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2019 Kia Sorento

2019 Kia Sorento

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$14,373 — $41,926 NEW and USED
71
Photos
SUV
7 Seats
21-25 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 8 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Seating comfort
  • UVO multimedia system
  • Cargo room
  • Wireless phone charging added
  • Wide array of available convenience features
  • Quiet cabin

The Bad

  • Steering feel
  • Eco mode
  • Sport mode is very harsh
  • Turbo four-cylinder discontinued; diesel engine as-yet unavailable
2019 Kia Sorento exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2019 Kia Sorento
  • Lightly restyled for 2019
  • Third row, seating for seven now standard
  • New wheel designs
  • Advanced safety features now standard on EX and higher
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto standard
  • 360-degree camera system optional

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2019 Kia Sorento Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Kia's Sorento has received a lot of updates for 2019, and we got a chance to check it out last week at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show.

By Brian Wong

The verdict: The Kia Sorento is a jack-of-all-trades SUV that’s well-rounded in key areas, including safety features, comfort and technology.

Versus the competition: The Sorento’s lack of a signature trait doesn’t hurt it; it’s as versatile an SUV as there is in this class, though it isn’t as roomy as some competitors.

The phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” is a good fit for the 2019 Kia Sorento. It doesn’t have a signature trait or even a single aspect in which it outdistances its competition, but that’s not to the Sorento’s detriment; its myriad strengths (and only one real weakness) give it a unique position in its class.

The Sorento gets a light update for 2019; the biggest change is a third row that’s now standard on all trim levels. There are also some styling updates on the outside, small tweaks to the interior and a new eight-speed automatic transmission paired with the optional V-6. Compare it with the 2018 model here.

There are still five trim levels: L, LX, EX, SX and SX Limited. Each sees a price increase for 2019, though the amount differs widely. The Sorento competes in a packed mid-size SUV class that includes the Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot and our reigning class champion and Best of 2018 award winner, the Volkswagen Atlas. See them compared.

How It Drives

I drove an SX Limited with the larger of the Sorento’s two available engines. The base engine is a 185-horsepower, 2.4-lite...

The verdict: The Kia Sorento is a jack-of-all-trades SUV that’s well-rounded in key areas, including safety features, comfort and technology.

Versus the competition: The Sorento’s lack of a signature trait doesn’t hurt it; it’s as versatile an SUV as there is in this class, though it isn’t as roomy as some competitors.

The phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” is a good fit for the 2019 Kia Sorento. It doesn’t have a signature trait or even a single aspect in which it outdistances its competition, but that’s not to the Sorento’s detriment; its myriad strengths (and only one real weakness) give it a unique position in its class.

The Sorento gets a light update for 2019; the biggest change is a third row that’s now standard on all trim levels. There are also some styling updates on the outside, small tweaks to the interior and a new eight-speed automatic transmission paired with the optional V-6. Compare it with the 2018 model here.

There are still five trim levels: L, LX, EX, SX and SX Limited. Each sees a price increase for 2019, though the amount differs widely. The Sorento competes in a packed mid-size SUV class that includes the Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot and our reigning class champion and Best of 2018 award winner, the Volkswagen Atlas. See them compared.

How It Drives

I drove an SX Limited with the larger of the Sorento’s two available engines. The base engine is a 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder that’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission; it’s standard on L and LX trims. The optional engine is more enticing: a 290-hp, 3.3-liter V-6 that makes 252 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic. The V-6 is optional on the LX but standard on the EX and SX (it’s not offered on the L). Interestingly, front-wheel drive is standard on all trim levels regardless of engine, and all-wheel drive is an $1,800 option on all but the L.

With the V-6, the Sorento drives well enough to get out of its own way. It isn’t especially agile, but it pours on power easily and rarely feels taxed unless you really put your foot into it. The steering is too numb, but it thankfully avoids that over-assisted feeling you get from some electric power steering setups. It meshes well with the suspension to give the Sorento a comfortable ride and an easy driving experience — about all you can ask for in this class. It’s also got a surprisingly quiet cabin that’s nearly devoid of road, tire and wind noise. I didn’t get a chance to give the all-wheel drive a true off-road test, but a couple of launches with two of the wheels on gravel didn’t trip it up.

