Kia Sorento

Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento was launched in 2002 and went on sale in the United States the following year. The first-generation Sorento was a traditional body-on-frame SUV with off-road capabilities and a four-wheel drive system. The first-gen Sorento was replaced in 2009, when Kia introduced a completely redesigned vehicle. Now built on a car-based platform and relegated to crossover status, the second-gen Sorento began rolling off the West Point, Georgia production line for the 2010 model year. Slightly longer than its predecessor, the updated Sorento gained new 2.4-liter and 3.5-liter V-6 engines on U.S. soil.

The crossover received yet another makeover for the 2013 model year. Although Kia introduced it as a third-generation model with an all-new chassis and redesigned front and rear fascias, the update is commonly considered a facelift rather than a brand-new generation. Going into 2015, Kia introducing a revamped Sorento with hefty updates inside and out, including a longer wheelbase.

Updated 08/11/2014: Kia unveiled the first images of the new generation Sorento, with weeks before after its official debut in Paris. Details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Kia Sorento.

The Kia Sorento debuted in 2003 as a midway point between smaller crossovers and midsize SUVs, giving buyers yet another SUV option to choose from. The model underwent its first redesign in 2011, when it received a healthy set of changes that gave it a more refined and sporty look to better match the changing crossover realm. In 2014, the Sorento underwent very minor aesthetic changes, but it gained an all-new chassis, and these changes brought about the third generation for the crossover. Only minor changes make their way into the 2015 Sorento, including an updated UVO system and the new SXL trim.

I spent a week behind the wheel of the range-topping 2015 Kia Sorento SXL, and got a really nice feel for what it offers buyers. Overall, the Sorento SXL is an oddity in the crossover SUV realm, as its size and seven-passenger capacity make it hard for small crossovers to match its usefulness and its premium features are typically reserved for luxury SUV s. On the flip side, it does not have the badge notoriety or the driving dynamics to rival the luxury SUVs.

So, does the Sorento have a place in the market?

Click past the jump to read my full review and find out.

We hope everyone enjoyed the show! A special big thanks goes out to our live viewers and commentators. You make the show even more enjoyable.

This week is crammed full of crazy and wild stuff, and we start things off with a bang. Right after introductions we talk about my upcoming trip to Colorado to drive some V-8 powered Miatas. We then jump straight into the Weekly Wheels segment where Justin talks about his time with the spacious Kia Sorento . Spoiler alert: he really liked it. We kept the SUV theme going with my talk about the Lexus RX 450h . You get a good explanation about why I was so hard on the thing in my review. We finish with Mark’s thoughts on the Prius .

If you think this list is a bit boring, I have a brand new Miata coming soon, so that will be in next-week’s podcast.

For the news, we start with the somber news of the tragedy at Pikes Peak. To keep from depressing everyone on this Thursday we move to Mark’s trip to the Hyundai manufacturing plant in Alabama. From there we move to the insanity that is a 700 horsepower Challenger. There is lots of grunting and yelling of ’Merica in that segment.

To finish out the news, we do a mad dash through a pile of Goodwood news including the new Focus ST , the McLaren 650s GT3 and Nissan’s new hill climb record.

We finish the show up with a few questions from the viewers that range from how to buy a used car, to how to escape rapid soccer fans. We also look at the future of the Focus RS and the next-generation Miata .

The last piece of the show is Own, Drive, Burn and we have a large Mercedes , an armored personnel carrier and a monster truck. This whole show was full of awesome and crazy.

If you have questions for us, or if you have suggestions for Own, Drive, Burn, just drop them in comments, or hit us up on the Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast . You can also send us an email to Podcast@TopSpeed.com.

Have a safe weekend and we will see you next Thursday.

So often when I get a time with a car, I typically focus on how it rides, drives and performs, but with SUV s, cargo room is a huge deal for many buyers. Sure, you need to haul Johnny’s and Suzie’s soccer and softball equipment from A to B, but what about when things need to get a little dirtier than usual? So many crossovers fall flat when hauling anything other than groceries or sports equipment, but is the Sorento an exception to this rule?

