Seat Time: 2016 Kia Sorento

June 9th, 2015 at 3:50pm


Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Seamus McElroy
Manufacturer: Kia
Make: Kia
Model: Sorento
Type: 5-door CUV
Competitors: Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Murano
Price: $45,095 as tested
Made in: West Point, GA
Drivetrain: 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo w/ direct injection mated to 6-speed automatic transmission
EPA Ratings: 19 MPG city/ 25 MPG highway/ 22 MPG combined

Final Impression:
The all-new Kia Sorento went on sale earlier this year in the U.S. and it’s making an impact in the market. Sales were up in May and year to date sales are up 13%. And after driving the new model, it’s easy to see why customers are snapping up the new version.

The 2016 Sorento is bigger than the outgoing model. Its wheelbase is 3 inches longer and its overall width is slightly larger too. The styling is more evolutionary rather than revolutionary but it’s easy to tell when you’re looking at the new model. Most notably the grille and the lower air intake are larger and bolder.

Three engines are offered. A 3.3L V6, an upgraded 2.4L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder and an all-new 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder. Each engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The model I drove was equipped with the turbo and all-wheel-drive. With that setup its fuel economy is 19 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway with a combined 22 MPG on average. In our time in the vehicle we were able to meet that average.

I found that the turbo had enough power. The new engine cranks out 240 horsepower and 260 pound feet of torque. It’s a smooth ride too, the Sorento easily handled Michigan’s potholed marked roads.

The one big drawback was the UVO infotainment system. It was slow at start-up, especially first thing in the morning. And one time the audio never came on. I had to shut the car off and re-start it to get the audio working again.

Despite the problems with UVO, the new Sorento is a good vehicle overall. While the version I drove is kind of pricy, $45,000, it starts at a more affordable $25,000. The Sorento stacks up well against its competitors, so it’s easy to see why customers are embracing the new model.

One Comment to “Seat Time: 2016 Kia Sorento”

  1. Mike Ma Says:

    Gary Vasilash in AAH said that Hyundai were into diesels in South Korea as one would think the Kia Sorento would be an ideal candidate to get a turbodiesel V6 as it would improve mileage numbers and give the Sorento some low end torque.