This 2014 Kia Sorento video review talks about how it compares to both compact and midsize family crossover SUVs. We discuss fuel economy, price, interior space, cargo room, technology features and safety.
The Kia Sorento was made to look a little cooler, but its best attribute remains its functionality and unique size. It slots between compact SUVs and midsize crossovers. Plus, its optional third-row seat is something neither of those segments tends to have.
There are two engine choices. Its standard 191-horsepower four-cylinder is pretty pokey and its fuel economy of 22 mpg combined is lower than other compacts. Just as damning, its efficiency is equal to more powerful midsize SUVs, not to mention the Sorento's own optional 290 hp V6. So, the bigger engine's the one to get.
This is a Kia, so even the base $24,000 LX model gets lots of equipment, including satellite radio and Bluetooth. Plus you can load that same base model up with higher-end options, so if you want a power liftgate or navigation, you don't have to step all the way up to an upper EX or SX trim. Many competitors make it an all or nothing proposition.
Now, this SX costs about $38,000, which seems a little outrageous. It has the features of some $50,000 luxury models, but there are a lot of hard plastics, and for the same price you could have a bigger SUV with nearly as much stuff.
Regardless of cost, though, the Kia Sorento is easy to use, especially the nice, big touchscreen. I paired my smartphone in seconds, and Kia's voice activated UVO system allows me to use it with voice controls.
The driving position is nice and high, the seats are supportive and they can be heated and cooled. The optional third-row is for kids only. You'd have to step up to a bigger crossover if you need teens or adults to fit back there.
The government gave the Sorento four out of five stars for overall crash protection, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a top safety pick.
Kias have come a long way in a very short period of time, but have still lagged behind in terms of ride and steering. But I think they're starting to figure it out. The revised chassis doesn't crash over bumps like it used to, it's actually quite comfortable. And the three-setting steering in the SX strikes a better balance between effort and response.
Though our loaded Kia Sorento SX test car could line up with midsizers like the Ford Edge, we think most people will probably view it as a larger alternative to top compact SUVs like the CR-V and Chevy Equinox, along with the similarly sized Hyundai Santa Fe. Either way, it's a great alternative.