2011 Kia Sorento SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Kia Sorento SUV

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Kia Sorento Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 276 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Kia Sorento

  • The 2011 Kia Sorento crossover SUV hits almost all the right notes, and it does so with the affordability you'd expect.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Plentiful standard features; decent-sized third-row seat; sporty handling; punchy optional V6; long warranty.

  • Cons

    Suspension tuning is a bit too firm; five-passenger model lacks a sliding second-row seat.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Kia Sorento has been fully redesigned. Major changes include a switch to carlike unibody construction, more powerful engines and a new third-row seat.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (14 total reviews)


Everything as promised.

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Sorento SX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I've had mine for 9 months and no problems what so ever. Taken it on a couple of 1200 mile road trips. It is as it is promised to be. The exception is the gas milage. Even babying wasn't able to get what was advertised. Other than that a great vehicle.



5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Excellent car - best bang

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Sorento SX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I reviewed the Sorento all models, drove the Sportage LX, EX, SX, looked at the Honda CRV, Nissan Murano S, SV, SL. You cannot touch a Murano with leather and navigation / bluetooth for under $40,000, the Honda CRV doesn't come close, forget the RAV4 that's a tin can in comparatively Once I drove the Sorento SX, looked at the price tag coupled with the bumper-bumper 5/60,000 & 10/100K power train warranty, no brainer! I traded in my sporty Honda Accord EX-L with kicking zippy engine, excellent interior quality knowing that for $17 more a month and almost the same fuel economy I could have a brand new long warranty vehicle that is roomy, comfortable, powerful, and snazzy looking.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sorento sx fwd rocks!

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Sorento SX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Had my SX one week. First tank 20 mpg. Love the Handling and ride (very European), and the many safety and function features. After researching many reviews and driving various competition from Nissan, Subaru, Honda, as well as Sorento 4, and 6 cylinders, bought the SX. The double valve shocks and suspension features on the SX make handling like a sports sedan. Best SUV feature and quality for dollar available IMO.



9 of 9 people found this review helpful

What can i say about

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Sorento SX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

My Husband and I were looking for a new SUV, and were sick of seeing all the "cookie cutter" and common Honda Pilots, Toyota Highlanders, RAV4's and CRV's that it seemed were everywhere. Boring and tired looking, and their owners were looking equally boring and tired! So we shopped and shopped. Test drove and researched. Then after all the info was collected, we bought a new 2011 KIA Sorento SX in February. I drive it daily, and my husband and I have been on some longish trips to Las Vegas, too. We sold our Mazda, but this new KIA actually beats the rest when compared feature to feature, overall quality, looks and reliability. KIA's 100,000 warranty is icing on the cake!



31 of 181 people found this review helpful

Kia's new 2011 sorento takes

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Sorento SX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Yep..I know that car magazines get advertising money paid by all the auto manufacturers. And some reviewers are also funded by them. So their reviews may be skewed by Not me! I don't get paid by any manufacturer. And this is my review on the 2011 KIA Sorento SX! We research a lot before we buy just about any major purchase. We've had 17 new cars in the past 21 years. Toyota sedans, sports cars (MR2 Supercharged!), and SUVs. Honda Sedans and SUV, Dodges, Several Ford SUVs and 2 mini-vans, etc. And we are informed buyers, and PICKY! So when we went shopping it was to replace our Mazda5 "van"...which we were giving to our Daughter for college.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sorrento sx is the best

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Sorento SX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

We were looking for a replacement for our Chrysler town and country and the Sorrento is perfect. It has the 3rd row seating which is good for kids, and all of the features are better than expected. We looked at the Traverse, Hyundas, Honda Pilot, and Ford Edge. The Traverse was nice but still had a lot of generic plastic interior parts and the price was high.. with features mid to high 30's .. With teh Sorrento we bought an SX which has everything GPS , Sirius., Bluetooth, Voice recognition commands, heated seats , and safety 5 stars... best deal by far



Full 2011 Kia Sorento Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Kia Sorento has been fully redesigned. Major changes include a switch to carlike unibody construction, more powerful engines and a new third-row seat.

Introduction

It seems like just yesterday that Kia was fielding quirky offerings like, well, the previous-generation Sorento, a traditional body-on-frame SUV that never really caught on in America. But this company learns quickly. The all-new 2011 Kia Sorento boasts the carlike unibody construction (and the subsequent carlike ride) that Americans crave, and it's got most of the other bases covered, too. Perhaps most impressively, it starts at around $20,000, pitting it squarely against perennial compact-crossover all-stars like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

The Sorento's most obvious advantage over these models is its near-midsize dimensions. Longer than both rivals, the Sorento capitalizes with an optional third-row seat that's actually inhabitable by adults for short trips; the 2011 Toyota RAV4's third row, conversely, is strictly for kids, and the 2011 Honda CR-V doesn't even offer one. The Sorento also features a choice of four- and six-cylinder engines, just like the Toyota, while the Honda is four-cylinder only.

