Kia’s broad stroke at the crossover market

It’s hard to believe the Kia Sorento has been around since 2002, but this body-on-frame SUV turned unibody crossover has gained a respectable foothold in the American market thanks to its growing size and continually improvement refinement with each generation. Kia last reworked the Sorento for the 2016 model year. This third-generation crossover now wears a handsome exterior with a surprisingly supple and spacious interior. A few minor changes happen for the 2017 model year, including the addition of automatic emergency braking and making the Technology Package and V-6 standard equipment in the range-topping SXL.

Kia sent me such a model to test for a week. It came loaded with just about every option available, including all-wheel drive and that 3.3-liter V-6. Also packed in back is the Sorento’s optional third row seat, which actually comes standard on the SXL. Prices have also increased for 2017, with the base trims seeing as little as $290 and a whopping $4,000 for the SXL. The huge price jump on the SXL is patricianly explained by the $2,500 Technology Package being made standard, as well as the V-6. AWD is now the SXL’s only major option, though several smaller accessories can be purchased.

The 2017 Sorento is positioned to compete in two vehicle categories and in a higher pricing bracket than most would expect. It can be stacked against the two-row Ford Flex or the spacious, three-row Dodge Durango. It can compete with the family-friendly and affordable Hyundai Santa Fe Sport or the middle-class Jeep Grand Cherokee. It all depends on how the Kia Sorento is optioned. But how well does the Sorento perform at all these tasks? That’s what we’re here to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

  • 2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Transmission:
    Six-speed Automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    290 @ 6400
  • MPG(Cty):
    17
  • MPG(Hwy):
    23
  • Torque @ RPM:
    252 @ 5300
  • Energy:
    Direct Injection
  • Displacement:
    3.3 L
  • 0-60 time:
    7.2 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    120 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine, AWD
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    7.7/10

Video Review


Exterior

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Initial impressions of the 2017 Kia Sorento’s looks are surprising. Kia has done an amazing job at turning what was a dull vehicle into a classy crossover. Much of that can be attributed to its front-end design and detailing. The “Tiger Nose” grille with its chrome mesh leads the way, with swiveling HID headlights flanking either side. Piano black trim helps dress up the lower grille and surrounds the fog lights. A faux chrome skid plate with hex bolts helps give the soft Sorento a harder appeal. However, it’s the four-pod flog lights that really grabs the attention. And not only do they bring interest, they are rather bright and genuinely help improve visibility on dark stretches of fog-covered roads.

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Kia has done an amazing job at turning what was a dull vehicle into a classy crossover. Much of that can be attributed to its front-end design and detailing.

Other brightwork includes the 19-inch chrome wheels, chrome trim along the door bottoms and handles, chrome around the side windows and roof rack, and another faux chrome skid plate along the rear bumper. I have to admit the chrome wheels look a bit dated, especially in today’s market with blacked-out and alloy-colored wheels. Then again, some folks might appreciate the old-school approach.

The Sorento can be accused of a half-hearted attempt to look like an SUV. It does feature finder flares, but they are painted. It does feature skid plates, but they aren’t substantial. It does appear to have moderately useful ground clearance, though not any more than any other crossover on the market. But in reality, that’s just fine. Sorento buyers are hard-core off-roaders or the type to install aftermarket lift kits – these are the folks at the afterschool PTO meeting or Saturday soccer meet. The Kia doesn’t have to be anything more than a seven-passenger crossover. It just has to appeal to the SUV-crazed market. In my eyes, it does that well.

The Competition

2016 - 2019 Honda Pilot High Resolution Exterior
- image 616596
2017 Toyota Highlander Wallpaper quality
- image 669311

The three-row crossover segment is a popular place these days. Just about every automaker has something here, but there are a few stalwarts that define the segment. Leading that list is the Honda Pilot. It’s regarded by many to be one of the best crossovers on the market. That’s thanks to its handsome styling, spacious interior, and functional powertrain.

On the outside, the Honda Pilot offers a grown-up appearance that’s reserved and well-mannered. Splashes of chrome help brighten its look, while black trim along the wheel arches and rocker panels help give it a rugged stance. Speaking for myself, I really appreciate the Pilot’s two-bar chrome grille and how it flows into the headlights. The chrome trim around the side windows is another nice touch. Despite the plastic along the lower edges, the Pilot isn’t’ trying to impersonate a Jeep Wrangler or Chevrolet Tahoe Z71.

2016 - 2019 Honda Pilot High Resolution Exterior
- image 616600
2017 Toyota Highlander
- image 669312

The other stalwart in this segment is the venerable Toyota Highlander. The Highlander has been around in its current form since the 2014 model year, so Toyota has given it a sporty mid-cycle refresh for 2017. The new look includes a A-frame grille with only a small sliver of body-colored trim separating the upper and lower grille sections. The look makes the Highlander seem more planted, or since it’s a Toyota, “grounded to the ground.” New headlights and LED taillights, along with new wheel designs, help make the Toyota more appealing to those wanting something with a more athletic feel.

Exterior Dimensions

Honda Pilot Toyota Highlander Kia Sorento
Wheelbase (Inches) 111.0 109.8 109.4
Length (Inches) 194.5 192.5 187.4
Height (Inches) 69.8 68.1 66.3
Width (Inches) 78.6 75.8 74.4

Interior

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Interior
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I feel like I always remind my readers just how far Kia has come in the last 15 years, especially in interior quality. Since I just did that again, I can skip the part where I say I’m impressed with the Sorento’s fit and finish, its simple yet interesting dash layout, and how everything in placed in an ergonomic and intuitive position. Saying anything more would just be… repetitive.

However, I will say I’m impressed with the metallic finishes throughout the cabin. The satin chrome pieces add a touch of brightness and class. They don’t feel cheap; In fact, the material feels like real metal. I really enjoyed using the simple yet functional HVAC and seat heater controls. It doesn’t get better than this in terms of ease-of-use. I also really liked how most of the drivetrain-related controls are positioned behind the gear shifter. I also liked how the UVO3 system is familiar to anyone who’s sat in a Kia or Hyundai in the last couple of years, while still having the latest features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For those who don’t want to connect their phones, the infotainment system already comes with navigation.

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Interior
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2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Interior
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Its simple yet interesting dash layout, and how everything in placed in an ergonomic and intuitive position.

Cubbyholes and storage spots are bountiful. Ahead of the shifter is a covers storage container complete with two 12-volt power ports, a USB port, and an AUX input jack. Under the center armrest lies another cubby spot, with another USB port and a small tray for random items. Large door pockets are perfect for taller drinks and other items.

Of course, with this being a family-friendly crossover, much of the designers’ focus was concentrated on the rear seats. Kia did a great job at staying competitive back here. The second row seats provide ample legroom, headroom, and a wide-opening door for easy entry. HVAC vents and controls allow for rear passengers to adjust temperatures to their own liking. Interestingly, it’s the third row passenger with the HVAC controls with independent fan speed selection. The second row relies on the front seat for fan speed.

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Interior
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The second row seats provide ample legroom, headroom, and a wide-opening door for easy entry.

Access to the third row is only available on the passenger side of the Sorento. Kia figured that curbside access is good enough, so only the smaller portion of the 40/60 folding second row bench tilts and slides forward. The reasoning makes sense, but Kia is the only automaker to my knowledge that skips on offering driver-side access to the third row. Once in the third row, the two passengers have a decent amount of space, especially with the second row slid forward along its tracks. Cup holders and storage bins atop the wheel wells are present. All told, the rear two rows inside the Kia Sorento are accommodating and comfortable.

When it comes time to haul stuff rather than people, the two rear rows easily fold flat. The third row uses straps to fold the headrest and release the seatback latch. They fold effortlessly forward. The same is true for the second row thanks to a single lever along the bottom of the seat support. Pulling the lever up drops the seatbacks forward. The resulting space offers 73.5 cubic-feet of storage. Even with the third row in place, there is 11.3 cubic-feet of room. That’s enough for groceries or a gym bag.

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Interior
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The third row uses straps to fold the headrest and release the seatback latch. They fold effortlessly forward.

Other handy or handsome features include the huge panoramic moonroof. Its entire front portion opens, allowing for an open-air experience for the front row. There are window shades for the second row. The second row also gets its own UBS port, a 12-volt charging port, and a 110-volt household plug, complete with a ground prong. The infotainment system includes a 360-degree camera system that’s invaluable for tight maneuvering and ensuring there are no toys in the way when backing out of the driveway.

All told, the 2017 Kia Sorento’s interior is a well-designed and comfortable place to ride. The only problem is its rivals are highly competitive and offer most, if not all or more options. Crossovers are hot these days, and nearly every automaker is making one.

The Competition

2016 - 2019 Honda Pilot Interior
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2017 Toyota Highlander
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One of the Honda Pilot’s best features is its well-conceived interior. There’s room for eight thanks to a 2+3+3 seating configuration. The Pilot is available with second-row captain’s chairs, however, allowing for easier access to the third row and more adult-friendly seating in the second row. That drops the passenger count down to seven. It should be noted that the third row does have seating for three, but putting three across should only be reserved for kids. Two adults should fit just fine, though.

The front row has very pleasant accommodations. A rather functional center console allows the storage for random items. I’ve even been able to put a second-generation iPad with an OtterBox case in here. Triple zone climate controls let the driver front passenger, and rear passengers to choose their own temperature setting. Front fan speed is independent of rear fan speed, too. Honda’s push-button gear shifter is present, and is simpler to use that some might think. As for rear cargo room, the Pilot has 82.1 cubic-feet with the two rear rows folded flat.

2016 - 2019 Honda Pilot
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2017 Toyota Highlander
- image 669317

As for the Toyota Highlander, it offers a bit more width for third row passengers. Yep, The Highlander also has a 2+3+3 seating configuration, and like the Pilot, can be had with second-row captains chairs. A clever folding tray between the captain’s chairs offers storage space and two cup holders. The center console between the front two seats offers even more room than the Pilot’s. Tri-zone climate controls are present, as is Toyota’s Entune infotainment system. The Highlander also has a useful shelf under the dashboard for random items and cell phones. With the rear seats folded, the Highlander has 83.7 cubic-feet of cargo room.

Honda Pilot Toyota Highlander Kia Sorento
Headroom front/middle/rear (Inches) 40.1/40.2/38.9 40.7/39.9/35.9 39.5/39.3/36.3
Legroom front/middle/rear (Inches) 40.9/38.4/31.9 44.2/38.4/27.7 44.1/39.4/31.7
Shoulder Room front/middle/rear (Inches) 62.0/62.0/57.6 59.3/59.6/55.0 59.1/58.0/52.8
Hiproom (ront/middle/rear (Inches) 59.1/57.3/44.6 57.2/57.1/45.6 56.7/56.4/41.4
Cargo Volume (behind 3rd-row) (cu. ft.) 16.5 13.8 11.3
Cargo Volume (behind 2nd-row) (cu. ft.) 46.8 42.3 38.0
Cargo Volume (behind 1st-row) (cu. ft.) 83.9 83.7 73.0
Passenger Volume (cu. ft.) 152.9 144.9 154.2

Drivetrain

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Drivetrain
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Kia offers three engine choices in the Sorento. The base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that only comes on the L and LX models. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with considerably more power is offered exclusively in the EX trim. Then there’s the 3.3-liter V-6. It can be had on the LX, EX, SX, and is exclusive to the SXL trim. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard across the board, as is front-wheel drive. AWD is available in every trim above the base L, and with every engine.

My tester’s 3.3-liter V-6 proved to be plenty powerful to move this 4,343-pound crossover. The engine uses variable valve timing, direct fuel injection, and a high compression ration of 11.5:1 to help ride the fence between power and efficiency, while still meeting government requirements. The V-6 makes a respectable 290 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 252 pound-feet of torque at 5,300 rpm.

Engine 2.4L I-4, Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) 3.3L V6 Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) 2.0L Turbo Charged I-4, Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI)
Horsepower 185 HP @ 6,000 RPM 290 HP @ 6,400 RPM 240 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 178 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM 252 LB-FT @ 5,300 RPM 260 LB-FT @ 1,450-3,500 RPM
Transmission 6-speed automatic 6-speed automatic 6-speed automatic
Layout/drive Front engine, front drive Front engine, front drive or full-time AWD Front engine, front drive or full-time AWD
AWD (4x4) system - Torque on demand with locking center differential Torque on demand with locking center differential
Curb Weight 3,704 Lbs 3,968 Lbs 3,878 Lbs
Fuel economy city/highway/combined 21/28/24 18/25/20 20/27/23

My tester’s AWD system proved to be imperceptible in daily driving. That’s a great thing, though, as it never interrupted the experience or called attention to itself. Nevertheless, it was working in the background to improve the overall drive. The full-time system includes Kia’s Torque Vectoring Cornering Control system. It uses yaw rate and steering input sensors to mitigate understeer when cornering under heavy throttle. Never once did I find myself fighting to hold the wheel mid-corner. That’s more than I can say for other FWD-biased AWD systems.