Fuel economy ratings have gone up for 2019, as the new eight-speed transmission helps add 2 mpg combined over last year’s V-6; it’s now EPA-rated at 19/26/22 mpg city/highway/combined with FWD and 19/24/21 mpg with AWD. The four-cylinder engine’s ratings have also improved, up 1 mpg combined over 2018 at 22/29/25 mpg with FWD and 21/26/23 mpg with AWD.

Easy-to-Use Technology

The Sorento’s safety and multimedia technology don’t break any new ground, but I’m a fan of their intuitive and easy-to-use execution.

The multimedia system has standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and there are no weird controllers or strange menus, just a straightforward presentation and quick-responding touchscreen that’s an easy reach from both front seats.

The safety features can be turned on and off via easily reached controls, or modified via a menu in the instrument panel. Operation was very straightforward; I tested the adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist on the highway, and both worked as advertised.

There are also plenty of helpful charging options. Everything above the base trim level comes with at least three USB ports, and the SX comes with a 110-volt household outlet in the second row (along with a 12-volt outlet for good measure). There’s a wireless smartphone charging pad up front to boot.

Nice Interior With Third-Row and Cargo Woes

The Sorento’s first two rows of seats are what you’d expect from a mid-size SUV: spacious, with plenty of legroom and headroom even for taller occupants. Materials quality pleasantly surprised me in a top-of-the-line SX Limited, where the fit and finish and cabin materials would have fit in for a vehicle with an even higher price tag. The interior uses a lot of black, though, which gives it a slightly Darth Vader-esque feel.

If the Sorento has a shortcoming, it’s a third row that could be a deal-breaker for shoppers who intend to use it frequently. Simply put, it lacks the space of larger competitors like the Atlas and Traverse. Those two vehicles in particular have expansive third rows that put this one to shame. The argument for the Kia’s smaller dimensions is that it makes it more city-friendly and easier to park; it’s 9.3 inches shorter from bumper to bumper than the Atlas and 15.3 inches shorter than the Traverse.

The Sorento’s smaller size also puts it at a disadvantage when it comes to cargo room, with just 11.3/38.0/73.0 cubic feet of space behind the third/second/front rows, respectively. That’s much less than the Traverse (23.0/57.8/98.2 cubic feet) and Atlas (20.6/55.5/96.8).

Value Star

One area where the Sorento really shines is value, and that holds true at both the bottom and top trims. The L starts at $27,335, which is only a $445 increase over the 2018 and a small price to pay for the newly standard third row (see a more detailed breakdown of each trim level’s price changes here). That undercuts all the competitors mentioned above by nearly $4,000, though the Traverse and Pilot both have standard V-6 engines.

My SX Limited test vehicle stickered at $48,370 with some dealer-installed options, and it was luxurious enough that I’d stack it up against the top trims of the same competitors. Even at that level, it undercuts the price of the Traverse by nearly $7,000, the Atlas by almost $2,000 and the Pilot by $1,500. It’s also worth noting (as with all Kias) the Sorento’s robust powertrain warranty: 10 years/100,000 miles — still tied for the best in the industry.

The 2019 Sorento’s well-roundedness works to its benefit; I found it to be a thoroughly easy-to-use and easy-to-like family vehicle.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.8
231 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.9)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.8)
Reliability
(4.9)
Value For The Money
(4.8)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Best SUV for the buck!

by Navy doc one up from Lexington NC on July 11, 2020

Okay most people want a V6 when looking at these vehicles so they can tow possibly partake on a lot of gear. The 2019 LX V6 will fulfill that mission. However you still need to get good gas mileage ... Read full review

(5.0)

Love this car

by Jackie. S from Allentown,PA on July 7, 2020

This car is awesome! Drives smooth and is very comfortable, I love everything about it except the trunk space is small when you use the 3rd row, i don't use the 3rd row often so I'm ok with it, so ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2019 Kia Sorento currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Kia

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    120 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 60,000 miles

Latest 2019 Sorento Stories

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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.*
* 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

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*MSRP and Invoice prices displayed are for educational purposes only, do not reflect the actual selling price of a particular vehicle, and do not include applicable gas taxes or destination charges.