Competitive Kia Sorento
The Kia Sorento is the best-selling Kia model in the United States, a five or seven passenger crossover model built at the Korean automaker’s sole U.S. plant in West Point, Ga. Its top competition includes the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, competing well in a segment where each of the major manufacturers has a presence.
The Sorento is the first vehicle to roll off of Kia’s West Point assembly line and was all-new for 2011 when this model went on sale in January 2010. A 2.4-liter inline-four or optional 3.5-liter V-6 engine is available; the former also offers optional gasoline direct injection fuel system for about a 10 percent increase in power. A 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission is standard across the model line; with GDI this Sorento is rated at 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway.
First Generation Model
The first generation Kia Sorento was produced from 2003 to 2009, making its debut with a 3.5-liter V-6 before closing out its first generation model run with 3.3- and 3.8-liter V-6 engines. As this model aged, it drew respect for its on- and off-road performance, but the original Sorento trailed the competition in quality and in value.
With the current generation model, the shortfalls of the original Sorento have been addressed. The new Sorento is stylish, refined and roomy, offering excellent room for five passengers and, with a third row seat included, enough room for two, smaller passengers to be included.
Standard storage space is small with the three-seat Sorento, offering just 9.1 cubic feet of storage capacity. However, with third seat folded down, storage space quadruples and doubles once again when second and third seat have been folded. Maximum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds when equipped with a V-6 engine.
Kia Sorento Amenities
Inside, the Kia Sorento offers class leading amenities and excellent fit and finish. Available in three trim levels, this crossover SUV comes standard equipped with offering climate control, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, SIRIUS Satellite radio, MP3 connectivity and Bluetooth wireless technology. Audio controls are steering wheel-mounted across the model line. Full power accessories including power windows and door locks is standard.
The LX is the standard trim level with the EX and SX offering correspondingly more features including a larger engine, bigger wheels, leather touches, dual zone climate control and a rear seat infotainment system among other touches. Fully loaded, the 2011 Kia Sorento runs for about $32,000.
Safety & Warranty
Safety features abound and includes front seat-mounted side airbags, first and second row side curtain airbags and front active headrest. An anti-lock brake system, electronic brake system and hill assist is standard. In testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the IIHS awarded the 2011 Kia Sorento its top-rating of “good” in its testing which includes: frontal offset, side impact and roof strength. The Sorento has not yet been tested for rollover durability, the newest testing category offered by the IIHS.
The 2011 Kia Sorento and all current Kia models are covered by the manufacturers 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty and a five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. Roadside assistance is also available for five-year/60,000-miles.
2011 Kia Sorento Specifications
|Standard Engine||2.4-liter 16-valve I-4|
|Horsepower||175 @ 6,000 rpm
191 @ 6,300 rpm w/ GDI fuel system
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||169 @ 3,750 rpm
181 @ 4,250 rpm w/ GDI fuel system
|Optional Engine||3.5-liter 24-valve V-6|
|Horsepower||276 @ 6,300 rpm|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||248 @ 5,000 rpm|
|Seating||2+3 or 2+3+2|
|Curb Weight (pounds)||3,845 to 4,131|
|Passenger Volume (cubic feet)||142.5 (5 seats); 149.4 (7 seats)|
|Storage (cubic feet)||9.1/37.0/72.5|
|Towing (pounds)||1,650 to 3,500|
|Gas Tank (gallons)||18.0|
|EPA Gas MPG 2.4 Standard||20/26; 21/29|
|EPA Gas MPG 2.4 GDI||22/32|
|EPA Gas MPG 3.5||18/24; 21/27|
|Manufacturing Plant||West Point, Ga.|