2003 Kia Sorento LX 4WD Road Test Specs | Edmunds

2003 Kia Sorento - Road Test Specs

2003 Kia Sorento SUV

(3.5L V6 4x4 4-speed Automatic)


Model year2003
StyleLX 4WD 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
Base MSRP$21,300
As-tested MSRP$22,435


Drive typeFour-wheel drive
Engine typeV6
Displacement (cc/cu-in)3.5
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)192 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)217 @ 3,000
Transmission typeFour-speed automatic


Suspension, frontDouble wishbone coil spring with strut dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearFive-link, coil spring with damper, stabilizer bar
Steering typePower assisted rack-and-pinion
Tire brandRA07
Tire modelWrangler HP
Tire size, frontP245/70R16
Tire size, rearP245/70R16
Brakes, frontVented discs

Track Test Results

0-45 mph (sec.)5.8
0-60 mph (sec.)9.3
0-75 mph (sec.)14.8
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)17.07 @ 79.42
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)29.21
60-0 mph (ft.)131
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)57.8
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)36.4
Sound level @ idle (dB)N/A
@ Full throttle (dB)74
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)71

Test Driver Ratings & Comments

Acceleration commentsThe Sorento's engine isn't a barn-stormer, but it moves the SUV around without excessive strain. Low-end torque is merely adequate, but midrange and high-rpm power are a bit stronger. This was confirmed by brake-torquing the engine to 2,000 rpm before starting our final acceleration run, a move that shaved 1/10 of a second off the zero-to-60 mph time. The Sorento consistently upshifted at 5,900 rpm (redline was at 6,000 rpm) in a positive, drama-free fashion. Not a lot of excitement here, but nothing worth complaining about, either.
Braking ratingExcellent
Braking commentsMy expectations of the Kia's braking ability were low, partly due to its lack of ABS, partly due to its Hankook tires and partly due to its relatively large SUV nature. Imagine my surprise when our first braking run yielded a 131-foot stopping distance. Excellent pedal feel and easy modulation allowed me to achieve maximum braking force without locking up the wheels. Two more runs resulted in two more 131-foot distances, disolving any concerns over fade and confirming that the Sorento's excellent pedal feel allowed for maximum braking force (though the pedal was starting to feel a bit stiff on the final run). Even the Hankooks appeared to be doing their part by providing solid grip and helping me avoid lock up. Keep in mind that a few years ago these would have been amazing numbers for a premium SUV outfitted with the latest ABS technology.
Handling ratingGood
Handling commentsLike the acceleration testing, the Kia proved fully adequate, if not thrilling in the slalom. Steering feel was better than expected and, combined with Sorento's excellent visibility, made the SUV easy to place (only one cone was struck in 10 slalom runs). More midrange torque would have improved average speed by allowing me to accelerate through the final cones. Instead, the best times came by carrying as much speed as possible at the beginning of each run and scrubbing off what I couldn't use while negotiating the cones. As with the braking test, the Hankooks provided more grip than I would have believed prior to testing, and body roll was well controlled. — Karl Brauer

Testing Conditions

Elevation (ft.)85
Temperature (°F)76
Wind (mph, direction)1-5

Fuel Consumption

EPA fuel economy (mpg)Auto 15/18 Manual /
Edmunds observed (mpg)15
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)21.1

Dimensions & Capacities

Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)4,255
Length (in.)179.8
Width (in.)73.3
Height (in.)68.1
Wheelbase (in.)106.7
Legroom, front (in.)42.6
Legroom, rear (in.)36.1
Headroom, front (in.)39.7
Headroom, rear (in.)39.5
Seating capacity5
Cargo volume (cu-ft)31.4
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)66


Bumper-to-bumper5 years / 60,000 miles
Powertrain10 years / 100,000 miles
Corrosion5 years / 100,000 miles
Roadside assistance5 years / Unlimited miles
Free scheduled maintenanceNot available


Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsNot Available
Head airbagsStandard
Antilock brakesOptional
Electronic brake enhancementsNot Available
Traction controlNot Available
Stability controlNot Available
Rollover protectionNot Available
Emergency assistance systemNot Available
NHTSA crash test, driverGood
NHTSA crash test, passengerGood
NHTSA crash test, side frontExcellent
NHTSA crash test, side rearExcellent
NHTSA rollover resistanceAverage

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