2009 Kia Sorento Reviews
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.
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.
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).
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: