When Kia threw out the covers of the new Sorento at the Los Angeles Auto Show, it came with an announcement that the CUV will only be offered in two trim levels: the LX and the EX. But seeing as the market for the Sorento may be bigger than they thought, Kia retracted their earlier announcement and said that they would be adding a third version: the SX.

The new SX version comes with some additional features including a smart key with push button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, telescopic steering wheel, heated side mirrors, automatic up/down driver-side windows and privacy glass, leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, electrochromatic mirror with Homelink and a voice-activated navigation system with back-up camera.

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

Press release after the jump.

Press release

Following the official grand opening ceremony of Kia’s first U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia, Kia Motors America (KMA) today debuted the new 2011 Sorento SX crossover during a press conference at the 2010 Atlanta Auto Show. The all-new Sorento has exceeded expectations since going on sale in early January, and now the new SX brings the CUV to new levels of comfort, convenience, technology and design and will arrive in dealerships later this summer. The first vehicle to roll off the line at Kia Motors’ recently opened state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia, the 2011 Sorento is a true symbol of Kia Motors’ $1 billion commitment to both the state of Georgia, the United States and North America.

2011 Kia Sorento SX High Resolution Interior
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"Receiving critical and consumer acclaim, Sorento has surpassed all expectations in only its first two months on the market, leading both January and February sales and helping achieve record-breaking sales for Kia Motors America," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing of KMA. "The addition of the 2011 Sorento to the Kia lineup has helped bring new and more affluent customers into our showrooms. And with the addition of the new SX trim we hope to expand Sorento’s appeal to even more consumers looking for a comfortable, sophisticated and well-equipped vehicle."

With a streamlined and attractive look, the 2011 Sorento represents a modern CUV that is just the right size for today’s consumer. With swept-back lines and angled windows, large flared-back headlamps and prominent fog lamps, the view from the front conveys strength and power. From the rear, the rounded back and tail lamps set prominently within the lift gate express the same forceful attitude and strength. Offering a more muscular stance, the SX receives revised front and rear fascias to exude additional authority while added chrome to the exhaust outlet, LED tail lamps and redesigned 18-inch alloy wheels with a hyper silver paint finish increase its luxurious exterior appeal.

Originally available in two trim levels, LX and EX, SX adds an enhanced dimension to Sorento with styling that adds an edgier attitude and comes standard with a host of luxury, convenience and technology features throughout. In addition to the smart key with push button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, telescopic steering wheel, heated side mirrors, automatic up/down driver-side windows and privacy glass found standard on all EX models, upgrading to the new SX trim will further spoil its occupants. Driver and passengers will benefit from leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, electrochromatic mirror with Homelink® and a voice-activated navigation system with back-up camera.

2011 Kia Sorento SX High Resolution Exterior
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In addition to the impressive array of standard technology features found on all Sorento models, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with SIRIUS Satellite Radio capabilities, auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting personal MP3 players, and Bluetooth®(2) connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls to enable hands-free operation for all compatible mobile phones, the SX also comes standard with an Infinity® Audio surround sound system with 10 speakers for a truly enhanced listening experience.

Raising the level of refinement and sophistication further, the SX interior benefits from a unique metallic gauge cluster with a stitched meter housing, accent interior illumination and stainless steel pedals. Chrome-finished roof rails, a metallic accent along the greenhouse and front and rear stainless skid plates on the outside complete the look. A panoramic sunroof also is available to enhance the feeling of spaciousness and adds to Sorento’s modern appearance.

Without sacrificing the space, comfort and ride that the current Sorento already offers, Sorento SX will employ the same unibody design with the ability to comfortably fit up to seven passengers. An overall length of 183.9 inches and overall width of 74.2 inches with substantial headroom, legroom and cargo capacity effortlessly accommodates both passenger and cargo needs for all drivers. Sorento SX will, however, be nearly half of an inch lower to the ground for a subtly sportier appearance while the lower center of gravity allows improved handling and aerodynamics.

The Sorento SX also features DFD (Dual Flow Damper) shock absorbers typically found on more expensive vehicles. The DFD shocks, which have been specially matched to Sorento’s MacPherson strut front suspension and the fully independent mulit-link rear suspension, provide excellent handling characteristics without the harsh ride qualities typically associated with sport-tuned suspensions.

2011 Kia Sorento SX High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The SX comes mated to Sorento’s more powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine, providing best-in-class 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, more powerful than the Ford Edge and Chevrolet Equinox V6(3). Coupled to a new six-speed automatic transmission, the V6 offers ample power and 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, the engine 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. Drivers also will benefit from a standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Start Assist (HAS) and Downhill Brake Control (DBC), offered on all Sorento trims.

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  (498) posted on 01.5.2012

I knew right away that it would only come in automatic without reading the specs. I understand why car makers do this, but it is still annoying.

  (306) posted on 09.1.2011

The interior is so refreshing, I love the interior touch that they do on this car even the light exterior color of this car is really stunning.

  (364) posted on 05.5.2010

Looks like an SUV version of the optima, sorento is one of the best SUV today, Part Luxury car part Truck... if your looking for a luxury suv with a power of a truck then kia is the best answer to your needs.

  (406) posted on 05.4.2010

It looks like a BMW X5 model. The model features a telescopic steering wheel, heated exterior mirrors and leather trimmed seats.

  (460) posted on 03.29.2010

Unfortunate but true: Very few in US suv’s have manual options. I knew right away that it would only come in automatic without reading the specs. I understand why car makers do this but it is still annoying.

  (939) posted on 03.22.2010

I’ve already saw this perform on roads like tarmac and concrete and i must say that the sorento even the older models are quite a performer, but unfortunately i haven’t got a chance to see it off-road.

  (612) posted on 03.22.2010

The fact that the car is affordable with much appealing exterior and dashing interior and engine, the purchasers won’t let it go off so easily. The wonder of Kia still works.

  (868) posted on 03.22.2010

@ Andress I said they competed with the Americans/Europeans as well.

  (417) posted on 03.22.2010

I love the interior. I really like it on how two tone interior, even though simple, can make the car look luxurious and comfortable. I kinda remember on how one colored interiors were back then, it was just either black or gray. Anyways, as same as most cars the meters of this car seems to be sporty as well. Seems like good cars like CR-V and Rav 4 have a pretty good competition for their lines this year.

  (1332) posted on 03.21.2010

I Agree, Koreans are really keeping up with the Japanese. But i think it they can also compete with Europeans and American manufacturers.

  (868) posted on 03.20.2010

I tip my hat to Hyundai/Kia for really stepping up their game in the last few years. Good to see that the Korean car makers have finally produced cars (Sorento, Genesis, ect) that can truly compete with their Japanese, European and American counterparts. It’s about time.

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