The Kia Sorento compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV), which is built at Kia Motors’ U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, enters its third model year supported by an impressive list of accolades and sales milestones. Since its launch, Sorento has offered discerning consumers a refined and value-minded CUV with class-leading power and fuel efficiency while delivering a full roster of standard comfort and convenience features and an impressive array of safety equipment. For 2013, Sorento’s utility and functionality are boosted further by adjusting content to suit consumer needs more than ever before.
Among the enhancements, the 2013 model year brings newly standard leather seating for the mid-level EX trim and a newly standard third-row seat for the LX V6 trim. In addition, the base LX trim now offers the optional UVO powered by Microsoft voice-activated infotainment system based on the Windows Embedded Automotive platform. Available later in the model year is a new, more robust LX Convenience Plus Package, including an eight-way power driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a First Aid Kit for family-minded consumers (First Aid Kit also added to all EX/SX Premium option packages).
Sorento employs a unibody design with the ability to comfortably seat up to seven passengers, and represents a modern CUV that is just the right size for today’s consumer. With an overall length of 183.9 inches and overall width of 74.2 inches, Sorento offers occupants a spacious interior, while providing a relatively compact exterior size.
Prominently displaying the signature grille and wraparound headlamps exhibited on all newer Kia models, Sorento offers an aggressive stance and sleek profile. Sorento features swept-back lines and dynamic presence with an angled window line, large flared-back headlamps, prominent fog lamps and rounded nose, while the view from the rear offers the same forceful attitude with a rounded back and tail lamps set powerfully within the rear lift gate. The Sorento CUV is available in LX, EX and SX trim levels.
The versatile Sorento offers standard 17-inch alloy wheels with 235/65R17 tires and wheel moldings and body-color, heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signal indicators. The EX trim offers an 18-inch five-spoke hyper finish wheel outfitted with 235/60R18 tires plus fog lamps, roof rails and a rear spoiler. EX trims offer an optional panoramic sunroof (V6 models only). Advancing to the more refined SX trim adds mirror-finish 10-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome-tip exhaust, body-color wheel well molding, stainless steel under bumper trim accents and step pad, sleeker body-color front and rear bumpers and LED tail lamps for a decidedly more upscale appearance.
Modern, Tech-Savvy Cabin
The Sorento provides a feeling of spaciousness with both five- and seven-passenger seating configurations, making the Sorento more versatile than most of its compact CUV competitors. With 142.5 cubic feet of interior volume when equipped with five seats or 149.4 cubic feet with seven, Sorento is spacious with generous head and legroom for optimal occupant comfort. In the five-passenger configuration, the CUV offers 37 cubic feet of cargo space to accommodate both passenger and cargo needs for cruising around town as easily as weekends camping in the mountains.
In addition to a comfortable ride, an impressive slate of technology features also come standard, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SiriusXM Satellite Radio, 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. Standard equipment on EX models such as UVO Powered by Microsoft, push button-start ignition with smart key and rear sonar back-up sensors, rear view back-up cameras and air ionization purification technology complete the modern and high-tech driving experience. Moving to the SX trim offers a standard voice-activated navigation system with SiriusXM Traffic while also adding an upgraded Infinity surround sound system with 10 speakers for superior listening enjoyment.
Standard amenities for the LX trim include air conditioning, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel with integrated audio controls, automatic up and down driver’s window function, illuminated vanity mirror, EcoMinder Indicator to assist with fuel-efficient driving habits and three-row seating (LX V6). Progressing to the EX trim provides even more well-appointed standard features, including newly added leather seating, dual automatic temperature control and rear air conditioning (V6 models only). SX trims add touches of sophistication with an automatic dimming rear view mirror with Homelink, memory driver’s seat, four-way power passenger seat and ventilated/cooled/heated front seats (optional on EX), leather seat trim for the first and second rows, stainless steel pedals and a stainless steel sill plate with illuminated scuff trim.
Able to suit practically any driver, Kia Sorento offers the discriminating consumer specific package options. The Convenience Package, available for the LX trim, includes the UVO infotainment system with integrated rear view camera display, roof rails, rear sonar, an auto-dimming mirror with compass readout, heated front seats and fog lamps. Later in the model year, a new Convenience Plus Package will be offered, including eight-way power driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, floor mats and First Aid kit. Moving to the Premium Plus Package (EX four-cylinder) adds a power passenger seat, three rows of seating and a host of other amenities. Further adding to the feeling of spaciousness is the available panoramic sunroof (EX V6 and SX trims only). By upgrading to the Limited Package (available for the EX V6 trim), owners will benefit from luxuriously appointed features, including a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic, an Infinity premium surround system with 10 speakers and a 550-watt digital amplifier, power folding outside mirrors, memory driver seat and side mirror position and an air-cooled driver seat for added comfort and convenience.
Capable and Efficient Powertrains
The 2012 Sorento offers three engines – an advanced 2.4-liter GDi four-cylinder engine providing class-leading 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque and a class-leading fuel efficiency rating of 32 mpg/highway; a 3.5-liter V6 providing class-leading 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque; and the affordable 2.4-liter Multi-Port Injected (MPi) four-cylinder engine producing 175 horsepower and 169 pound-feet of torque. All engines are coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic shifting control. This advanced six-speed automatic transmission is a proprietary design that was developed, engineered and built specifically for Kia vehicles. To further meet consumer needs, there is a choice of 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 Sorento employs a compact and light MacPherson strut front suspension and a fully independent multi-link rear suspension.
Advanced Safety Features
Like all Kia vehicles, the 2013 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, first and second row 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.