The base four-cylinder, however, is merely adequate, which isn't surprising given that its 175 horses are tasked with moving more than 3,600 pounds of crossover. It's punchy enough around town, but sounds somewhat strained at higher rpm, and it's not as good on gas as the thriftiest fours in this segment. Another mild demerit goes to the second-row seat, which doesn't slide fore and aft like those of the Sorento's main competitors.

Overall, though, the Sorento is a highly impressive effort. Whereas past Kias have tended to be purchased primarily because of value, the Sorento is a legitimate contender that just happens to have an affordable price. In addition to the aforementioned Honda and Toyota, we'd recommend the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox, 2011 Mazda CX-7 and 2011 Subaru Forester, as well as Kia's smaller Sportage. But we wouldn't hesitate to recommend the 2011 Kia Sorento. It's a rolling exhibit of how far this automaker has come in recent years.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Kia Sorento is a crossover SUV offered in four trim levels: base, LX, EX and the sporty SX. A third-row 50/50-split-folding seat with room for two is optional on the LX and four-cylinder EX, and standard on the EX V6 and SX.

The base model comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping multifunction steering wheel, a trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity and a CD/MP3 audio system with satellite radio and a USB audio jack.

Moving up to the LX nets a six-speed automatic transmission, body-color heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, a second-row armrest with cupholder, as well as the option of adding the Convenience package, which includes foglamps, roof rails, rear parking sensors, heated front seats and a back-up camera with a rearview-mirror-mounted display.

The EX starts with the LX's equipment and adds 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control (with rear air-conditioning on V6 models) and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The SX spices things up with more aggressive exterior styling details, a sport-tuned suspension, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, unique metallic interior trim, a rearview camera and a 10-speaker Infinity sound system.

The SX's additional features (excluding the exterior styling elements) are available on the EX trim as part of the Premium and Limited option packages. An optional panoramic sunroof and voice-activated navigation with real-time traffic and mood lighting are bundled into those packages as well (you can also get them on the SX). A rear-seat DVD entertainment system is available on EX V6 models without the sunroof.

Powertrains and Performance

All Sorento trim levels come standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 175 horsepower and 169 pound-feet of torque. The base model has a six-speed manual transmission, while the others come with a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard across the board, while LX and EX models are eligible for all-wheel drive. The AWD system comes with a locking center differential to improve low-speed traction in icy or off-road situations.

In our performance testing, the four-cylinder brought a Sorento EX from zero to 60 mph in a leisurely 9.9 seconds -- one of the slower times in the class. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined with the front-wheel-drive automatic. It is 21/27/23 with AWD.

Optional is a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque; it comes only with the six-speed automatic and gets the Sorento from zero to 60 mph in an impressive 7.4 seconds, which is one of the quicker times in the class. Fuel economy stands at 20/26/22 with front-wheel drive and 19/25/21 with AWD.

Safety

The 2011 Kia Sorento comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, hill-start assist, hill descent control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front active head restraints. In Edmunds brake testing, both four- and six-cylinder Sorentos came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet, which is very good for this class.

In the government's new, more strenuous crash testing for 2011, the Sorento earned an overall rating of four stars out of a possible five, with four stars for overall frontal crash protection and four stars for overall side crash protection. The Sorento earned a top score of "Good" for its performance in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Sorento's interior is class-competitive in both design and materials, with a look that is restrained but sophisticated. Dashboard plastics are hard to the touch but look good. The audio and climate controls (whether manual or automatic) are intuitive and have a substantial feel, as does the rest of the switchgear.

The front seats are comfortable on long trips and provide the commanding view of the road that crossover buyers love. The inviting second-row seat accommodates two with ease and three in a pinch. It doesn't slide fore and aft without the optional third-row seat (standard on EX V6), meaning the Sorento's not quite as versatile as the Equinox, CR-V or RAV4. And speaking of that third-row seat, it features 50/50-split-folding seatbacks and enough room for even taller-than-average adults, provided the trip is brief. With the rear seats folded, the Sorento can carry up to 72.5 cubic feet of cargo -- about as much as a RAV4 or CR-V.

Driving Impressions

As with the RAV4, the 2011 Kia Sorento is a tale of two engines. The base 2.4-liter four feels punchy enough around town and with light loads, but it struggles a bit with extra passengers and cargo. The 3.5-liter V6, on the other hand, is strong and smooth, and its fuel economy deficit isn't huge; too bad it's only available on the top-of-the-line EX.

At highway speeds, the Sorento's cabin remains impressively isolated from both road and wind noise. We're also fond of the Sorento's handling ability, as this crossover responds directly to steering inputs. This is indeed one of the more enjoyable small family crossovers to drive. The ride quality should be OK for most folks, but we've found that it gets overly harsh when the Sorento is driven over potholes and similarly broken pavement.

Talk About The 2011 Sorento

Read more about the 2011 Kia Sorento

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs