2015 Kia Sorento SUV Review

2015 Kia Sorento SUV

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2015 Kia Sorento LX SUV

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • The 2015 Kia Sorento comes highly recommended to consumers shopping for a small or midsize crossover SUV with a third-row seat, thanks to its well-mannered driving characteristics, roomy interior and generous standard and optional features. We like the 2015 Kia Sorento, but we recommend getting the V6 instead of the standard four-cylinder engine.

  • Pros

    Plentiful standard and optional features; quiet and comfortable ride; superior tech interface; powerful V6; available third-row seat; lengthy warranty.

  • Cons

    Standard four-cylinder engine's mediocre acceleration and fuel economy; typically more expensive than a small crossover.

  • What's New for 2015

    Apart from a minor shuffling of features, the 2015 Kia Sorento carries over essentially unchanged.


After last year's significant but essentially under-the-skin "redesign," the Kia Sorento carries over for 2015 and as such it remains a solid pick in its class. Actually, stating "class" may be inaccurate, given that the Sorento straddles the line between compact and midsize crossovers, comparing directly to neither. This Kia offers a few key features -- namely available V6 power and a third-row seat -- not typically offered on the compacts while still not being as large and unwieldy as traditional midsizers. That combination could be the happy medium that satisfies families looking to get maximum bang for their crossover buck.

In addition to its endearing duality, the Kia Sorento also earns points for its solid build quality, comfortable ride, generous standard features (even the midgrade EX comes with leather upholstery and heated front seats) and user-friendly electronic interfaces. But now that Kia has established itself as a maker of quality vehicles, its former "Hook 'em with bargain pricing" strategy isn't really in play anymore. When new, the base LX starts attractively enough in the mid-$20,000 range, but the upper trim levels with the V6 can approach a rather eye-opening $40K.

Certainly, there are a lot of great choices in this price range. The equally impressive Hyundai Santa Fe comes to mind, and its third-row seat is roomier than the Sorento's. You could also check out the bigger Dodge Durango, the similarly sized (but lacking a third-row option) 2015 Ford Edge or top compact crossovers like the Honda CR-V. Overall, though, we think the 2015 Kia Sorento, which earns an overall Edmunds "B" rating, deserves a spot on your consideration list, especially if you need a reasonably sized crossover SUV that can seat seven in a pinch.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2015 Kia Sorento comes highly recommended to consumers shopping for a small or midsize crossover SUV with a third-row seat, thanks to its well-mannered driving characteristics, roomy interior and generous standard and optional features. We like the 2015 Kia Sorento, but we recommend getting the V6 instead of the standard four-cylinder engine.

Standard LX features include 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, 40/20/40-split-folding rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and USB/auxiliary audio jacks. The LX V6 adds the V6 engine, roof rails and a third-row seat.

To the LX, the EX adds 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, a rear spoiler, roof rails, keyless ignition and entry, adjustable steering assist, rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air-conditioning, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar support), a four-way power passenger seat, a third-row seat, ambient interior lighting, an enhanced gauge cluster, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear-seat sunshades, Kia's Uvo telematics system and a rearview camera.

Optional on the EX is the Touring package, which adds a power liftgate, a panoramic sunroof, a blind-spot monitoring system, driver memory settings, ventilated front seats, an 8-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system and a 10-speaker Infinity surround-sound system.

The Sorento SX receives the contents of the Touring package as well as 19-inch wheels and LED taillights. The SX-L (the Limited) tops it off with chrome wheels, xenon headlights, a heated and wood-trimmed steering wheel, heated rear seats and upgraded leather upholstery.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2015 Kia Sorento is offered with two engine choices. The base engine for the LX is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Optional on the LX and standard on all others is a 3.3-liter V6 that makes 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. All Sorentos come with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available as an option.

In Edmunds performance testing, an AWD V6 Sorento accelerated from a standstill to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, which is a quick time for this class.

The EPA estimates fuel economy for the front-wheel-drive four-cylinder Sorento at 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway), and 22 mpg combined (19/25) for the AWD version. These are underwhelming numbers compared with those of small crossovers, though those vehicles are smaller and lighter. Fuel economy for the V6 is average at 21 mpg combined (18/25) for the front-drive model and 20 mpg combined (18/24) with AWD.


Standard safety features for all 2015 Kia Sorento models include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, hill start assist, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags for the first two rows and active front headrests. A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are standard on all EX and SX models and optional on the LX. The same is true for the Uvo telematics system; its safety features include roadside assistance, collision notification and restrictions and tracking for secondary drivers. A blind-spot monitoring system is standard on SX models and optional on the EX.

In Edmunds brake testing, the V6 AWD model came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet, about average for a midsize SUV.

In government crash tests, the Kia Sorento earned a perfect five-star overall rating, along with five-star ratings for its performance in front- and side-impact crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2015 Sorento with its top score of "Good" for moderate-overlap frontal-impact, side-impact, roof-strength and whiplash reduction (seats and head restraints) tests. In the agency's small-overlap frontal-offset impact test, however, the 2015 Sorento received the lowest score of "Poor."

Interior Design and Special Features

Even in its base trim level, the 2015 Kia Sorento boasts a generous offering of standard features. The quality of cabin materials is acceptable, though it can seem as if there's a bit too much hard plastic if you've sprung for the pricey SX or SX-L. The 8-inch touchscreen boasts an intuitive menu structure, sharp graphics and a secondary control knob that all together make for one of the most user-friendly tech interfaces on the market. The gauge cluster can also feature an optional large LCD that digitally replicates an analog speedometer and provides additional trip computer information.

