The 2011 Kia Sorento made its North American debut at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. The new Sorento will be the first vehicle to roll off the new assembly line at Kia Motors’ state of the art manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia and will start to arrive in dealer’s showrooms starting in January of 2010.

For 2011, the Sorento CUV will be offered with a choice of two power plants, the first is a 2.4 Liter four cylinder that delivers 175 HP and 169 lb-ft of torque while a more powerful 3.5 Liter V6 making 276 HP and 248 lb-ft of torque, both coupled to Kia’s new six speed automatic transmission that provide the driver with effortless shifts.

The new car will be both longer and roomier than the previous generation Sorento, with an overall length of 184.4 inches and overall width of 74.2 inches.

A first for Kia, the 2011 Sorento comes with a panoramic sunroof. While standard equipment includes an AM/FM/CD/MP3/SIRIUS Satellite Radio capabilities complete with three months of complimentary service. Your iPod can be hooked up via auxiliary and USB inputs and Bluetooth connectivity with steering wheel mounted voice activation controls that allow you to safely communicate with loved ones while driving down the road.

At the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show Kia revealed the 2011 Sorento SUV. Now the Korean maker announced sales will begin in early next year, with prices starting from $19,995 for the entry level version which is powered by a 175-hp 2.4L 4-cylinder engine. Prices will go up to $27,195 for the top of the line V6 version.

Customers will be able to chose between three additional packages: Limited Package, priced at $2000 (navigation system with real-time traffic, Infinity sound system, 18-inch chrome wheels, interior accent lighting and high-style interior color theme), Premium Package priced at $1500 (roof-rails, leather-seats, heated front seats and a rear-view backup camera) and Third Row Package priced at $700.

Press release after the jump.

Press release

Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced the official North American debut of the all-new Sorento crossover utility vehicle (CUV) during a press conference at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. The first vehicle to be built at the all-new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) in West Point, Georgia, Sorento encompasses both the brand’s signature design cues as well as its distinct combination of value, safety and style. Coming to market in early 2010 as a 2011 model-year vehicle, the all-new Sorento presents consumers with a well-equipped, well-appointed CUV with best-in-class power2 suited perfectly for the fun, dynamic and discerning driver.

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With a streamlined and attractive look, the new Sorento represents a modern CUV that is just the right size for today’s consumer. Completely redesigned for 2011, the all-new Sorento now employs a unibody design with the ability to comfortably fit up to seven passengers, offering more space and ride comfort than the previous-generation model. Prominently displaying the signature tabbed grille and wraparound headlamps soon to be seen on all Kia models, Sorento offers a more aggressive stance and sleeker profile than the previous version.

Confident and Contemporary Exterior

Based on the KND-4 concept shown during the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show, Sorento offers the same swept-back lines and dynamic presence as the concept vehicle. With an angled window line, large flared-back headlamps, prominent fog lamps and rounded nose, the all-new Sorento clearly belongs to the Kia family and effortlessly conveys strength and authority. The view from the rear offers the same forceful attitude with a rounded back and tail lamps set powerfully within the rear lift gate.

3.5-liter V6 engine; 276 hp and 248 lbs-ft of torque; 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine; 175 hp and 169 lbs-ft of torque

Available in base, LX and EX trim levels, the versatile CUV offers tasteful exterior features on all three including 17-inch alloy wheels with 235/65R17 tires and wheel moldings, while moving to the LX trim includes standard body-color heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signal indicators. All EX trims offer standard 18-inch alloy wheels outfitted with 235/60R18 tires, automatic headlamps, fog lamps (optional on LX trims) and a rear spoiler. Optional for LX and EX trims are roof rails for those looking to spend a weekend away or endeavor in recreational activities, while EX trims offer the options of 18-inch ultra bright mirror-finish wheels or a panoramic sunroof (V6 models only), a first for any Kia vehicle. With an overall length of 183.9 inches and overall width of 74.2 inches, the all-new CUV comes in longer, lower and roomier than the previous-generation Sorento, offering occupants a more spacious and comfortable ride.

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Best-in-Class Performance

The 2011 Sorento offers two engines, both more powerful than the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V3. A 3.5-liter V6 providing best-in-class 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque and a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 175 horsepower and 169 pound-feet of torque both are coupled to a new six-speed automatic transmission, which together provide ample power and offer improved fuel efficiency. This all-new six-speed automatic transmission is a proprietary design for Kia Motors that was designed, engineered and built specifically for Kia vehicles, making the brand one of only three manufacturers to employ such a transmission. To further meet consumer needs, both engines can be mated to either front- or all-wheel-drive configurations, the latter coming with a locking center differential to evenly distribute power to all wheels while operating the vehicle at low speeds during more severe weather conditions. For enhanced ride performance, the all-new 2011 Sorento employs a more compact and lighter MacPherson strut front suspension and a fully independent multi-link rear suspension.

