Kia Motors is full of surprises. The Korean brand, no longer in the shadow of its Hyundai consort, is producing award-winning and highly desirable models of its own. Its Sorento crossover is one such vehicle, a model that was overhauled just three years ago. For 2014, instead of bringing to the market a midcycle refresh, Kia has given us an all-new version of the Kia Sorento. A three-year product cycle is certainly much shorter than the customary five to six year cycle, but demonstrates that Kia is serious in staying at the forefront of crossover utility vehicle competitiveness.
The Kia Sorento is a medium-sized CUV, sold in front- and all-wheel-drive configurations. This vehicle seats five, but a third row seat is available, extending passenger carrying capacity to seven people.
The Sorento is of steel unibody construction and has an independent suspension with MacPherson struts up front and multi-link in the rear. Front and rear stabilizer bars and a rear, dual flow damper is standard. This vehicle makes use of motor driven power steering. Standard 17-inch wheels give way to 18- or 19-inch wheels on some models.
Engines and Transmission
Base models are powered by a 16-valve 2.4-liter four cylinder aluminum engine. Like all Sorento models, this engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting capabilities. This engine is rated at 191 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and makes 181 foot-pounds of torque at 4,250 rpm. This engine has an 11.3-to-1 compression ratio.
Beyond the base model, a 24-valve 3.3-liter V-6 aluminum engine is available. This engine makes 290 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 252 foot-pounds of torque at 5,200 rpm. The V-6 has an 11.5-to-1 compression ratio.
Fueling and Towing
The standard Sorento is rated at 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Its takes regular grade gasoline and has a 1,650-pound towing capacity.
Upgraded versions of the Sorento are rated at 18 mpg around town and 25 mpg on the highway. This vehicle also takes regular grade gasoline and has a 3,500-pound towing capacity.
The 2014 Kia Sorento sits on a 106.3-inch wheelbase and is 184.4 inches long. This vehicle measures 74.2 inches wide and 66.9 inches tall. Offering a 7.3-inch ground clearance, the front track measures 64 inches and the rear track measures 63.9 inches.
Kia’s Sorento offers 144.1 cubic feet of passenger volume. Its standard 9.1 cubic feet of storage capacity can be expanded to 72.5 cubic feet with the rear seating areas folded down. The Sorento weighs from 3,594 to 3,894 pounds.
The 2014 Kia Sorento is sold in LX, LX V6, EX V6, SX and SX-L trim levels. Standard safety equipment includes an anti-lock brake system, electronic brake-force distribution, stability control, hill start assist and six air bags. This model also comes with a rollover sensor and front active headrests.
Manual air conditioning is standard; rear air conditioning and dual zone climate control are optional. This vehicle comes equipped with cruise control, power accessories, SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, an audio system, a tilt and telescopic steering column, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, illuminated vanity mirrors and cloth seating surfaces.
Popular options including packaged upgrades include leather seating, push button start, a navigation system, a rear backup camera, an upgraded audio system, back up warning, blind spot detection and a second row sunshade screen. This vehicle also offers a power liftgate, a 115-volt power inverter, heated front seats and drive seat memory controls.
Arriving in Kia showrooms in the first quarter of 2013, the Kia Sorento counts the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Edge, Dodge Journey, Toyota Venza and the Mazda CX-5 among its competitors. Priced from just under $25,000, the 2014 Kia Sorento may offer the complete package for buyers, a CUV with all the amenities and the latest styling and technologies available.