2015 Kia Sorento Review

Pros & Cons

  • Plentiful standard and optional features
  • quiet and comfortable ride
  • superior tech interface
  • powerful V6
  • available third-row seat
  • lengthy warranty.
  • Standard four-cylinder engine's mediocre acceleration and fuel economy
  • typically more expensive than a small crossover.
List Price Range
$9,595 - $18,991

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2015 Kia Sorento models

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.

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2015 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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."


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.


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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2015 Kia Sorento.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Love this 2015 car but....
LX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
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.
A Jewel
EX 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
Our family is thrilled with our 2015 KIA Sorento Ex. It is an absolute pleasure to drive. The extra row of seats in back is a wonderful addition. Surprisingly roomy in 2nd row. The responsiveness of voice program and sound system along with other techno gadgets are great! Incredible Steering..will turn as sharp as a motorcycle!!! First week went on a trip, drove it a thousand miles through interstate and city traffic in Orlando and it got a hard to believe average of 26 mpg..Yes this is a keeper!!!!! To top it off the rear view camera makes handling the SUV easy as pie. WOW I could say more. ..this was thoughtfully made --a great deal! Thanks KIA! We are sooo happy! Update..still agree with above just wished they enabled side beeper warnings to help with blind spots on all model and auto litigate on all their SUV
Great Mid size SUV
LX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I'm a loyal Toyota customer, but I wanted to see what other car makers had to offer. So I test drove a number or SUV's from Toyota, Mazda, Ford, Subaru & Nissan. And the 2015 Sorento impressed me so much that I stopped looking. It's the perfect size, it rides great (better than most other SUV's), very comfortable, great standard feature & options. Very good quality all around, great warranty and I'm getting about 26mpg city & highway combined. When you compare the price and quality of the Sorento to other SUV's. Sorento wins.
Still LOVE my Kia!
EX 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
This is my third actually. I had my 2004 Sorento LX for 10.5 years and it was more reliable than ANY vehicle I have ever owned. So I traded for a 2015. I've only had it for 6 years and 20k miles but it's great! Average mileage running mostly city and in eco setting is 21. Only odd thing that's happened this year is the failure of both key fobs at one time. The one I used not only needed a new battery but it lost it's programming. Went to use the spare which has never been used before and it only worked intermittently. It had lost it's programming too but not completely. $95 for the locksmith cause I was afraid to drive it back to the dealer for service.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover16.4%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2015 Kia Sorento
More About This Model

Quick Summary
The 2015 Kia Sorento is an SUV that straddles the border between compact and midsize in terms of both size and price. A round of updates for the 2014 model year has added more power to the V6 engine, a retuned suspension and more refinements to the interior. With its long list of features that includes an optional third row of seating, it offers a practical and comfortable, if not exciting, option for SUV shoppers.

What Is It?
The Sorento is a small to midsize SUV that's available in numerous configurations. You can order it with either four- or six-cylinder engines, front- or all-wheel drive as well as two-row (five-seat) or three-row (seven-seat) seating arrangements. All models come with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The 2.4-liter four-cylinder is rated at 191 horsepower but acceleration is, in truth, barely adequate. The 3.3-liter V6 with 290 hp is more in keeping with the size and weight (4,183 pounds) of the Sorento, and provides a nicer overall experience in terms of both passing power and refinement. The V6 is the one tested here.

Our SX test vehicle is one of four trim levels: LX, EX, SX and SX Limited. Pricing for the base front-drive Sorento LX with the four-cylinder engine begins at $24,995. Standard equipment includes cruise control, Bluetooth, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, auto up/down driver's window and alloy wheels. Our SX AWD test vehicle cost $39,195 and had zero options. But then, it includes nearly every convenience you could ever want, such as the V6 and all-wheel drive, three-mode adjustable steering, a sunroof, power liftgate, dual-zone climate control, heated and cooled front seats, navigation, a 10-speaker Infinity audio system, a back-up camera and Kia's first-ever blind-spot detection system.

2015 Kia Sorento SX AWD

How Does It Drive?
With a high driving position and slim windshield pillars, the Sorento has excellent forward visibility. The rearmost pillars, though, are quite thick and the extra side windows back there are of little help for lane-change maneuvers. The standard rearview camera with parking lines helps when backing up, though.

The V6 is smooth, if a bit overly loud at higher rpm, and works in concert nicely with the six-speed automatic. Low-end torque isn't stupendous (just 252 pound-feet at a high 5,200 rpm) but the automatic is intelligent about letting it use the available grunt instead of instantly downshifting. Regardless, upshifts are the definition of the term "seamless," and there's plenty of power for merging onto a fast-moving highway. We recorded zero to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds. That's quicker than most small SUVs and about equal to most midsizers.

Kia's Flex Steer adjustable steering comes standard on the EX, SX and SX Limited models. Via a steering wheel button you can change the levels of electric power assist between Comfort, Normal and Sport. We preferred the heavier weighting and more intuitive feel of the Sport setting, not just for our instrumented track testing but for all of our driving, even around town. Luckily Flex Steer doesn't reset each time you turn the car off, so you can set it and forget it.

The Sorento is no sportster, that's for sure, but it's more than capable of tackling turns at normal speeds in a controlled manner. Get near its limits, though, especially if you throw a midcorner bump into the mix, and it starts to get sloppy. The suspension, and the Sorento in general, just can't cope with extremes as well as some competitors. In a similar fashion, the Sorento delivers a comfortable, cushy ride, right up until you encounter a deep pothole or large bump, at which point it transmits the harshness directly to the cabin and you're suddenly wondering what happened to the ride quality.

Noise is well-damped for the most part. The tires stay quiet even over coarse sections and even the expansive side mirrors only give some minor wind rustling. That said, rev the V6 out above 5,000 rpm and it gets unnecessarily intense.

2015 Kia Sorento SX AWD

How Does It Rate in Terms of Interior Comfort?
The front seats are flat and well-padded for all-day comfort, even if the leather isn't overly supple. The center armrest is fairly plush but the door armrest has a plastic trim piece at the exact point where you want to rest your elbow. The second-row seats have firm padding but are still pretty comfy, aided by a high perch and good legroom. The whole seat slides fore and aft and the seatbacks recline.

As in most vehicles its size, the third row is pretty cramped. With the seat positioned directly on the floor, your knees will feel like they're right up into your chest. If you plan on carting adults around back there on any kind of a regular basis, you're going to need a bigger SUV.

In general, the Sorento's interior controls are easy to learn. All 2015 Sorentos come with an 8-inch touchscreen with large buttons and a sensible menu structure. The dual-zone climate control in the SX model has simple-to-use controls, and there are vents for both the second and third rows.

Up front the seats are heated and cooled, with the outboard second-row seats heated as well. The liftgate has power operation but there isn't a button for it up front near the driver. The center console cupholders would benefit from some anti-tip technology but they're otherwise well sized.

How Does It Perform Off-Road?
Not great. During some minor off-roading we exceeded the limits of the all-wheel-drive system in a hurry. On a slippery but not overly steep dirt uphill slope, we nearly got the Sorento stuck, to the point two of its tires were just sitting there spinning. Grippier tires would've surely helped the situation, but it was obvious this isn't a very sophisticated system.

2015 Kia Sorento SX AWD

How Safe Is It?
In federal government tests, the NHTSA gave the 2015 Kia Sorento a five-star overall crash rating, including five stars for frontal and side-impact and four stars for rollover. Private testing performed by the IIHS has not yet rated the 2015 model, but the nearly identical 2014 Sorento received the top score of "Good" for moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, head restraints and seats, but the lowest score of "Poor" in the small overlap front test, a new addition to its testing regimen.

A blind-spot monitoring system is standard on SX and SX Limited models, optional on the EX and not available on the LX. A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are standard on all EX and SX models and optional on the LX.

In Edmunds panic-brake testing, the Sorento SX AWD had a best stopping distance of 131 feet. That's one of the longest in the segment. Our test driver called the Sorento's braking abilities "barely adequate," thanks in part to the soft pedal feel, some pedal fade and a bit of side-to-side squirm.

What Kind of Mileage Does It Deliver?
The Sorento SX AWD comes with a 3.3-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. That combination is rated by the EPA to deliver 20 mpg in combined driving (18 city/24 highway). We averaged 20.2 mpg on our 116-mile evaluation loop, and just 17.8 mpg overall during its 652-mile stay with us.

The EPA rates the V6-powered front-wheel-drive Sorento at 21 mpg combined (18 city/25 highway). For improved mileage, the base front-drive LX model uses a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and the same six-speed automatic transmission. This combo is rated by the EPA to deliver 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway).

2015 Kia Sorento SX AWD

What Are Its Closest Competitors?
The Sorento's straddle-the-fence positioning between small and midsize crossovers, along with the availability of both a third row and a V6, give it some extra leverage versus its main competitors. Plus, this fence-straddling blurs the line as to exactly which vehicles are direct competitors.

Like the Sorento, the Chevrolet Equinox offers both four-cylinder and V6 engine options. It has a longer wheelbase and overall length than the Sorento, yet oddly less EPA interior volume. The Equinox gets high marks for its plush ride but doesn't have a third-row option. Pricing starts within a couple hundred dollars of the Sorento.

The Ford Edge is a true midsize SUV, yet it still forgoes the third-row option. Strong suits are a quiet cabin and composed ride, plus multiple engine choices, including two V6s and a turbocharged four-cylinder. Pricing starts about $4,000 more than the base Sorento.

The Honda CR-V is our go-to small SUV, thanks to a well-engineered cabin, fine driving characteristics and good build quality. It starts about $1,000 less than the Sorento and gets better fuel mileage, but it doesn't have the option of a V6 or a third row. It's also about 6 inches shorter than the Sorento, with less interior volume and maximum cargo space.

The Toyota RAV4, like the CR-V, is dimensionally smaller than the Sorento. It's also a four-cylinder-only crossover without a third row, but it starts about $500 less than the Sorento and its four-cylinder gets superior fuel mileage to the Sorento's four and, despite its small size, it actually has slightly more maximum cargo space than the Kia.

Why Should You Consider This SUV?
If traditional compact SUVs are just too small for your tastes but you don't need a true midsizer, the Sorento may satisfy your need for something in between. The combination of optional third-row seating, multiple trim levels and a choice of four or six-cylinder engines makes it a unique offering in the segment.

Why Should You Think Twice About This SUV?
Even though Kia has been continually improving the Sorento, it still isn't as refined as rivals like the Honda CR-V in terms of ride quality or interior materials. It's also not one of the more efficient vehicles in the class, so if fuel mileage is a top concern there are better choices.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

Used 2015 Kia Sorento Overview

The Used 2015 Kia Sorento is offered in the following submodels: Sorento SUV. Available styles include LX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), EX 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A), LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A), EX 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A), LX 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A), SX 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A), SX 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A), LX 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A), and Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A). Pre-owned Kia Sorento models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine or a 3.3 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 290 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2015 Kia Sorento comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2015 Kia Sorento comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Kia Sorento?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Kia Sorento trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Kia Sorento LX is priced between $9,595 and$17,000 with odometer readings between 40070 and139084 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Kia Sorento SX is priced between $15,651 and$18,991 with odometer readings between 64239 and118549 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Kia Sorento EX is priced between $13,695 and$14,000 with odometer readings between 93782 and102451 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Kia Sorento Limited is priced between $15,463 and$15,463 with odometer readings between 117727 and117727 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2015 Kia Sorentos are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2015 Kia Sorento for sale near. There are currently 27 used and CPO 2015 Sorentos listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,595 and mileage as low as 40070 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Kia Sorento.

Can't find a used 2015 Kia Sorentos you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Kia Sorento for sale - 6 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $21,260.

Find a used Kia for sale - 8 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $14,579.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia Sorento for sale - 11 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $15,703.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia for sale - 4 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $13,283.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 Kia Sorento?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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