Front passengers will enjoy a commanding view of the road ahead and seats that are comfortable and supportive. Adult passengers will likely find plenty of headroom and legroom in the second row as well. But the optional third-row seats are suitable for children only. Accessing the third row is also a bit tricky. Cargo space is on the generous side compared with that of compact crossovers, with 36.9 cubic feet available behind the middle row of seats. Folding those away expands that space to 72.5 cubes. But dedicated three-row crossovers are notably roomier.

Driving Impressions

Most drivers will find that the 2015 Kia Sorento feels a bit underpowered with the base four-cylinder engine. Considering the four's negligible fuel economy advantage, upgrading to the V6 engine is well worth it if your budget allows. The V6 is smooth and provides plenty of power for passing and merging, though it can get a bit loud at higher rpm. The smooth six-speed automatic is hard to fault with its smooth and timely gearchanges.

While cruising at highway speeds, the Sorento is exceptionally quiet, with a minimum of road noise. For the most part, we also like the way it rides, as the suspension soaks up most bumps with ease. Really harsh impacts, however, such as deeper potholes and buckled pavement, can send a jolt through the cabin. Handling is similarly mostly good until the Sorento is faced with more extreme circumstances. Around turns, the Kia's handling is far from sporty, but most drivers should find it sure-footed enough for a family vehicle. When navigating the confines of a parking lot, the big Kia feels smaller than it really is and in general it's quite a bit more maneuverable than larger seven-passenger SUVs.

Reviews from owners of the 2015 Kia Sorento LX SUV

Great made in usa suv

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Kia Sorento

Larger than other comparable suv's. Bells and whistles are a lot of dollars and cents, so if you don't have to have them it's a great value of a car.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Waynes new kia

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Kia Sorento

I did some research on these vehicles before the purchase and was surprised at the favorable reviews, I have owned it for a little over 2 weeks and I love it. I now am driving for Uber and I get many comments from my customers about it. I highly recommend this vehicle.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

I just love my kia

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Kia Sorento

I have had SUV's for more than 20 years ranging in different models except Ford.. ewwww. My most recent SUV was a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo and I loved it but it was time to get a newer model and the price was a little out of my range so I decided to stop and check out the 2015 Sorento and I was amazed on how well it handled and the power that the 4 cyl produced and actually it performed better than my Jeep. The comfort is great and I could not find anything that would stop me from buying it in which I did do. So with 32000 Miles on it I have the balance of the factory 5/60 B2B and 10/100 on the power train was the selling point. I have had it now since Sept. 2015 and the only thing is the road noise but this may be due to the All Season Mastercraft tires I have on and depends on what kind of surface the road is. Great gas mileage. This is 1 Great Vehicle

Nice car

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Kia Sorento

Bought this used, has some warranty left. Rides nice, but like most front wheel drive if you accelerate rapidly be ready for the initial pull to the left. Six cylinder is a must, nice performance, quiet ride. Interior is a bit on the cheap side, but has ac outlet for rear seats which is nice. Third row is tight only for the emergency day carrying extra children, but then there is zero storage. Also rear climate control is nice. Heated seats a plus.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Love this 2015 car but....

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Kia Sorento

Beautiful car inside and out. It's fun to drive. It's used with 36,000 miles but it does have a 5 year/60000 warranty intact. Priced well. My biggest complaint is the fuel economy. It has a 18 gallon tank and it goes through that really fast. I'm thinking the 4 cylinder engine is just too small for the weight of the truck. It just drags on acceleration. I have to punch it to go up hills. I get 16mpg in the city/hwy is about 24mpg so the claims that the manufacturer makes are false (probably only best case scenario). If you get one, buy the V6. It's only a couple $$$$ more and probably worth the extra cost - I wish I had.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

I changed from buying a newer ford escape

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Kia Sorento

I own three Fords (Ford 1999 V10 short bed, Ford 2005 Expedition and a Ford 2004 Escape) and one Honda Civic. I was after my newer Ford Escape and was disappointed in it's lack of performance in the engine which is smaller and the smaller interior. I was impressed by the Kia's fuel saving Economy (I bought a Hertz Former Rental 2015 Kia Sorento GDI), overall comfort with heated seats (came in really handy with our freezing cold snow), rear backup camera, and cargo space. I have slid on black ice three times now and the Kia held to the road and navigated with ease even backing over my snow covered driveway. I love the satellite stereo and blue tooth capabilities plus the window shades for passengers.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2015 Kia Sorento Suv in VA is:

$52.33 per month*

Talk About The 2015 Sorento

2015 Kia Sorento Discussions See all Started By
2015 Kia Sorento SX AWD Road Test |

To research local dealer inventory and pricing, reviews, features, and specifications, see Edmunds 2015 Kia Sorento page....

To discuss the latest lease details for the current model, please join us in the 2015 Kia Sorento Lease Questions and 2016 Kia Sorento Lease Questions forums....

Compare upfront prices, lock in the best deal, and bring your certificate to the dealer for a no-haggle purchase.

Build your car and see the Edmunds True Market Value® (TMV®) - the average price paid for this car in your area.


Other Vehicles to Consider