• (4.6) 78 reviews
  • Inventory Prices: $11,396–$26,088
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 20-23
  • Engine: 290-hp, 3.3-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel Drive
  • Seats: 5-7
2015 Kia Sorento

Our Take on the Latest Model 2015 Kia Sorento

What We Don't Like

  • Rear visibility
  • Cargo room with third row
  • Curtain airbags don't cover optional third row

Notable Features

  • Seats five or seven
  • Four-cylinder or direct-injection V-6 engine
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • Six-speed automatic standard

2015 Kia Sorento Reviews

Cars.com Expert Reviews

Editor's note: This review was written in February 2013 about the 2014 Kia Sorento. Little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what's new for 2015, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

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 all-wheel drive 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 all-wheel drive 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 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 all-wheel drive knocks the four-cylinder's 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 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. 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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Consumer Reviews

(4.6)

Average based on 78 reviews

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by Karen O'Neal from Salem on November 26, 2017

Love it wasn't sure at first but when I test drove it got it home after having it for a little while and now I'm glad I did one of the best vehicles I've purchased would buy another one again in a min... Read Full Review

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10 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2015 Kia Sorento trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Kia Sorento Articles

2015 Kia Sorento Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Kia Sorento EX V6

Front
P
Head Restraints and Seats
G
Moderate overlap front
G
Roof Strength
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Kia Sorento EX V6

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
G
Hip/thigh
A
Lower leg/foot
P
Overall evaluation
P
Retraints and dummy kinematics
M
Structure and safety cage
P

Head Restraints and Seats

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

Moderate overlap front

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

Other

Roof Strength
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
G
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
G
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
G
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Kia Sorento EX V6

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Kia Sorento EX V6

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Side Barrier
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole
Side Pole Barrier combined (Front)
Side Pole Barrier combined (Rear)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $2,200 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

60mo/60,000mi

Powertrain

120mo/100,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

60mo/60,000mi

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

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

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.

Powertrain

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