In This Guide:
- What’s new for 2017?
- Trim Levels, Options, and Pricing
- Interior Design and Seating
- Powertrain and Performance
- Safety Features
- Driving Impressions
Kia labels the latest iteration of its midsize crossover SUV, the Sorento, as “the perfect getaway vehicle.” It’s hard to argue otherwise. Debuting in 2003, the Sorento has blossomed from being an also-ran to one of the better entries in the midsize crossover SUV. It is never easy standing out in a highly competitive segment. However, the 2016 Kia Sorento manages to distinguish itself from most midsize crossover SUVs. And it does so by melding interior comfort, efficient driving dynamics, and an abundance of technology features into a very attractive package.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2016?
The 2016 model year marks the beginning of the nameplate’s third production cycle, so the vehicle has been completely redesigned. All features are new for this model year.
TRIM LEVELS, OPTIONS & PRICING
Five trims are available on the 2016 Kia Sorento; they are the base-level L, the more luxury-oriented LX, the mid-level EX, the sport-style SX, and the top-level Limited. Base pricing for the 2016 Kia Sorento ranges from $25,100 with the L trim to $41,500 with the Limited V6.
Optional on all trims is the Dynamax full-time all-wheel drive system for enhanced traction and off-road performance. Optional exterior features include a smart power liftgate, roof rails with chrome finish, and a panoramic sunroof with power sunshade on the EX level; and High-Intensity Discharge (HID) projector beam headlights on the Limited level. Infotainment-wise, you can add a 10-speaker Infinity Surround Sound audio system with HD Radio, voice-command navigation with 8-inch display, and UVO eServices in-car connectivity on the EX level; and a surround view monitor for the Limited level to replace the standard rear-camera display. Optional advanced safety features like blind-spot detection and rear-cross traffic alert are available for the EX trims, while the Limited variants can be enhanced with advanced smart cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning systems.
INTERIOR DESIGN AND SEATING
Inside, there’s enough room for seven: with two standard rows (and an optional third) and a total passenger volume of 154.2 cubic feet. That’s exceedingly rare for a midsize crossover vehicle, especially considering that there’s enough space for the tallest of adults. Cabin space is also ample, with a maximum possible volume of 73 cubic feet if you bend down the second- and third-row seats.
Entertainment on the 2016 Kia Sorento, at the base level, is provided by a six-speaker stereo system, with features that include SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and controls mounted on the steering wheel. UVO eServices for controlling your infotainment system with your smartphone is added on the EX, and the SX and Limited upgrades altogether with a navigation system and the aforementioned Infinity surround system with HD Radio. Remote keyless entry is standard on the Sorento, but that can be enhanced with the addition of a push-button engine start if you go with the SX or Limited. Also exclusive to the aforementioned trims is the HomeLink universal transceiver, which enables you to open and close your garage doors via remote control.
PERFORMANCE AND POWERTRAIN
The 2016 Sorento comes with a trio of engines. The L and LX trims are powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder (I4) engine with an output of 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. The EX and Limited have a smaller yet more fuel efficiency-oriented 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 that provides more output (240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque). The real workhorse, however, is the huge 3.3-liter V6 with 290 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque, and it is the standard engine on the SX; you can also get it on the LX, EX, and Limited trims. No matter the engine choice, the Sorento comes with an electronically controlled 6-speed automatic transmission. There is no manual option, but if you want to exercise more control over gear shifting, do not despair: The transmission has a Sportmatic shifter.
If you are more focused on cutting the amount of times you visit the gas station, go with a 2016 Kia Sorento with the standard front-wheel layout and the 2.4-liter I4, which will yield 21/29 mpg. And if you combine the optional all-wheel drive system with the V6, you can increase the Sorento’s maximum towing capacity from the standard 2,000 lbs to 5,622 lbs.
Using a steel unibody construction that Kia called the Iso-Safety Structure, the 2016 Sorento is sturdily built. For safety, the 2016 Kia Sorento has an airbag system that consists of front impact, side impact, and side curtain airbags. Electronic vehicle stability, traction control, and hill start assist are combined to ensure that you are always in control, even when driving conditions are less than ideal. If you choose the LX trim and up, the Sorento comes with a rear camera that enables you to monitor your driving and parking attempts when in reverse; a back-up warning system enhances that feature if you go with the EX and any trim above that. And on the SX and Limited, blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert gets on board to send warning signals and flash lights to further sharpen your awareness of nearby objects or vehicles.
Blessed with an all-wheel independent suspension with MacPherson struts in the front and a multi-link design in the back, the 2016 Kia Sorento moves easily and gracefully, including on rough and uneven road surfaces. And the electric motor-driven power steering (MDPS) ensures that you switch lanes and make your way through traffic in a quick and precise manner. There’s the option on the SX and Limited trims to get a rack-mounted version of the MDPS for even greater steering feel and quicker response. It also helps that the Sorento has all-wheel disc brakes to shorten stopping distance, with an accompanying anti-lock braking system for preventing the wheels from locking up when applying the brakes.
Over to You
Thinking of buying an Kia Sorento? Already own one? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!