2014 Kia Sorento

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$9,025–$22,181 Inventory Prices
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Key Specs

of the 2014 Kia Sorento. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Ride quality
  • V-6 engine refinement
  • Many available luxury features
  • Higher-quality appearance

The Bad

  • Rear visibility
  • Cargo room with third row
  • Curtain airbags don't cover optional third row
  • Still feels tight inside
  • Mediocre gas mileage

Notable Features of the 2014 Kia Sorento

  • Updated for 2014
  • New chassis, revised suspensions
  • Seats five or seven
  • Four-cylinder or new direct-inject V-6 option
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • Standard six-speed automatic

2014 Kia Sorento Road Test

Joe Bruzek

The redesigned 2014 Kia Sorento doesn't look very different from the outgoing model, yet Kia says the SUV is 80% new, with a new chassis shared with the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport that brings a host of driving improvements, a redesigned V-6 engine and greater interior dimensions that aim to improve the midsize SUV's roominess.

The redesigned 2014 Kia Sorento's long list of changes adds refinement and desirable features, but the company's claims of a roomier cabin fall short.

The Sorento remains an oddly sized SUV that commits neither to being a compact SUV like the Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Equinox nor a larger SUV like the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. Unlike the Santa Fe Sport, which seats five, the Sorento seats five or seven occupants. Hyundai sells a larger model with three rows of seats, the Santa Fe (without the Sport suffix), for which there's no Kia equivalent.

Shoppers content with the Sorento's size will find a lot to like in the 2014's added features, improved comfort on the road and a higher-quality look, inside and out.

Sorentos are available in front- or all-wheel drive with either a four- or a six-cylinder engine. I drove a 2014 Sorento SX V-6 with AWD at a Kia event in Arizona.

Ride and Handling
Kia hasn't been known for its high-quality ride and handling. A 2012 Kia Sorento SX we tested in our $37,000 SUV comparison was one of Kia's best performers at the time, exhibiting excellent road manners and a fun-to-drive zip...

The redesigned 2014 Kia Sorento doesn't look very different from the outgoing model, yet Kia says the SUV is 80% new, with a new chassis shared with the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport that brings a host of driving improvements, a redesigned V-6 engine and greater interior dimensions that aim to improve the midsize SUV's roominess.

The redesigned 2014 Kia Sorento's long list of changes adds refinement and desirable features, but the company's claims of a roomier cabin fall short.

The Sorento remains an oddly sized SUV that commits neither to being a compact SUV like the Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Equinox nor a larger SUV like the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. Unlike the Santa Fe Sport, which seats five, the Sorento seats five or seven occupants. Hyundai sells a larger model with three rows of seats, the Santa Fe (without the Sport suffix), for which there's no Kia equivalent.

Shoppers content with the Sorento's size will find a lot to like in the 2014's added features, improved comfort on the road and a higher-quality look, inside and out.

Sorentos are available in front- or all-wheel drive with either a four- or a six-cylinder engine. I drove a 2014 Sorento SX V-6 with AWD at a Kia event in Arizona.

Ride and Handling
Kia hasn't been known for its high-quality ride and handling. A 2012 Kia Sorento SX we tested in our $37,000 SUV comparison was one of Kia's best performers at the time, exhibiting excellent road manners and a fun-to-drive zippiness that outshined the Pilot and Highlander. Those attributes are unchanged for 2014 and have matured with a new stiffer chassis that further dispels the notion of a budget Kia with budget ride quality. The Sorento's stiffer structure makes the SUV feel more substantial and of a higher quality with less body flex and sloppiness over rough roads. The ride remains firmly sprung, though not jarring, with better control.

Wind noise continues to plague the Sorento, as wind howls over it at highway speeds. Road noise was a mixed bag; the Sorento rode over some roads quietly while other roads filled the cabin with obnoxious noise from the optional 19-inch tires. Road noise may vary by wheel and tire options: Standard alloy wheels are 17 inches on base LX models, 18 inches on EX models and 19 inches on SX and SX-L trims.

Interior Room
I had hoped the redesigned Sorento would disperse its three rows more efficiently to improve room for second-row passengers as well as cargo room behind the third row. The previous Sorento attempted to cram the proverbial 10 pounds of stuff in a 5-pound bag, which limited second-row space even in models not equipped with the third row.

The 2014 Sorento's specifications seem great on paper, with increases in second-row legroom and third-row headroom. The results aren't evident when sitting in the second row, however. The second row now slides, reclines and folds in a 40/20/40 configuration, but at 6 feet tall and slender, I found the space tight even with the seat positioned fully rearward. The Chevrolet Equinox and Honda CR-V remain tough acts to follow with extremely generous and more comfortable second rows that don't have to accommodate a third row like the Sorento.

The unchanged and scant 9.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the optional third row provides little room for groceries, or much of anything. Not choosing the third row has a few advantages, like a large hidden storage area beneath the cargo floor and, of course, saving on the seat's cost: $800 on LX models and $1,000 or more on higher-end trim levels.

The Kia Sorento's front-seat roominess is workable for most people but isn't as generous as some models for exceptionally tall drivers. My 6-foot-5-inch co-driver had severe comfort issues because the driver's seat didn't travel back far enough and bent his knees at an uncomfortable angle.

Styling
The Kia Sorento's revisited front and rear styling uses less cheapo unpainted plastic and more body-colored pieces for a higher-quality appearance. It's a smoother and nicely updated look but not a substantial restyle, as the side profile is virtually unchanged; that's unfortunate because obtrusive side pillars block over-the-shoulder visibility. A newly available blind spot warning system is optional and a first for Kia, though good visibility and properly aligned side mirrors largely eliminate the need for an expensive blind spot warning system. Blind spot warning is part of a $2,800 Touring Package on the LX four-cylinder and the $4,000 Touring Package on EX V-6 models; it's standard on SX and SX-L trims.