Modern and Tech-Inspired Interior

Moving inside, the feeling of spaciousness is all the more evident, and with both five- and seven-passenger seating configurations, Sorento is now more versatile than ever. With 142.5 cubic feet of interior volume when equipped with five seats or 149.4 cubic feet with seven, Sorento offers quite a bit more space over the previous generation’s 137.5 cubic feet. Head and legroom also have been increased for optimal occupant comfort. With nearly five cubic feet more in cargo capacity, the new generation effortlessly accommodates both passenger and cargo needs for cruising around town as easily as weekends camping in the mountains.

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In addition to offering a comfortable ride, impressive technology features also come standard throughout, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities and three months complimentary service4, auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting personal MP3 players, and Bluetooth® wireless technology connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls to enable hands-free operation for all compatible mobile phones. All EX models offer standard push button-start ignition with smart key and rear sonar back-up sensors, while available voice-activated navigation, rear view back-up cameras and air ionization purification technology complete the modern and high-tech driving experience.

Standard comforts can be found throughout, including air conditioning, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel with integrated audio controls, trip computer and rear map pockets. In addition to those features, the LX trims offers standard automatic up and down driver’s window function, illuminated vanity mirror, EcoMinder™ Indicator to assist with fuel efficient driving habits, and a second row arm rest with cup holder. Progressing to the EX trim provides even more well-appointed standard features including dual automatic temperature control, rear air conditioning (V6 models only) and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

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Able to suit practically any driver, Sorento offers the discriminating consumer numerous package options. The Convenience Package, available for the LX trim, offers roof rails, rear sonar, a rear view mirror with backup display, heated front seats and fog lamps. Moving to the Premium Package, available for the EX trim, includes roof rails, leather trim seats, heated front seats, a rear view backup camera and a panoramic sunroof (V6 models only), further adding to the feeling of spaciousness. By upgrading to the Limited Package, available for the EX trim outfitted with the Premium Package, drivers will benefit from luxuriously appointed features including a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic, an Infinity premium surround system with 12 speakers and a 550-watt digital amplifier, 18-inch chrome-finish wheels and interior accent mood illumination. A DVD Entertainment Package also is available on EX V6 models (without sunroof) for those looking for a little extra entertainment while on the road.

Superior Safety Features

Like all Kia vehicles, the 2011 Sorento is equipped with a plethora of standard safety equipment. All trims come outfitted with driver and passenger advanced front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain airbags and front active headrests, four-wheel Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Brake Control (DBC) also come standard on all models, the former assisting in preventing the vehicle from rolling backward when trying to pull away from an uphill gradient, while the latter helps keep the vehicle moving straight and steady down steep grades.

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Pedestrians also benefit from the all-new Sorento’s standard safety systems. For the 2011 model year the hood of Sorento is designed to crumple and flex strategically so as to absorb and disperse the shock of a collision with a pedestrian or bicyclist, aimed at decreasing the level of potential injury.


Specifications

ENGINE 2.4L I4 3.5L V6
Type Four-cylinder, aluminum block and aluminum head Six-cylinder, aluminum block and head
Valve gear DOHC with dual CVVT DOHC
Horsepower (hp @ rpm) 175 @ 6000 276 @ 6300
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm) 169 @ 3750 248 @ 5000
Bore x stroke (mm) 88 x 97 92 x 87
Displacement (cc) 2359 3470
Compression ratio 10.5:1 10.6:1
Fuel tank capacity (gal.) 18.0 18.0
Emission rating 50-sate LEV-II (ULEV) Tier-2 (Bin 5) 50-sate LEV-II (ULEV) Tier-2 (Bin 5)
Coolant capacity (qt.) 2.3 4.6
Engine oil capacity (qt.) 4.8 6.3
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DRIVETRAIN 2.4L I4 3.5L V6
Transmission Six-speed manual, overdrive Electronically-controlled Six-speed automatic,overdrive w/ Sportmatic™ Electronically-controlled Six-speed automatic, overdrive w/ Sportmatic™
Gear ratios :1 M/T A/T A/T
1st 3.769 4.212 4.651
2nd 1.931 2.637 2.831
3rd 1.696 1.800 1.842
4th 1.276 1.386 1.386
5th 1.027 1.000 1.000
6th 0.897 0.772 0.772
Reverse 3.588 3.385 3.393
Final drive 5.071/3.737 3.913 3.195
Clutch type Dry type w/ single friction plate Torque converter Torque converter

SUSPENSION 
 

  • Front Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar
  • Rear Independent, Multi-link, stabilizer bar

STEERING
 

  • Type Hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion
  • Gear ratio 15.4
  • Turns, lock-to-lock 3.0
  • Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft.) 35.7
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DIMENSIONS (in.) 
 

