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2020 Kia Telluride - Driven

2020 Kia Telluride - Driven

A three-row crossover that’s no mere family-hauler

As I photographed the 2020 Kia Telluride in a Maryland park, a fellow visitor peeled off from his family to ask about the car. It made sense. Full-size crossovers like the Telluride are the chariot of choice for many families today, thanks to their three rows of seats and long lists of amenities. And the all-new Telluride had just hit the market. But as it turned out, the man wasn’t eyeing the Telluride for himself. It was his teenage daughter who’d sent him across the parking lot to check out this newly released SUV. It looked cool, she told him, kind of like a Range Rover. And she wanted one.

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2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven

2017 Kia Sorento SXL – Driven

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.

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2018 Kia Sorento

2018 Kia Sorento

Refresh adds new features, axes 2.0-liter engine

The Kia Sorento started life as a body-on-frame SUV for the 2002 model year and was redesigned in 2010 and 2014. Come 2017 and Kia gave the third-generation SUV its mid-cycle facelift by adding new design features on the outside and updating the tech package inside the cabin.

The refresh also saw one of the two four-cylinder engines discontinued, leaving the Sorento with a choice of two drivetrains. However, Kia did announce that the hauler will get a diesel soon. Info about the oil burner is not yet available, but we know everything else about this SUV, so let’s have a closer look at the data in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Kia Sorento

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The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

Every fall, dozens of journalists from all over Texas and around the country gather to compare, test, and crown the winner of the “Truck of Texas” competition. It’s a coveted award from the Texas Auto Writers Association that signifies Texas’ collective approval of a truck. And not only are trucks involved, awards go out for the SUV and CUV of Texas.

I already touched on the topic in the preview piece, but awards are also given to the winner in each vehicle category and for various things like “best connectivity” and “best powertrain.”

This year’s competition was fierce. There were 84 vehicles present from 21 automakers entered into 17 different categories. Evaluating the field were 69 TAWA members comprised of journalists and social media influencers.

So let’s get down to the results. Keep reading for the full breakdown.

Continue reading for the results of the 2015 TAWA Truck Rodeo

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2016 Kia Sorento

2016 Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento has been around since 2003 when it was introduced as a body-on-frame model that was common among full-size trucks and SUV’s at the time. By the time 2014 came around, Kia was introducing the redesigned, third-generation model that came with a slew of updates to keep it among one of the strongest competitors in its class. Compared to the previous model, the front fascia has been updated with larger corner intakes and rectangular fog lights, and the frame around the grill has been redesigned to be much thinner than before. The side profile has more character from new body lines, and the rear now has a much cleaner look. Since the new Sorento shares a platform with the Kia Carnival, it is now nearly 3.75-inches longer – a feature that translates into more interior room. To go with the extra interior space, comfort and luxury have been increased by the introduction of softer surfaces and plenty of updated options.

With competition like the Toyota Rav4 and the Honda CR-V, Kia pulled out all the stops to make sure its Sorento would stick in the minds of consumers. As such, the car benefits from a large infotainment screen, a comfortable back seat, and third-row seating, to name a few important features. For a rather thorough update, the price for 2016 only increased by $1,000, while the 2017 model will come at a $300 premium. It’s not bad, and more than appropriate for the quality the new Sorento brings to the table. So, if you want to learn more about the new Sorento, check out our in-depth review below that includes pictures from the Sorento’s debut.

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

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2015 Kia Sorento SXL - Driven

2015 Kia Sorento SXL - Driven

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 SUVs. 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.

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2015 Kia Sorento

2015 Kia Sorento

Retaining most of its features from the 2014 model, the 2015 Sorento makes its way to dealerships with just a few subtle upgrades to make it a more appealing option for customers looking to buy a midsize SUV. The interior and the engine optios of the Sorento received their upgrades last year, so there’s really no need to ask for a complete refresh again. But there are some changes to the 2015, enough at least to make it distinguishable from its predecessor, and more importantly, make it more attractive, especially for young buyers. There really are a lot of things to like about the Sorento; it’s got a nice design and it offers copious amounts of power that should make it a contender in its segment.

But the best part about Kia’s midsize SUV is its price. Whereas rival models are close to the $30,000 range for their V-6 trims, while the Sorento’s V-6 starts at just a little over $26,000. That’s value right there.

Click past the jump to read more about Kia Sorento

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2014 Kia Sportage

2014 Kia Sportage

The Sportage has been a solid crossover offering in a highly competitive segment in recent years, and for 2014, Kia is giving it a slight makeover in hopes to keep it competitive. Although the Sportage has been around longer than Kia might care to remember (1993-2010), the CUV got a very nice, ground-up redo for 2011 after Hyundai/Kia hired Peter Schreyer from Audi to be their Chief Design Officer in 2006.

Once the Sportage went under the Schreyer knife, the CUV’s popularity skyrocketed with its much more handsome appearance and resemblance to its other Kia cousins. That third generation is still ongoing, though for 2014, the Korean automaker has reshaped its front end ever so slightly and added a few bells and whistles to keep buyers interested.

Sales for the Sportage spiked in 2011 when the third generation came to market, beating the previous year’s 23,873 sales figures by over double at 47,463. Since then, sales have steadily slumped to only 32,965 units sold for 2013. A slightly altered look, swanky new interior features, and a revised engine seem to be what Kia’s hopes for a brighter sales forecast are riding on. The question is, will those new additions be enough?

Starting with the exterior, Kia has given the Sportage a more three dimensional design that seems to convey a higher level of refinement to the CUV. Backing up that perceived refinement is an updated infotainment system that relies heavily on voice commands that help keep the driver’s eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Lastly, a revised base engine adds power the Sportage by bringing direct injection to the table.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Sportage.

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2013 Kia Sorento "Justice League" by West Coast Customs

2013 Kia Sorento "Justice League" by West Coast Customs

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.

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