Offering both two- and three-row configurations, the 2017 Kia Sorento is a strong competitor in an equally tough crossover segment. An accomodating cabin and plenty of capability bolster this midsize SUV’s appeal.
Though it’s just one year removed from a full redesign, the 2017 Kia Sorento gets some noteworthy updates. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration are now offered. On the safety front, dynamic bending headlights and autonomous emergency braking are now available.
Buyers have a choice of L, LX, EX, SX and SX Limited trims. A four-cylinder engine is standard, while a turbocharged four-cylinder and a V6 engine are available. For 2017, models with the turbocharged engine gain shift paddles, while SX and SX Limited models now come standard with the V6.
The 2017 Sorento offers a sharp, premium look. A blocky honeycomb grille dominates the front fascia, and it’s bordered by sleek headlights. Jeweled fog lamps are available, and they’re located on the edges of the lower grille. Side body sculpting, a rising beltline and blacked-out roof pillars lend a sporty yet luxurious presentation. In the back, all models feature oversized wraparound combination lamps and a color-keyed spoiler.
Base models come with 17-inch alloy wheels, and 18- and 19-inch alloys are available. Projector-style headlamps are standard, and the Sorento may be upgraded with HID headlamps with a self-leveling feature and dynamic bending light technology. Other options bring in power-folding side mirrors, a smart power liftgate with programmable operation, roof rails and a panoramic sunroof with a power shade.
Kia offers the 2017 Sorento with standard seating for five, while an available third row boosts seating capacity to seven. The base trim is the lone two-row model in the lineup.
The two-row Sorento offers a cavernous 38.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row. Three-row models supply 11.3 cubic feet of room with all seats in use and 73 cubic feet of maximum cargo space behind the first row.
With five trims to choose from, the Sorento’s interior ranges from clean and simple to lavishly appointed. All L and LX models feature cloth seats with special stain- and odor-resistant fabric. Leather is standard elsewhere, and premium Nappa leather is found on the top-of-the-line trim.
Standard features across all trims include a tilt-and-telescoping steering column and 40/20/40 split-folding second-row seats. Available features include a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air conditioning controls, heated front seats, heated second-row seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. SX models feature a heated steering wheel, as well as piano-black accent trim.
The 2017 Sorento offers three engine choices, and they’re all paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available across the model line.
L and LX models comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with an output of 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. Models equipped with this engine deliver up to an EPA-estimated 21/28 mpg city/highway.
The Sorento EX comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. With this engine, the Sorento is rated at up to 20/27 mpg city/highway.
A 3.3-liter V6 engine is available on LX and EX trim levels and standard with the SX and SX Limited. It produces 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque, and delivers fuel economy of up to 18/25 mpg city/highway.
Our test vehicle featured the V6, and this engine is well-matched with this vehicle, delivering power evenly from stop to highway speed. It offers more power than V6 engines found in such competing models as the Nissan Pathfinder and Honda Pilot. Our test vehicle was also equipped with all-wheel drive, which is a much-desired upgrade for any vehicle of this size. The all-wheel drive Sorento is available with torque vectoring control, which improves performance during cornering.
Overall, the Sorento offers a satisfying driving experience thanks to its handling ease and firm braking. The suspension does a commendable job of absorbing uneven road surfaces and the cabin is very quiet.
The base Sorento comes with amenities such as steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, a CD player and auxiliary and USB ports. You can upgrade your Sorento with push-button start a pair of rapid-charge USB ports.
Our test Kia SX Limited offered such amenities as a navigation system with an 8-inch color display and a 10-speaker Infinity audio system (also included with the SX). Kudos to Kia for offering an infotainment package that is second to none, with a modern-looking tablet-like interface. And with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now available, this SUV provides the smartphone connectivity today’s drivers want.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the 2017 Sorento with a five-star overall rating.
All 2017 Sorento models come with a full complement of air bags, including side-curtain air bags for the first and second rows. A rearview camera and numerous driver-assistance features are offered, including adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking. Note, however, that these features aren’t available on the base trim. An around-view monitor is standard on the top trim, offering 360-degree views of the Sorento’s perimeter to ease parking maneuvers.
The base Sorento L starts at $25,400 (add $895 for the destination fee) and that price is thousands of dollars less than you’ll pay for competing models such as the Ford Explorer and GMC Acadia. The LX ($26,700) and LX V6 ($28,990) trims maintain the competitive price point for the Sorento.
The Sorento EX is priced from $31,500, the EX V6 costs $33,100, the SX V6 is offered at $38,600, and the SX Limited tops all at $43,900.
The EX V6 option may provide the right starting place for families as it offers V6 power along with such safety features as blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert. Third-row passengers have their own air-conditioning controls, and leather upholstery and heated front seats are included. Navigation isn’t available, but with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto you can integrate directions without paying the extra price. Add in all-wheel drive and this model will retail for $34,900 before destination charges.
The Kia Sorento is a well-rounded player in the midsize SUV segment. It provides a premium look and ample feature content, as well as a price that’s very competitive.
Families seeking safe and stylish transportation should add this Kia to their shopping lists. The Sorento proves you don’t have to pay a fortune to put a superlative SUV in your garage.