• (4.1) 7 reviews
  • MSRP: $4,593–$10,905
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 17-19
  • Engine: 262-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: 4x2
  • Seats: 5
2009 Kia Sorento

Our Take on the Latest Model 2009 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

2009 Kia Sorento Reviews

Vehicle Overview
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.

New for 2009
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)

Under the Hood
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

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 7 reviews

Write a Review

We love this car

by Georgia Peach from Atlanta, GA on May 8, 2015

We purchased it new in 2010 and have driven it for the past 5 years. Although the fuel economy is not as good as some of the new models, it really rides great and have had little or no problems. We ha... Read Full Review

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5 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2009 Kia Sorento trim comparison will help you decide.

Kia Sorento Articles

2009 Kia Sorento Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


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





Roadside Assistance Coverage


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

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


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.


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