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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When the going gets tough, the AWD features a driver-operated locking center differential. The driver simply presses the button behind the gear shifter and the center differential splits power evenly between the front and rear axles. This gives the Sorento a more sure-footed feeling in slippery conditions. Sadly, I wasn’t able to test this system in sunny Central Florida with blue skies all week. I can report the center differential is quick to lock and unlock with no mechanical noise or disruption in power.

Fuel economy is an important factor when it comes to choosing a non-luxury family crossover. For those wanting the most mile per gallon, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder with FWD is the best choice. It’s EPA-estimated to return 21 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined. The turbocharged 2.0-liter isn’t bad either, returning 20/27/23 in the same categories. The V-6 is the thirstiest of the trio, returning only 18/25/20.

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Drivetrain
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Adding AWD negatively effects fuel mileage, but at different rates for each engine. The base 2.4-liter in the LX trim is EPA-estimated to achieve 21 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined. The 2.0-liter turbo achieves 19/25/22. The V-6, like in my tester, is EPA-rated to return 17/23/19. That’s not overly impressive. My results fell under the EPA’s estimates. I got an average of 17.5 mpg combined over roughly 400 miles of mix driving.

Though fuel efficiency isn’t the V-6’s strong suit, it does provide plenty of power for both city and highway driving. The Sorento never felt underpowered, though don’t expect a sport car-like driving experience. Impressively, the V-6 Sorento with AWD is rated to tow 5,000 pounds.

Trim L LX LX V6 EX EX V6 SX V6 SX-Limited V6
Towing
Automatic transmission, FWD 2,000 Lbs 2,000 Lbs 3,500 Lbs 3,500 Lbs 3,500 Lbs 3,500 Lbs 3,500 Lbs
Automatic transmission, AWD - 2,000 Lbs 5,000 Lbs 3,500 Lbs 5,000 Lbs 5,000 Lbs 5,000 Lbs

The Competition

2016 - 2019 Honda Pilot Drivetrain
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2017 Toyota Highlander
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The Pilot has one engine – Honda’s 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6. This all-aluminum engine uses direct fuel injection and the VTEC variable valve timing with variable duration and lift to generate 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Lower trim levels come with a six-speed automatic transmission, while the upper trims (LX, EX, and EX-L) are equipped with a nine-speed automatic transmission. AWD is available regardless of transmission choice, and FWD comes standard.

The 2017 Honda Pilot is EPA-estimated to get 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined in FWD and with the six-speed automatic. Getting AWD results in 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. The nine-speed automatic in the Touring and higher trim levels results in 20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined. Option for AWD with the nine-speed transmission pulls fuel economy down by one mile per gallon in each category from the FWD version.

The Toyota offers two engine options and a hybrid system, making it the only one of the bunch to have that option. The standard engine, available only the base trim level, is a asthmatic 2.7-liter gasoline four-cylinder making 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The majority of Highlanders are equipped with the 3.5-liter V-6. This engine has undergone some heavy changes for 2017. They include a new port-and-direct fuel injection system and the ability two automatically switch between Otto and Atkinson combustion cycles. The result is 25 more horsepower and 15 more pound-feet of torque for a total of 295 horses and 263 pound-feet. Opting for the Highlander Hybrid pushes fuel economy up, along with horsepower to 306 and toque to 280 pound-feet.

