX Luxury package. The system can automatically transfer power if it detects wheel slippage.
The Sorento has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. That places the Sorento close to the truck-based V-6 Explorer (5,210 pounds).
- 242-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6 with 228 pounds-feet of torque (LX)
- 262-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 with 260 pounds-feet of torque (EX)
- Standard five-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode
- Standard rear-wheel drive
- Optional part-time four-wheel drive
- Optional full-time four-wheel drive (EX with Luxury package)
- Optional tow hitch with four-pin connector
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Sorento its highest rating, Good, for frontal collisions, and its lowest, Poor, for side impacts. The Sorento has no side thorax airbags, which are a common safety feature.
Other standard safety equipment includes:
- Side curtain airbags
- Driver-side knee airbag
- Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
- Active front headrests
- Traction control
- Electronic stability system