The sleeker front and rear look is aided by a thinner Kia grille up front and LED daytime running lights on EX, SX and SX-L trim levels, plus LED taillights on all models. Inside, there's a new center control panel design and available 7-inch LCD gauge cluster with a smoothly operating digital speedometer with an analog appearance that's not jerky like some digital readouts. It's not a flawless execution, though, because the speedometer appeared dull even at its brightest setting.

Features
First-time features are abundant in the 2014 Kia Sorento, including an optional adjustable-height power liftgate. Kia says the new chassis allowed the feature for 2014 because the previous Sorento wasn't rigid enough to support the power feature. Unlike many liftgates, the Kia Sorento's opens high enough for me to walk under and grab items from the cargo area without worrying about hitting my head. The liftgate is part of an expensive $2,800 Touring Package on lower trim levels, however, and it would be nice to see the useful feature offered as a stand-alone option instead of paired with navigation, an upgraded sound system, a blind spot warning system and more.

The Kia Sorento is also more expensive for 2014 by $1,000. It now starts at $24,950, including an $850 destination charge. Kia's mess-resistant Yes Essentials cloth seating material is now standard instead of optional on all models, and there are two leather upholstery options. Leather comes standard on EX and SX models while SX-L models come with premium Nappa leather.

Standard features include a four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, seating for five, six-speed automatic transmission, body-colored heated side mirrors with LED turn-signal indicators, air conditioning, USB input, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, and cruise control. Rear heated outboard seats are newly available, as is the addition of a front passenger ventilated seat to the previous driver-only ventilated seat option.

Under the Hood
For 2014, Kia has ditched the less powerful four-cylinder and offers only a direct-injected 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 191 horsepower. I got plenty of seat time in the new 290-hp, 3.3-liter V-6, but the four-cylinder wasn't available for testing. Both engines pair with a six-speed automatic transmission and available AWD with a 50/50 power-split button to lock the wheels together for maximum traction on slippery surfaces.

The V-6 is quieter and more refined than previous Kia V-6 offerings. In the Sorento, its acceleration feels typical for an SUV's V-6 and isn't going to wow anyone. The turbocharged four-cylinder offered in the Santa Fe Sport is a more compelling engine option, with a rush of power that makes it fun to put the hammer down. The Sorento's V-6 builds power gradually and quietly, never feeling rushed to do so.

The Sorento's in-between size also means in-between gas mileage with a not-so-impressive 20/26 mpg city/highway EPA fuel economy rating for the four-cylinder and front-wheel drive, which is the most efficient configuration. Similarly equipped compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 have much higher starting estimates: 23/31 mpg and 24/31 mpg, respectively. A larger SUV with a standard V-6 engine, the Honda Pilot is rated 18/25 mpg, equaling the Sorento's V-6 mileage in a much larger package.

Choosing AWD knocks the four-cylinder's fuel economy mpg to 19/24 mpg and the V-6 to 18/24 mpg.

Safety
As a recent redesign, the 2014 Kia Sorento hasn't been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the time of this writing. Standard safety features include the federally required antilock brakes, electronic stability control, front airbags and a tire pressure monitoring system.

The Kia Sorento also has front-seat-mounted side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags for the first and second rows as well as a rollover sensor and front active head restraints as standard equipment. Unlike most three-row competitors, the Sorento's side curtain airbags do not extend to the third row. We've looked into the importance of third-row airbags and their absence in some SUVs. You can read our findings here.

2014 Kia Sorento in the Market
The 2014 Kia Sorento's refined ride quality and newly available features may not be enough to entice shoppers from other automaker camps. The Sorento continues to strike a balance between small and large SUVs, though with that comes interior room and gas mileage that's likewise middle of the pack. Kia Sorento shoppers who are perfectly pleased with the size and gas mileage have a lot to look forward to in the 2014 Sorento.

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2014 Sorento Video

In conjunction with Cars.com’s 2013 Midsize SUV Challenge, reviewers Aaron Bragman and Joe Bruzek run through a list of features buyers should look for in this class.

Latest 2014 Sorento Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.2)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.2)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Very reliable car and looked good.

by KD from Deltona, FL on August 9, 2018

Had a great paint job. Interior and exterior was flawless. The price was perfect for the amount of miles the vehicle had. Tire were in great shape. It also ran well on the test drive. Read full review

(5.0)

High quality and comfort is outstanding.

by Loretta B. from West Palm Beach on August 6, 2018

Complete satisfaction. My fourth Kia owned. Expect to stay in the Kia family for future to come. My grandson own's a Kia. Also encouraged a good friend of mine to make a purchase which he did. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2014 Kia Sorento currently has 2 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2014 Kia Sorento LX

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

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

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    120 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 60,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Kia

Program Benefits

164-point inspection, Carfax vehicle history report, 10-year/unlimited mileage 24-hour roadside assistance including trip-interruption services and lockout assistance

  • Limited Warranty

    10 years / 100,000 miles

    10-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty; towing/rental/travel breakdown benefits; eligible for additional comprehensive mechanical failure. Comprehensive: 12 months/12,000 miles from date of purchase.
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 60,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 164 point inspection and reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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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.*

Third-row access

N/A

Infant seat

B

Booster

(second row)

A

Booster

(third row)

N/A

Latch or Latch system

A

Forward-facing convertible

(third row)

N/A

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

B
* 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