Absolutely yes! Kia advertises its Sorento as having 72.5 cubic feet of cargo room — only about 8 cubic feet less than the much longer Explorer — with all three rows of seats folded, and I put this to the test. I happened to have a bit of a landscaping project to finish off this week, and I needed to pick up a ton of mulch, so I decided to see just how many bags I could easily stuff into the back of this midsize crossover.

In my first trip, I folded the third row of seats left the second row up, and still managed to cram 15 two-cubic-foot bags of mulch without much issue. But that was nowhere near enough for my project, so I took out my son’s booster seat and folded the second row of seats, exposing a rather cavernous hull with a relatively flat loading surface. Off to Lowes I went after pre-ordering 30 — yes thirty — two-cubic-foot bags of mulch.

After some careful planning, I was able to stack the mulch bags in piles of five before they got too close to the sunroof, and I was able to create a total of six stacks of five. Even with 30 bags of mulch in the rear, I still had a good eight inches between the last row of mulch and the rear hatch, so there was no "I hope the rear glass doesn’t shatter" moment.

So if you’re looking for an SUV that can haul seven passengers day in and day out, while still having the ability to carry cargo when needed, the Sorento is more than capable.

Click past the jump to read more about how easy it is to access this huge amount of cargo room.

The San Diego Comic-Con opened up today and what better way to celebrate it than with a comic book-inspired ride? Well, Kia was happy to deliver the goods by way of a Justice League-inspired 2013 Sorento that took a whopping 10 months to complete.

For those that don’t know, the Justice League first appeared in The Brave and Beautiful issue No. 28, which was put on shelves in 1960. The original seven members of the famed comic book team were Batman , Superman , Aquaman , Flash , Green Lantern , Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter, but many characters came and went through the years. This Sorento features all of the original characters with the exception of the lesser-known Martian Manhunter — in his place is more mainstream Cyborg — painted on each side of the vehicle by West Coast Customs. Each of the characters on this Sorento also had their own individual customized Kia and you can see each one by clicking on each name above.

Up front, the hood features a "Justice League" decal and nothing else, giving the crossover a clean, but still custom, look from the front end. The Kia also received blacked-out upper and lower grilles.

On the inside, the customization continues. West Coast Customs reupholstered all three rows of seats with one character’s colors and logo on each seat. Up front, the driver’s seat features the Superman logo and red piping, and the passenger’s seat features a batman logo on the headrest and gold piping. The three center-row seats features Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Flash logos with their respective colored piping. Finally, the third row of seats feature Aquaman and Cyborg logos with piping to match.

Also customized are the door panels, which feature comic strips on the upper inserts and color-coordinated piping, and the center console with its comic-strip covering.

What’s more, is that you can buy this custom rig on Ebay and bidding runs from today through July 27th here. The profits from the auction will go to help the We Can Be Heros campaign, which helps feed starving families in the Horn of Africa. So, not only can you own an awesome ride, but you also help a great cause, it’s a win-win situation.

The customization is based on a Sorento EX with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that puts down 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque.

Click past the jump to read more about the Justice League Sorento.

A few days after releasing a teaser of their Super Bowl ad, Kia has officially unveiled their "Space Babies" commercial commercial. Now, we’ve seen some pretty interesting Super Bowl ads over the years, but this one by Kia for the Sorento is probably right up there as far as making you "aww...oh, wait, ok I get it!"

The ad starts off with a little boy asking his dad where babies come from. Dad, apparently caught off guard with the question, goes on a soliloquy about how babies come from a planet called Babylandia and come to Earth nine months later to meet their families. Fantastic storytelling, might we say.

Apparently, the son was a lot smarter than the dad gave him credit for and just as the little one was about to say where babies really come from, dear dad interrupts him by asking the Sorento’s sound-activated infotainment system to play a kiddie song.

At that point, you’re lost on what the connection of the story is to the SUV. That is until Kia rolls out their slogan that essentially says the Sorento has "an answer for everything".

It’ll make you snicker, but it’s certainly not on the level of Little Darth Vader. In any case, good job by Kia on this ad. Money well spent, we say.

It’s not a trailer for a new space-cadet movie, nor is it an ad for diapers. What it is, though, is a teaser of what Korean automaker Kia is planning for the Super Bowl.