  • Exterior:
  • Overall length 183.9
  • Overall width 74.2
  • Overall height 67.3 (w/out roof rack); 68.7 (w/ roof rack); 69.1 (w/ sunroof and roof rack)
  • Wheelbase 106.3
  • Track, front/rear 63.7 / 63.8
  • Overhand, front/rear 36.6 / 40.9
  • Ground clearance 7.2
  • Approach angle 28.0 degrees
  • Departure angle 23.0 degrees
  • Interior:
  • Headroom, front/middle/rear 39.2 / 39.2 / 36.7
  • Shoulder room, front/middle/rear 59.3 / 58.7 / 53.8
  • Legroom, front/middle/rear 41.3 / 37.6 / 31.3
  • Hip room, front/middle/rear 56.3 / 55.9 / 44.4
  • Interior volume (cu. ft.) 142.5 (five seats); 149.4 (seven seats)
  • Cargo volume (cu. ft.) 9.1 (all rows up)
  • 37.0 (second row down) 72.5 (all rows down)

BRAKES
 

  • Type Power-assisted braking system
  • Front 11.8-inch ventilated discs
  • Rear 11.9-inch solid discs
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Prices and options

4x2 MODELS TRANSMISSION MSRP
Sorento Base (I4) 6-speed manual $19,995
Sorento LX (I4) 6-speed automatic $22,395
Sorento EX (I4) 6-speed automatic $24,595
Sorento EX (V6) 6-speed automatic $27,195
4x4 MODELS TRANSMISSIONS MSRP
Sorento LX (I4) 6-speed automatic $24,095
Sorento EX (I4) 6-speed automatic $26,295
Sorento EX (V6) 6-speed automatic $28,895
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Options

FACTORY INSTALLED OPTIONS APPLICATIONS MSRP
Convenience Package LX $ 1000
3rd Row Package (EX 3.5 A/T, SX Standard) LX, EX (2.4 A/T) $700
Limited Package (w/ Navigation) LX $2,000
Premium Package (w/o Panoramic Sunroof) EX $1,500
Premium Package (w/ Panoramic Sunroof) EX (3.5 A/T) $2,700
Rear Entertainment System EX (3.5 A/T) $1000
PORT INSTALLED OPTIONS APPLICATIONS MSRP
Cargo Mat Base, LX, EX ( 2.4 A/T) $75
Cargo Cover All $125
Cargo Net All $40
Cargo Organizer Base, LX, EX ( 2.4 A/T) $75
Cargo Tray Base, LX, EX ( 2.4 A/T) $75
Auto Dimming Mirror w/ Homelink All $250
Carpet Floor Mats (5 seat) Base, LX, EX ( 2.4 A/T) $115
Carpet Floor Mats (7 seat) LX, EX, SX $125
Wheel Locks All $45
Destination Charge $795
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Competitors and press reviews

"Cutting and thrusting through hordes of dumbstruck Georgia drivers (many of whom are apparently always dumbstruck), we found that the new Sorento lives up to its promise of more carlike driving dynamics. The preproduction example we drove steered crisply, rode well and transmitted little road noise to the cabin. Cabin controls are laid out logically and outward visibility is reasonably good despite a thick D-pillar. The drive-by-wire throttle isn’t the best example of its kind, but the delay in its action is not offensive." (InsideLine)

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"Fortunately, the best thing about the 2011Sorento is how it drives. Calm, quiet and composed are the first words that come to mind behind the wheel, an impression that’s especially true on the highway. Steering is nicely weighted for its intended application, and the ratio is a bit quicker than the majority of its competitors. Ride is definitely biased towards smooth and comfortable, but thankfully, it’s never floaty and there weren’t any exaggerated motions to give our passengers seasickness at high speeds over rough terrain. Handling? Sure... everything reacts just as you’d expect from a mid-size crossover, which is to say understeer, understeer and more understeer. That’s especially true of the front-wheel-drive version we sampled, as the Sorento’s optional full-time all-wheel drive seems does a pretty good job of diverting torque to the rear when the front wheels are overwhelmed." (AutoBlog)

"That solid foundation plus a quicker steering ratio, a 2.0-inch-lower center of gravity, and a suspension revamp that jettisons control arms and a live rear axle in favor front struts and a multilink IRS, imparts a decidedly more refined and confident character to the new Sorento’s ride and handling whether you’re cruising down the freeway or pushing the limit on some twisty back road. Although the 2011 version continues to offer both FWD and optional AWD configurations, the latter setup has lost its dual-range transfer case in deference to the great crossover cause. However, this new more street-oriented full-time torque-on-demand package can transition from a 100/0 percent front/rear bias to a 50/50 split and features an Intelligent Lock Mode to help it master more challenging bits of both on- and off-road rambling." (MotorTrend)

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Competitors

Nissan Rogue

The 2010 Rogue is available in two models, Rogue S and Rogue SL, each powered by a standard 170-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. For 2010, the Rogue SUV is priced as follows: Rogue S FWD $20,340; Rogue SL FWD $21,930; Rogue S AWD $21,540; Rogue SL AWD $23,130.

Subaru Forester

The 2010 Forester will be offered with both a 2.5 Liter naturally aspirated engine as the 2.5X, 2.5X Premium and 2.5X Limited. There will also be a turbocharged flat-four with the same displacement, the 2.5XT. The boosted box car only comes in Premium or Limited trim levels. Pricing will start at $20,295 for the Forester 2.5X and goes up to $28,495 for the top of the line 2.5XT Limited.

Volkswagen Tiguan

The 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan will be offered in three trim levels: S, SE and SEL, each powered by a 2.0 TSI engine with 200 hp and 207lbs-ft of torque. Both front wheel drive and 4Motion all-wheel-drive is available to suit any weather or road condition. The engine is mated to either a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Prices start at $23,200.

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Conclusion

Besides a powerful look, maybe the most important thing on the 2011 Sorento is the way it drives. Compared to its competitors, the Sorento offers a smooth and comfortable ride, and most important it transmits little road noise to the cabin.

Is true the SUV starts under $20k, but the best choice is the V6 version: you will get an extra 101 hp, while loosing only 1mpg in city driving.

So, bottom line, the 2011 Kia Sorento is a powerful car, with an interior that offers you all the technologies you need on a long ride and with a comfortable ride. In just a few word: a value-driven alternative to the leaders in the segment.

What do you think?
Show Comments

11 comments:

  (612) posted on 11.7.2010

It seems that there’s a lot of things to be expected to the new KIA Sorento.

  (534) posted on 02.9.2010

Not bad at all. It is a good and spacious vehicle and it doesn’t come too expensive as well. Less than 20 grand for a 175 Hp 4 cylinder is still a powerful engine, let alone the a few more grand expensive V6, 276 Hp. I get confused with steering wheels like this one though, there are just too many buttons and control. I wonder if the driver actually uses them all.

  (708) posted on 02.9.2010

well i’ve already tried the old sorento, and I’m impressed on it’s acceleration and handling response, for sure this new model is more better than the previous model.

  (1333) posted on 01.31.2010

KIA is becoming more popular because of their vehicles, their designers and engineers are really doing their job well, unlike before.

  (515) posted on 01.25.2010

All I want is a manual transmission, AWD and 6-7 seats. The Mazda 5 and Kia Rondo are the only manual transmission 6-7 seaters I can find in the US, but neither has AWD. Will the new Sorento offer a manual with the AWD model? In both V6 and I-4 models? Are my simple needs too basic for the US market? There are plenty of options outside the US for such vehicles.

  (612) posted on 01.14.2010

Of course KIA has gone over the sales last year and I think this car also make noise that the price seems on the line of the budget for a SUV and the bumper and runs to the side skirt looks kinda strong. It also has a competitive price on some interior packages.

  (798) posted on 01.12.2010

You might call this a crossover but the profile looks very SUV like. I hope for Kia’s sake they can keep all their buyers convinced that it is not an SUV

  (571) posted on 12.13.2009

bigger, Badder and Bolder Kia sorento. With the success of It’s predecessor KIA motors has make their New Sorento Even Better.

  (1333) posted on 12.7.2009

This is a big change made by KIA motors. Even though they are novice to the LA Auto Show, they will still pull more sales, especially those who are looking for spacious vehicles. Sunproof, effortless shifts, Bluetooth connectivity and more, these are features that one shouldn’t let pass.

  (815) posted on 12.3.2009

KIA Motor is really catching up with the Big automobile companies. Their vehicles are way better then the previous KIA Vehicles.

  (1023) posted on 12.3.2009

with the success of the previous KIA sorento, KIA motor is planning to set another record in their new Sorento. the new sorento, can be compared with Dodge Journey, Jeep Liberty and Suzuki XL7.

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