The 2014 Kia Sorento: New Year Brings All Around Improvement0
The Sorento is Kia’s 2nd best-selling vehicle behind the Optima. According to Kia, the 2014 model returns with 80 percent of its parts either all-new or completely redesigned.
An increased use of high-strength steal has made the new Sorento both lighter and stronger which Kia expects will increase its previous safety rating of four stars. Its outer shell now rests on the same platform as its cousin, the Hyundai Santa Fe, however this doesn’t change its wheelbase or dimensions. Its mid-cycle facelift includes a new front and rear fascia, a bolder grille and wider LED taillights making it look more expensive than its competition.
Unfortunately, that theme has not been carried through to its interior. Cheap feeling, hard plastics are present throughout and its standard leather seating surfaces take me back to the good old days when I rode the cheese wagon to school (ok, maybe that’s a bit of an over exaggeration but you get the idea). Nevertheless, you do get some pretty cool features depending on your chosen trim level and you can always upgrade to the premium Nappa leather.
Four trim levels are offered- LX, EX, SX and the SX Limited. Its price tag covers a vast range, starting at just over 24k and topping out at $40,100 without additional options. Selecting the fully loaded SX Limited with every available option known to man will set you back almost $44 grand.
Standard features on the base LX includes a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated power mirrors with LED turn signal indicators, full power accessories, a fuel efficiency indicator and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio and USB/auxiliary audio jacks. Several packages are available that offer most features found standard in the EX apart from the V6 engine. The LX V6 will get you the more powerful engine however there are less options and packages available.
Stepping up to the EX will add the V6 as standard plus 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, a rear spoiler, roof rails and front LED accent lights. On the inside you will get a rearview camera, push button start, dual zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a 7-inch LCD information display.
A Touring Package is optional on the EX which will add a power liftgate, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, a blind spot detection and warning system, an 8-inch touchscreen display, navigation and an upgraded 10-speaker Infinity Sound system. A third-row seat is available.
The SX receives features from the EX Touring Package plus 19-inch wheels, selectable steering modes, rear AC and additional exterior treatments. Third-row seating is also optional on this trim. The SX Limited adds the cherry on top with Xenon headlights, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and wood interior trim.
All told, the new Sorento has a lot more going for it then the outgoing model. It looks and drives a lot better than before although it’s not awe-inspiring. We look forward to what Kia has in store for the Sorento’s full redesign in a few years. We can only hope that it will offer improved interior materials and a more engaging ride, at least enough to reflect its steep price tag that is.
Long list of standard features; quiet ride; roomy interior; strong V6; lots of tech goodies; optional third row seat
Anemic base 4-cylinder engine; low-rent materials used throughout; lackluster handling; expensive