We’re not quite sure what the direction Kia is taking with this one, but we do know that when it comes to the Super Bowl, all conventional thinking when it comes to commercials flies right out the window.

Kia’s theme this year is all about "Space Babies,” a concept that we still can’t wrap our heads around. That’s probably what the Korean automaker was hoping for in the first place, so we keep talking about the ad before its scheduled launch during the Super Bowl.

If that is indeed what they were going for, consider it a job well done. The sight of a baby boy in a space suit accompanied by baby animals in similar space suits in a sort of intergalactic version of Noah’s Ark has left us very perplexed. And the most confusing part; the commercial is set to promote the 2014 Kia Sorento.

Not sure how the SUV can be tied into this, but then again, the beauty of it all lies in the suspense.

Kia’s lineup of debuts at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show offers plenty of revisions from previous model years. None of the unveilings venture more from their previous renditions than the 2014 Sorento .

The obvious choice for most drastic upgrade is the installation of a new 3.3-liter V-6 engine that produces an stout numbers that put it in favorable light compared to most of its rivals.

Aesthetically, the Kia crossover also received plenty of visual upgrades, highlighted by a modified front and rear fascia, a new grille, and the option of fitting up to 19-inch wheels. There’s a lot to like about the new Sorento, although there are parts of it that we weren’t too excited about.

Either way, it’s obvious that Kia went to great lengths to give the Sorento significant improvements. In the words of Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing and communications of Kia Motors America: "With more than 80 percent of the 2014 Sorento including new or significantly redesigned parts, it’s obvious that the improvements are not just skin deep; including technological enhancements such as UVO eServices, the next generation of our voice activated telematics system, and Kia’s first-ever blind spot detection system.2"

Find out the latest digs on the new 2014 Sorento after the jump

After a number of testing sessions, the first details on the new Kia Sorento have finally been unveiled. The new SUV will make its official debut in September at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, with sales on the US market to begin in 2014.

As everyone expected, the mid-life refresh of the Kia Sorento includes a re-engineered bodyshell and enhanced powertrains for best-in-class fuel economy with lower emissions. The revised SUV will also come with an improved ride, handling, and refinement and additional convenience and safety features, as well as a fresh, new look for the exterior. This new look will consist of new headlamps with LED positioning lights, a new tailgate with LED rear combination lamps, new bumpers (front and rear) with vertical-axis fog lights, a larger area of body-color surface, and a new set of 19" wheels.

The interior gets improved materials, a new LCD instrument cluster, a new center stack with a 7-inch display screen, and a new console featuring a straight-gate selector with a leather-booted lever (on automatic transmission models).

UPDATE 08/16/2012: PaulTan is stating that the refreshed Kia Sorento will be riding on a new platform for the 2013MY, a platform that will also underpin the new Hyundai Sante Fe . This new platform will have new, stronger subframes which give more precise location of the suspension components. Other new features include larger suspension bushes, longer trailing arms at the rear, “High Performance Dampers,” and more direct steering. As an option, Kia will also be throwing in their new FlexSteer system which provides three different steering weights. Inside, the Sorento will also get an additional 30mm to stretch out in.

New pics of the interior also show that the refreshed Sorento will seat seven and will have a two-part glass panoramic roof and a new LCD instrument cluster with an 8" LCD screen (seven-inch in Europe). It will also benefit from satin chrome finish for the door handles, air-vent surrounds, and switches.

Check out the news pics of the interior in the gallery provided!

Kia Sorento

Ever since the beginning of 2012, the next generation Kia Sorento has been caught testing a few times, but the SUV was heavily camouflaged every single time. Now, it seems as though the stripping process has begun for the Sorento, as new spy shots reveal the prototype without the traditional Kia /Hyundai sack at the front and back.

As we have previously reported, the next Sorento will feature some design elements inspired by the new generation C’eed , including its new designed headlights with LED day driving lights and new front and rear bumpers. The interior will also get higher quality materials and new technologies.

As for the engine lineup, Kia is still keeping the power sources a secret, but we expect to see the same choices of four-cylinder and V6 engines with updates to improve both the final output and fuel economy.

The next generation Kia Sorento is expected to be unveiled sometime in 2013.


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