2015 Kia Sorento

Starting MSRP: $24,300

Estimated MPG: 20 city / 27 hwy

2015 Kia Sorento Review

The 2015 Kia Sorento offers the perfect combination of size and features for many families.

By Aaron Turpen
Last Updated 05/03/2016

The 2015 Kia Sorento is essentially unchanged from the re-designed 2014 model and that's a good thing. With either a four- or six-cylinder engine, a usable third row, well thought out engineering and some great ergonomics, the 2015 Sorento is a solid choice many SUV buyers.

Exterior

Exterior
8

The 2015 Sorento carries its design over from the 2014 model. It's a contemporary look that doesn't need much updating. The signature Kia kidney grille and high belt line are accented by square-ish wheel wells, a swooping indent in the door panels, a square hood with rounded corners and sporty headlamps.

The 2015 Sorento doesn't stand out in the crowd, but it's not lost in it either. It's a good look that many find appealing.

Interior

Interior
9

At every trim level, the interior amenities are generous. The cabin may not be the most upscale in the business, but it's no longer the cheapest. Quality materials, a smart layout and plenty of storage for the odds and ends a family tends to collect adorn the Sorento.

An 8-inch touch screen dominates the center console while the instrument cluster has analog readouts in digital format, making them capable of optimization by the driver in some of the higher trims.

The front row seating is comfortable, very adjustable (even in the lower trims) and supportive. The second row is comfortable as well, with plenty of leg- and headroom. The third-row seats are mostly for children, but two child safety or booster seats fit easily and access through the second row is adequate.

Cargo space is good and versatile, expanding from a cramped grocery-only space with the third row up to a huge twin bed-sized space with both second and third rows folded down flat. Finally, the interior is dominated by the optional, luxurious panoramic roof with a shade that opens to just behind the second row, creating a huge viewpoint and one of the largest sunroofs on the market.

Performance

Performance
9

There are two engine choices for the Sorento: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 3.3-liter V6. The four-cylinder produces 191 horsepower, which is adequate for moving the 2015 Sorento without struggling. The V6 produces 290 horses and thus gives a lot of output for the Sorento's size. Both engines run through a six-speed automatic transmission that is smooth and well-balanced. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available for all trim levels.

The front-wheel drive, four-cylinder Sorento has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 20/27 mpg city/highway, while all-wheel drive models get 19/25 mpg.

The V6 model gets 18/25 mpg with front-wheel drive, or 18/24 mpg with all-wheel drive. We averaged 19.3 mpg overall in our all-wheel drive, V6-powered Sorento, so these estimates are close to what we got in real-world driving.

Acceleration and handling in the 2015 Sorento are very good, especially with the V6 option. The option of tuning the steering response to your liking via a button on the wheel means having the best of all worlds at your fingertips. This technology from Kia utilizes the adaptability of electric-assist steering to allow the driver to adjust the steering response in three modes: Normal, Sport, and Comfort. Sport steering is tight and stiff, perfect for city driving and parking maneuvers. Comfort is loose and easy, perfect for highway driving and long distances. Normal splits the difference between the two.

Technology

Technology
10

At the center of the technology stack in the 2015 Sorento is the UVO touch screen. This large screen, when loaded with options, has a user interface that is one of the best in the business. It's easy to use, simple to understand and responsive. One caveat is the screen's placement, which makes it susceptible to glare in the late afternoon if the panoramic roof is open. Otherwise, it is well-placed.

Also available through the Touring package on the EX trim level and the SX trim is a 10-speaker Infinity surround-sound audio system as well as added navigation. 

Other options in various trims include heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats and xenon headlights.

Safety

Safety
7

The Kia Sorento scored well in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests, getting a five-Star rating overall. The Sorento earned top scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in most crash tests. However, in the IIHS small-overlap frontal-offset impact test, the Sorento received the low score of "Poor."

The availability of features like roadside assistance, automatic collision notification and blind spot monitoring are nice pluses.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
8
The Sorento has an attractive starting price, but quickly becomes expensive when options are fitted. The base model starts at around $22,000, but our test Sorento Limited V6 with all-wheel drive is about $39,000 with options. Still, the buyer is getting a lot of bang for those bucks and the trim levels and options are plentiful, allowing for flexible customization.

Overall

Overall
9
The 2015 Kia Sorento's combination of style, versatility and high-tech options make it a good pick for many buyers.