Recently bought the 2011 Kia Sorento LX (AWD, 6 speed automatic) and it has been the BEST purchase to-date.
It has a truck chassis and so, if you like the feel/ride of a truck you'll enjoy this one. Smooth shift of gears helps enjoy the ride, though you have to watch your speed; 100 kms feels the same as 60 kms and I noticed I speed a little more (accidentally) in this vehicle.
It is nice that it has eco-boost and better mileage than my 2010 Ford Escape (4, AWD) and is super quiet. Also more legroom for me (6'4") than the Escape.
Has nice safety features too; voice calling, multi-phone sync, 3 12v outlets, rear backup sensor, multi-air bags, truck chassis and 3 child seat anchors in the second row (none in seat 6 or 7).
It is a 7 seater but the rear seats are for children and/or short distances and has no rear anchors for child seats which would be nice to allow adults to take the second row. That is about my only complaint.
Yes, you lose storage space with the far back seats up but that is what the roof rack is for, right?
We bought our Sorento new in 2011 and have been driving it for 3 1/2 years now. We have been very happy with our purchase! We bought the Sorento instead of a Toyota Highlander due to the significant difference in price. The SX has all of the bells and whistles we wanted and we have not had any major problems with it in the 3 1/2 years that we have been driving it. Our vehicle has almost 40K miles on it now and we have driven it mostly in town and short highway trips of 2-4 hours. I still love the exterior design (even more than the newer Sorentos). And our local Kia dealership has been great for service. I would highly recommend this car.
Exterior design, fun to drivce, gas mileage (quite good compared to other SUV's in this class; we have averaged ~16-18 city/24-26 hwy), warranty.
I would still like to see SUV's get better gas mileage, or I'd love to see a hybrid Sorento in the future.
Our Kia Sorento (EX V6) had to have the transmission replaced at 15,000 miles (not the recalled version). The electrical panels replaced at 25k miles. Mysterious popping noise in axel went un-repaired because they couldn't figure out the issue. Interior component broke prior
to 36k. It was supposed to be covered under warranty but local dealer network refused to repair. Claiming it was "broken" and not a factory defect.
We did not "break" the part but customers have little recourse if the dealer network performs the evaluation (and damaged the part further during evaluation).
In general, Kia corporate and the Kia dealers appear unreliable and unresponsive to multiple mechanical flaws.
We would have filed a complaint with the better business bureau but decided not to waste our time with Kia any further and traded the car in for a more reliable brand.
"We bought this vehicle in 2012. My wife drives this SUV on business trips everywhere." Although, most people do not like the harsh ride, it's designed to be a very stable and has a controlled stance. The engine power of the 3.5 is fine. With nearly 280 h.p. this vehicle will deliver. We have accumulated 85,000 miles so far. It's very easy on tires, brakes, and still has the original shocks and struts. The engine, transmission, and driveline are fine. The handling of the car still feels like factory new. We prefer the Bridgestone H/T 684 tires. They wear extremely well and even. The navigation, back-up feature, and interior lighting, (red) are great features. Buy one. Good for 200K.
Handling, and a very tight feel! Spirited cornering and very well behaved overall controlled driveline.
Offer an eight-speed unit. This car would purr! Moreover, a turbo-charged version. An easy 350 h.p. R-model. Do away with the CVT trans.
We purchased a 2011 SX AWD with 42,000 miles recently. This being my first Kia and first SUV I was excited to say the least. However, after a few weeks of driving I started noticing little things such as rattles, rough ride, touchy steering, road noise, acceleration issues (barely touch the pedal and expect a whiplash), cheap plastic interior, uncomfortably flat seat cushions, and seat warmers with one setting (scalding or off). It has already been in the shop for shift lock cam being loose and within a month is going back for the same problem. I believe the Sorento has potential as being a quality vehicle but has several issues to improve on. I find it substandard for the price!
It does offer more standard features than most SUV/Crossover's. Easy to maneuver in traffic and parking.
Improve interior cabin with quality materials, reduce road noise, build a tight, solid vehicle that will go the distance.