Transmission wise, the base 2.7-liter sticks with its six-speed auto, while the V-6 gets a new eight-speed unit. The Hybrid uses a CVT for additional fuel economy. Speaking of that, fuel economy is rated at 20 mpg city and 24 mpg highway for the four-cylinder. The V-6 gets 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway in FWD guise, and 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway with the AWD system. The Hybrid comes standard with AWD and can achieve as much as 30 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

Honda Pilot Toyota Highlander Toyota Highlander
Engine 3.5-liter V-6 2.7-liter, four-cylinder 3.5-liter, six-cylinder
Horsepower 280 Hp @ 6,000 RPM 185 HP @ 5,800 RPM 295 HP @ 6,600 RPM
Torque 262 LB-FT @ 4,700 RPM 184 LB-FT @ 4,200 RPM 263 LB-FT @ 4,700 RPM
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic 6-speed Electronically Controlled automatic 8-speed Electronically Controlled automatic
Fuel economy City/Highway/Combined 19/27/22 20/24/22 20/27/23
Curb weight 4,054 Lbs 4,165 Lbs 4,370 Lbs
Towing capacity 3,500 Lbs (2WD)
5,000 Lbs (AWD)
1,500 Lbs 5,000 Lbs

Regular Maintenance

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Drivetrain
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I don’t imagine most Kia Sorento owners will be doing their own maintenance, but the processes involved are simple and the touch points are all within easy reach. The windshield wiper fluid reservoir and engine coolant reservoir are plainly visible and grant easy access. The oil dipstick is also easily accessible. Even the radiator cap and brake fluid reservoir are easily reached.

When it comes time for an oil change, the oil filler neck is directly beside the dipstick and within easy reach. A funnel will be necessary, of course. The oil filter is a located in the engine’s V, so removing the pop-off engine cover is necessary. A socket wrench is necessary for unscrewing the filter housing. The V-6 uses a paper cartridge style filter. Draining the oil is the only action that takes place below the car. It does require the removable of the underbody air valance. The lightweight board is only held on by a handful of screws. Once removed access to the oil pan is open.

Air filter replacement is a snap thank to the filter tray that simply slides into the air box. A pair of clips holds the tray in place, so there are no pesky screws or clamps in the way. The battery is located in easy reach under the air filter tube. It is easily removed for battery replacement. Most auto parts stores offer free battery replacement, so most owners won’t have to worry about removing the plastic pieces anyway. Keeping tire pressures in check is easy thanks to the Sorento’s tire pressure monitoring system that shows individual tire pressures.

Driving Impressions

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Getting behind the wheel is a pleasant experience thanks to a natural step-in height and low floor. The Sorento’s driver seat offers plenty of power adjustments and the tilt/telescoping steering wheel makes achieving the perfect driving position possible. As mentioned in the Interior section, all the controls are intuitively arranged and are within easy reach of the driver.

Once on the road, the Sorento offers good visibility thanks to a large windshield and side mirrors. Blind spots are somewhat large thanks to the C- and D-pillars, but with proper mirror placement and the Blind Spot Monitoring System, I found myself confidently piloting the Sorento around in heavy traffic.

The Sorento is not a sports car by any means. Its steering is rather lifeless with little feedback and some on-center vagueness. Braking and throttle inputs do feel good, and there is no perceptible throttle tip-in. Braking to a full stop is a smooth endeavor. Body roll is present, though most folks won’t push their Sorento to the point it, and understeer, become a problem.

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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The 3.3-liter V-6 is plenty peppy and provides a surprising amount of surge in the upper rev range. The transmission shifts smoothly and generally keeps the V-6 turning where its most fuel efficient. The Sorento does have three drive modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport. Sadly, there is not much difference between the three, and Sport mode hardly made a difference in engine or transmission behavior.

The Sorento does a good job at hauling people and things. It’s not built for pure driving enjoyment on some twisty mountain road. Keeping that in mind is key. Kia designed this crossover for a specific purpose and it does that rather well.

Safety

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Interior
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2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Interior
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The 2017 Kia Sorento performed well in crash testing from both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In the IIHS’ testing, the Sorento scored the best ranking of “Good” in all crash categories. Front crash prevention is rated as “Superior,” the highest rating awarded. Rear seats’ LATCH system is rated as “Acceptable” in terms of ease-of-use. The Sorento’s headlights, however, are rated as “Poor.” 2017 is the first year for the IIHS’ headlight tests, so Kia will likely remedy the situation in the next few years.

The NHTSA rates the Sorento at Five Stars in Frontal and side-impact crashes, while it scored a Four Star rating in the Rollover category. Still, the 2017 Sorento still earns an overall Five-Star crash test rating.

The Competition

The 2017 Honda Pilot earns the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ award, having earned “Good” in all crash categories, “Superior” in front crash prevention, and “Acceptable” in both headlights and LATCH ease-of-use. The Pilot is available with Honda Safety Sense, which includes adaptive cruise control, forward emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

The Toyota Highlander scored even better, netting all “Good” ratings except for the IIHS’ new headlight test, which it scored an “Acceptable.” Of course, this earned the 2017 Highlander an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award. It too comes with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Pricing

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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The 2017 Sorento spans a rather wide range in terms of pricing. The base L trim retails for $25,600 before options, while the range-topping SXL starts at $44,100. That’s an $18,500 gap. Filling the space between are three other trim levels, the LX, EX, and SX. Kia considers engine options as part of trim levels, so both the LX and EX offer customers a choice between two engines.

In total the trims include L, LX, LX V6, EX, EX V6, SX V6, and SXL V6. It might be a bit confusing written out like that, so here’s a chart.

Model Description MSRP
Sorento L 2.4L I4 FWD - 6 A/T $25,600.00
Sorento LX 2.4L I4 FWD - 6 A/T $26,900.00
Sorento LX 2.4L I4 AWD - 6 A/T $28,700.00
Sorento LX V6 3.3L V6 FWD - 6 A/T $29,200.00
Sorento LX V6 3.3L V6 AWD - 6 A/T $31,000.00
Sorento EX 2.0L Turbo FWD - 6 A/T $31,700.00
Sorento EX 2.0L Turbo AWD - 6 A/T $33,500.00
Sorento EX V6 3.3L V6 FWD - 6 A/T $33,300.00
Sorento EX V6 3.3L V6 AWD - 6 A/T $35,100.00
Sorento SX V6 3.3L V6 FWD - 6 A/T $38,800.00
Sorento SX V6 3.3L V6 AWD - 6 A/T $40,600.00
Sorento SX-Limited V6 3.3L V6 FWD - 6 A/T $44,100.00
Sorento SX-Limited V6 3.3L V6 AWD - 6 A/T $45,900.00

Of course, different option package can be stacked on top of certain trim levels. Not every trim level offers option packages. My SXL tester, for example, comes fully loaded, so no other packages can be added. Dealer add-on options can, however, be purchased. All-wheel drive can also be added to any trim level except the base L trim. AWD adds $1,800.

LX Trim level

  • LX Convenience Package ($1,800) – 10-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, Leather-wrapped steering wheel, Leather and wood-style gearshift handle, Rear Parking Assist System, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM radio, automatic climate control, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
  • LX Essentials Premium Package ($695 & requires LX Convenience Package) – Leather seats, push-button start with smart key, smart welcome, and LED-illuminated door handles.
  • LX Third-Row Seating Package ($1,490 & requires LX Convenience Package) – 50/50-split third row and 60/40-split second row with sliding and tilting function
  • LX Advanced Technology Package ($1,500 & requires LX Third Row and LX Convenience Packages) – Supervision Meter Cluster with seven-inch TFT screen, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, and an Electronic Parking Brake with Auto Hold.

EX Trim Level

  • EX Premium Package ($1,600) – Smart Power Liftgate, Blind-Spot Detection, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Supervision Meter Cluster with seven-inch TFT Display, 110-volt power inverter, steering wheel audio controls, and power-folding side mirrors.
  • EX Advanced Touring Package ($2,500) – Panoramic moonroof with power sunshade, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, an Electronic Parking Brake with Auto Hold, and LED interior map lights.

SX V6 Trim Level

  • SX V6 Advanced Technology Package ($2,000) – HID Headlights with Auto-Leveling and Dynamic Bending Light, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, an Electronic Parking Brake with Auto Hold, ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.
Advanced Technology Package $1,500.00
Advanced Technology Package (V6) $1,000.00
Convenience Package $1,800.00
Convenience Package (V6) $2,500.00
Premium Package $1,600.00
Premium Package (V6) $1,200.00
SAM Essentials Premium Package $695.00
Snow White Pearl Paint Package $395.00
Advanced Technology Package $2,000.00
Advanced Touring Package $2,500.00
3rd Row Seat Package $1,490.00

The Competition

The 2017 Honda Pilot carries a base price of $30,595 for the LX trim. Pricing jumps $16,475 to the Elite trim level, with a starting price of $47,070. In between are three other trims – the EX, the EX-L, and Touring.

The Highlander spans a similar range, with the base model starting at $30,630. The range-topping model is the Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum, which starts at $47,880. The other trim levels include the base LE, the LE Plus, the XLE, the SE, and the Limited. Hybrid trims include LE, XLE, Limited, and Limited Platinum.

Honda Pilot Prices

Pilot LX (2WD) 6-Speed Automatic $30,595 19/27/22
Pilot LX (AWD) 6-Speed Automatic $32,395 18/26/21
Pilot EX (2WD) 6-Speed Automatic $33,030 19/27/22
Pilot EX (AWD) 6-Speed Automatic $34,830 18/26/21
Pilot EX (2WD) w/ Honda Sensing 6-Speed Automatic $34,030 19/27/22
Pilot EX (AWD) w/ Honda Sensing 6-Speed Automatic $35,830 18/26/21
Pilot EX-L (2WD) 6-Speed Automatic $36,455 19/27/22
Pilot EX-L (AWD) 6-Speed Automatic $38,255 18/26/21
Pilot EX-L (2WD) w/ Honda Sensing 6-Speed Automatic $37,455 19/27/22
Pilot EX-L (AWD) w/ Honda Sensing 6-Speed Automatic $39,255 18/26/21
Pilot EX-L w/ Rear Entertainment System (2WD) 6-Speed Automatic $37,455 19/27/22
Pilot EX-L w/ Rear Entertainment System (AWD) 6-Speed Automatic $39,255 18/26/21
Pilot EX-L w/ Navi (2WD) 6-Speed Automatic $38,055 19/27/22
Pilot EX-L w/ Navi (AWD) 6-Speed Automatic $39,855 18/26/21
Pilot Touring w/ Navi and Rear Entertainment System (2WD) 9-Speed Automatic $41,670 20/27/23
Pilot Touring w/ Navi and Rear Entertainment System (AWD) 9-Speed Automatic $43,470 19/26/22
Pilot Elite w/ Navi and Rear Entertainment System (AWD) 9-Speed Automatic $47,070 19/26/22

Toyota Highlander - Prices

2017 Highlander 2WD 4-cyl 6ECT $30,630
2017 Highlander LE 2WD V6 6ECT $32,680
2017 Highlander LE Plus 2WD V6 6ECT $35,060
2017 Highlander XLE 2WD V6 6ECT $38,520
2017 Highlander Limited 2WD V6 6ECT $41,680
2017 Highlander Limited Platinum 2WD V6 6ECT $44,800
2017 Highlander LE AWD V6 6ECT $34,140
2017 Highlander LE Plus AWD V6 6ECT $36,520
2017 Highlander SE AWD V6 ECT $41,150
2017 Highlander XLE AWD V6 6ECT $39,980
2017 Highlander Limited AWD V6 6ECT $43,140
2017 Highlander Limited Platinum AWD V6 6ECT $46,260
2017 Highlander Hybrid LE AWD-I CVT-E $36,270
2017 Highlander Hybrid XLE AWD-I CVT-E $41,330
2017 Highlander Hybrid Limited AWD-i CVT-E $44,760
2017 Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum AWD-i CVT-E $47,880

Conclusion

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 701877

The Kia Sorento is an insanely practical vehicle that makes sense for growing families who need more space than a sedan or two-row crossover can offer, but doesn’t want the minivan stigma. Granted, this is true for nearly every three-row crossover on the market today, but the Kia does a good job at combining spaciousness with creature comforts.

The Sorento’s wide range in price means there’s an option for nearly every budget. Those needing the third row will have to shell out at least $31,480 for the LX trim with both the Third-Row Package and the required LX Convenience Package. Still, that’s a darn good deal for what you’re getting. What’s more, it comes with Kia’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

The Kia’s downfall, however, is that it’s positioned in a crowded segment full of memorable and competitive nameplates. The Sorento has to fight against being pigeon-holed as a run-of-the-mill, forgettable and unexciting crossover. I think the SXL’s quad fog lights help with that, but the lower trims don’t have access to the interesting feature. Nevertheless, that doesn’t detract from the Kia’s ability to hual people and their stuff in comfort and style.

  • Leave it
    • * Uninspiring driving dynamics
    • * Unimpressive fuel economy
    • * Feels oddly expensive, even with this trim level
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