Consumer Reports Take On 2019 Kia Sorento Is That It Offers Plenty Bang For Your Buck

Kia wants to appeal to your typical mid-size SUV buyer with the facelifted Sorento. It was presented at the end of 2017, during the Los Angeles Auto Show, and half a year later, it went on sale in the United States.

For the base L grade, customers have to pay at least $25,290. In return, they’ll get standard 7-inch infotainment with smartphone integration, reversing camera and seating for up to 7 occupants. The third row, which can only be accessed on the passenger side, is cramped for adults, ConsumerReports noted in their review.

Also Read: 2020 Kia Telluride SUV Is The Largest Kia Ever And Powered By A V6

Besides the poor rear visibility, there aren’t many downsides to owning the latest Sorento, apparently. That’s if we don’t take into consideration the fact that its platform-sharing sibling, the Hyundai Santa Fe, is already in its fourth generation and looks better than ever. But that’s a different topic, so let’s see what its strong points are, according to the reviewer: good driving position, secure handling and well-weighted steering.

Also, there’s sufficient power, even with the base engine, the 185 horsepower (188 PS / 138 kW) 2.4-liter inline-four, which replaces the turbo’d 2.0. Nonetheless, the 3.3-liter V6 GDI is the better choice, with its 290 hp (294 PS / 216 kW) and smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission.

Despite the generous size, the 2019 Sorento’s turning circle is good. This means that parking and doing a three-point turn doesn’t require much effort.

The standard safety features are a praised touch. The carmaker’s website reveals that even the most basic model features Vehicle Stability Management, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, Brake Assist, Hill Start Assist and Tire Pressure Monitoring.


  • charlotteharry57

    Next door neighbors have a 2016, purchased in July 2015. It’s already approaching 100K miles because Mommy can’t sit still and grovels over the kids endlessly (another GenX parent, ahem). It was around $25K (an LX) when new. But at $28K now, is it the same value? Hardly. Theirs has been in the shop quite a bit, but nothing that major. Build quality is fantastic – closing the doors sounds like a Mercedes.

    • bd0007

      Added tech/amenities has caused price-creep across the industry.

      The base SE trim for the Ford Edge costs $29,995 as opposed to the $27,650 for the Sorento in LX trim, the L trim starts at $26,290).

      Granted, the base Edge has 250 HP as opposed to 185 HP, but that’s not worth a $2.5-3k spread, esp. as the Sorento has the nicer interior.

      • Mel Kimlinger

        But the Edge easily outhandles the Sorento, especially in semi-emergency situations…

        And I have driven both of these vehicles extensively over the past three years.

        And as far as the “nicer interior”….. you’re REALLY STRETCHING that one.

        Now, I don’t own either SUV – many of the ’16-’18 Sorentos have a disturbing inability to track straight down a road, and the Ford Edge’s forward visibility just sucks, as well as it’s long term reliability.

  • danno

    Owned my 2016 Sorento SX V6 AWD for 2 years now.
    Awesome build, great SUV

  • StephenHendricks

    Own a 2018 Sorento SX-L purchased last year to replace a 2012 Sorento with 80K miles on the clock and nary a single issue. Not one. The long bumper-to-bumper and power train warranties were reassuring but the warranty could have been for 500 feet and 30 minutes and I wouldn’t have spent a dime more in terms of service, maintenance, and repair. That model and our 2018 replacement was/is my wife’s daily driver and the family (two parents, a teen daughter, big dog) freeway slog trip vehicle.

    We looked at several 3 row crossovers but we loved the “tweener” size of the 189″ long Sorento. We don’t use the third row often but it’s very convenient for chauffeuring a gaggle of teenagers or cases where we have six or seven passengers for a local outing and the option is two vehicles. And for those occasional uses, it’s more than adequate. In fact the third row is more accommodating than some of the (much) larger alternatives. (Lookin’ at you, Mazda CX-9).

    We also considered some two row alternatives. The Ford Edge and the Subaru Outback primarily with similar overall dimensions. In a two ton plus vehicle. But the Edge’s 2.7L turbo in the “Sport” (now the “ST”) pushed the price considerably over the Sorento and my wife was less impressed by its stoplight drag potential than I was. The Outback offered only a CVT and that was a negative as far as I was concerned.

    If I were looking this year I’d look at the similar size Passport. But while we use the third row only occasionally we’d hesitate to give it up. We’d also look at the Hyundai Santa Fe, a vehicle that’s virtually a twin of the 2017 Sorento (two row, turbo4) on the same platform with the same transmission, same AWD system, same infotainment system, same switchgear in the same locations as the Sorento with a bit less luxury at a lower MSRP. But that would mean giving up both the third row and the KIA’s V6. The Santa Fe is an appealing alternative but I prefer the Sorento both for its features and for its styling.

    The new Telluride will undoubtedly impact Sorento sales but the Goldilocks size of the Sorento would still be a major benefit for my family.

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