2006 Kia Sorento SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Kia Sorento SUV

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Kia Sorento Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 192 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/18 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Kia Sorento

  • Good-looking, comfortable, rugged and well equipped, the 2006 Kia Sorento remains a solid buy among small and midsize SUVs, especially if you're looking for one with true off-road capability.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Great value, long list of standard features, high-quality interior materials, solid construction, true off-road capability, lengthy warranty coverage.

  • Cons

    Mediocre fuel economy, harsh ride over sharp bumps.

  • What's New for 2006

    For 2006, alloy wheels are now standard on all Sorento models.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (12 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

Would buy 5!!!

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Vehicle: 2006 Kia Sorento LX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I love this car! It I has been my favorite! I bought it used, with 16500 miles on it. For an 06 I bought in 07, the one thing I have replaced on it and right now it's 2014, is a battery! Knock on wood... Gas isn't really good but I put better gas in it rather than unleaded, that raises it almost double. I put injection cleaner in all the time! Keep it clean, all fluids good all the time. Best kinds, to make sure runs tip top! I could not ask for a better car.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Awesome truck!

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Vehicle: 2006 Kia Sorento LX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I bought my used Sorento about a year and a half ago with 48,000 miles on it and I cannot rave about it enough. Purchased it in Milwaukee and have driven it down to Austin, Texas, back to Milwaukee, back down to Austin, out to New York City, around NYC in the hardcore NY traffic for 5 days, then back to Milwaukee, not to mention a year and a half of miscellaneous city driving. It got me through the Great Blizzard of 2011 this past week too - kicked it into 4-wheel drive and it hummed through apocalyptic levels of snow, wind, and cold like a champ, didn't even flinch. Haven't had a single problem with it. If you're looking for a smaller SUV, have a look at a Sorento. Durable. Reliable. Fun.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

I'll never buy another kia!

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Vehicle: 2006 Kia Sorento LX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I really love the look of my Sorento, however it has been a disappointment. The brake lights have gone out so many times I've lost count, the headlights have burned out, interior lights have burned out, the windshield wiper fluid won't come out, the brakes have been replaced, the tires have been replaced and the jack is too small for the SUV. I had to use 3 different jacks from my neighbors just to clear the tire from the ground to change it. I have just over 61,000 miles on it so the warranty is now out and I have the windshield wiper issue and the light on my console is out. I don't know if it's worth repairing but the sad thing is that I only have 1 more year before it's paid off.

Love my kia

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Vehicle: 2006 Kia Sorento LX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Bought my Kia in Oct. of 06 in TX, drove it back to CA in Two days. Very reliable, had no problems, thank God and Held 3 medium size cat carriers all in a row in the back fold down seat. My Kia has 12,000 little miles on it now, and knock on wood I've never had a problem yet. I keep up on the maint. with oil change and so far one tire rotation and its still ticking onward. Some cars are lemons, and I'm glad my wasn't.

Solid performer w/minor illnesses...

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Vehicle: 2006 Kia Sorento LX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Our Kia purchase was quite impulsive: we've liked the ride quality right away,and we've been specifically looking for 4x4 capabilities, some economy...bought this as no 4x4 Tuscons were available in Texas :) Body is incredibly rigid,some serious off-road performance.Comfortable and predictive road manners,good breaking backed-up by standard ABS.Reasonable controls,very good visibility,very good stock sound(although we both are missing mp3/USB/AUX jacks).Outlet in the trunk was quite a nice find!Minor problems we've seen so far is 2 blown turn signal lamps(they are doubled,however) which I had replaced and that was the end of it as of now, and main dome light is incommunicado. That's minor...

Loved it but bad gas

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Vehicle: 2006 Kia Sorento LX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I did absolutly love my Kia but the gas mileage was un beleivable. I checked it twice on the gas mileage to see what I was getting and both times it said 15.5 mpg. I could not believe it. I just traded it in on a Pontiac g6. But if it weren't for the gas I would never have traded it in.

Full 2006 Kia Sorento Review

What's New for 2006

For 2006, alloy wheels are now standard on all Sorento models.


