Full 2007 Kia Sorento Review
What's New for 2007
The Kia Sorento receives some significant updates for 2007. A more powerful V6 engine, interior and exterior improvements and additional standard safety features keep it competitive in the midsize-SUV segment.
Let's just get to the point here: The 2007 Kia Sorento is a great choice if you're shopping for a midsize SUV with available four-wheel drive and towing capabilities. For fewer than $25,000, you can get a nicely equipped, attractively styled sport-utility vehicle with a powerful V6 engine, real off-road prowess and important standard safety features.
This year's Sorento improves on the previous year's model by offering a host of redesigns and upgrades to an already impressive package. A new 3.8-liter V6 engine replaces the old one, and now produces 262 horsepower, which is 36 percent more than before. This allows for a 5,000-pound towing capacity in both two- and four-wheel-drive modes. To identify the updated Sorento, look for its subtle exterior refinements, including redesigned front headlamps, a revised grille, new bumpers and redesigned taillamps. Inside there's a new instrument panel design and updated and improved interior materials.
The Sorento is a truck-based SUV, meaning that it employs body-on-frame construction, versus a car-based SUV. While this is great for rugged characteristics and necessary for off-road driving, the ride tends to be less smooth and doesn't offer the same refinement as other small SUVs like the Ford Escape or Honda CR-V. Nor is the Sorento truly as capable off-road as competitors like the Nissan Xterra or Toyota FJ Cruiser. But as an all-around vehicle that's well-equipped, affordable and ready for at least limited recreational excursions, the 2007 Kia Sorento is a fine choice.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Kia Sorento midsize SUV comes in two trim levels: LX and EX. The LX comes standard with 16-inch wheels, a 10-speaker sound system, full power accessories, cloth seats and an eight-way adjustable driver seat. The EX adds steering-wheel audio controls, a power-adjustable driver seat, adjustable headrests, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and wood grain interior accents. The LX Sport Package adds sporty touches like black leather interior, foglights and 17-inch alloy wheels. The EX Luxury Package steps it up by offering dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a sunroof and a six-disc CD changer.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2007 Kia Sorento comes with a new 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces 262 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a five-speed automatic transmission that allows you to choose between automatic or manual-shift modes. With its upgraded power plant, the Sorento can now tow up to 5,000 pounds in two- or four-wheel drive. Fuel economy is rated at 17/23 city/highway. Buyers have a choice of two-wheel drive (rear-wheel drive, that is) or 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 that also includes low-range gearing for better off-road performance.
Full-length side curtain airbags, antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, a tire-pressure monitoring system and a driver knee airbag come standard across all trim levels. The Sorento earned a top five-star NHTSA rating in front and rear side impact crash tests and an "Acceptable" rating (the second highest of four) in the IIHS' frontal-offset crash test.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2007 Kia Sorento features a redesigned interior that makes tasteful use of wood and metal trim materials. The cabin is comfortable and functional. The leather seats are good quality. The rear seat is wide enough for three adults, but knee and toe room may be tight. There are 31.4 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up.
More horsepower equals more pleasant riding and driving. The new V6 provides more than adequate torque for city driving and highway cruising, and is a significant improvement over the previous-generation engine's disappointing acceleration. On pavement, the independent front and solid-axle rear suspension provide a firm but overall agreeable ride. However, bumps and sharp impacts can intrude into the cabin. Steering feels good and body roll is minimal around corners. The truck-based frame and low-range transfer case are great for off-road trails.