Named after a city in Italy, the Kia Sorento has set a new standard for value among small and midsize SUVs since its introduction in 2003. For the price of a mini-SUV, you get a crisply styled midsize sport-ute with spacious accommodations for four adults. Taking a page from the Honda playbook, Kia offers the Sorento SUV in two well-equipped trim levels: LX and EX. The LX supplies the basics -- those being air conditioning, a CD player, cruise control and power windows, mirrors and locks. The EX adds would-be-nice features like keyless entry, a power driver seat, a sunroof and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A luxury package for the EX provides upscale items like leather upholstery, automatic climate control and a six-disc CD changer.

A 192-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 propels every Kia Sorento, and buyers have their choice of two-wheel drive (rear-wheel drive, that is) and four-wheel drive. The standard 4WD system is an off-road-oriented part-time system, but those who opt for a luxury package-equipped EX model get the automatic Torque-On-Demand 4WD system. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard, though Kia offers a manual gearbox as an option. However you equip it, the Sorento has adequate power in most situations, though with a curb weight of over 4,200 pounds in 4WD form, don't be surprised if it feels a bit taxed when you load up the family for a road trip. Fuel economy is rated at just 15 mpg in the city.

Unlike some of its competitors which are based on cars, the Kia Sorento employs rugged body-on-frame construction, and this, along with the low-range transfer case in 4WD models, gives it greater off-road capability than most buyers will ever need. Of course, this means that its ride and handling characteristics aren't as refined as the Honda CR-V's, but its road manners surpass the Jeep Liberty's. Overall, the 2006 Kia Sorento is a well-rounded effort that, apart from its thirst for fuel, has a lot going for it. Perhaps the greatest compliment we can give a particular vehicle is to say that we'd seriously consider buying one if we were shopping in that market segment. This Kia SUV has earned that accolade.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The four-door Kia Sorento SUV is offered in two trim levels, LX and EX. Standard equipment on the LX includes 16-inch alloy wheels (with a full-size spare tire); air conditioning; power windows, mirrors and locks; cruise control; a 60/40-split rear seat; a CD player; and an overhead console with multiple 12-volt outlets. The EX adds two-tone cladding, body-color exterior trim, foglights, keyless entry, a power sunroof, a power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an upgraded sound system, brushed metal and chrome interior trim and a cargo net. The EX is available with a luxury package that adds an in-dash CD changer, automatic climate control, automatic headlights, leather seats (heated in front), a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an automatic 4WD system. A sport package for manual-shift LX includes a side step bars, blacked-out headlamps, a roof rack and keyless entry.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering all Kia Sorento models is a 3.5-liter V6 that cranks out 192 horsepower. LX models can be had with a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission, while EX models are automatic only. Both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are available. Most Sorentos get part-time 4WD, while the EX with luxury package gets full-time 4WD. Both systems include low-range gearing for off-roading. Towing capacity (just 3,500 pounds) is unimpressive given the Sorento's body-on-frame construction.


Four-wheel disc brakes are standard, and ABS is optional. Also standard are front and rear side curtain airbags, and three-point belts and headrests in all seating positions. In government crash tests, the Kia Sorento earned four stars out of five for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts. The Kia SUV earned a perfect five stars for front- and rear-occupant protection in side impacts. In frontal-offset crash testing by the IIHS, the Sorento earned a rating of "Acceptable," the second highest.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside the cabin, soft-touch surfaces abound on the dash and door panels, and the front-passenger airbag is seamlessly integrated into the dash, giving the cabin an upscale feel. The rear seat is wide enough for three adults in a pinch, though knee and toe room are tight. Cargo space is on par with other midsize SUVs with the rear seat up (31.4 cubic feet), but when it's folded, the resulting space measures only 66.4 cubes, about the same as the compact Kia Sportage.

Driving Impressions

Though acceleration at freeway speeds tapers off to just adequate, the 2006 Kia Sorento will cruise happily at 75 mph all day long. Driven on pavement, the Sorento's independent front and solid axle rear suspension design provide a firm, mostly agreeable ride, though sharp impacts can intrude into the cabin. Accurate, well-weighted steering and a minimum of body roll keep the Kia well planted around corners. With body-on-frame architecture, a low-range transfer case on 4WD models and meaty 16-inch tires, the Sorento can easily take on off-road trails of moderate difficulty.

Talk About The 2006 Sorento

Gas Mileage


  • 13
  • cty
  • 18
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs