Used 2016 Kia Sorento SUV
- User-friendly controls
- well-made and attractive cabin
- versatile second-row seat
- ample features for the money
- long warranty
- excellent crash test scores.
- Turbo engine isn't as punchy and efficient as expected
- less spacious than most seven-passenger competitors.
Used 2016 Kia Sorento SUV for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
The Kia Sorento is bigger, more sophisticated and better to drive for 2016, making it an appealing alternative to five- and seven-passenger SUVs that were previously a class above it. Kia's midsize crossover is definitely worth a long look.
As the titular Malcolm would attest, it can be tough being in the middle. And yet, the Kia Sorento has done just fine occupying a middle ground between compact and midsize SUVs. For 2016, a completely redesigned Sorento carries on this tradition, but its needle now swings a bit from one side off-center to another.
See, the previous-generation Sorento could be viewed as a slightly bigger alternative to compact SUVs like the Toyota RAV4, with similar interior quality and driving dynamics to match. The 2016 Kia Sorento, on the other hand, grows up literally and figuratively to become more of a smaller alternative to larger, more sophisticated family crossovers like the Toyota Highlander. And given its available five- and seven-passenger configurations, it's also more akin to two-row midsize crossovers like the Ford Edge while still undercutting them on price.
The Kia Sorento has grown for 2016 and offers more interior space than before.
These changes for 2016 go beyond greater interior and cargo room. In fact, those increases are rather negligible compared to the increases in interior and driving refinement. Simply put, the 2016 Sorento is a higher-quality vehicle. Cabin materials give up little (if anything) to pricier competitors, feature content embodies the term "generous" and even the styling is more attractive inside and out. Mechanical improvements include a strengthened structure, upgraded suspension and improved steering, which together create a more substantial, comfortable and altogether more refined driving experience. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine also joins the lineup to be its own middle ground between the underpowered base four-cylinder and thirstier V6 engines, though it's only offered with two-row seating, oddly enough.
Overall, we're impressed by the 2016 Kia Sorento. This Kia is a strong, value-rich alternative to five-passenger crossovers like the Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and Jeep Grand Cherokee, as well as seven-passenger models like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Highlander. It may still be stuck in the middle, but that's quite alright.
Trim levels & features
The 2016 Kia Sorento is a midsize SUV available in five- and seven-passenger configurations as well as five trim levels: L, LX, EX, SX and SX Limited. Note that the L model and all Sorentos equipped with the midrange turbocharged engine are five-passenger only, while V6-powered Sorentos are seven-passenger only. The four-cylinder LX can be had with either seating configuration.
The base L comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, three-mode drive settings (altering steering and transmission shift points), air-conditioning, cruise control, stain-resistant fabric upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 40/20/40-split second-row seats (fold, slide and recline), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.
The LX adds automatic headlights, a sound-reducing windshield, roof rails, a rearview camera, Uvo eServices, a 4.3-inch touchscreen interface and two rapid-charge USB ports. The Convenience package adds rear parking sensors, an eight-way power driver seat (plus two-way power lumbar), heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an auto-dimming mirror. The third-row seat can be added to the Convenience package.
The EX includes the Convenience package items and adds 18-inch wheels, sound-reducing front side glass, dual-zone automatic climate control and leather upholstery. Its Premium package adds a hands-free power liftgate, keyless ignition and entry, power-folding mirrors, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, second-row side sunshades and a display screen speedometer/trip computer. The Touring package can be added to the Premium package and includes a panoramic sunroof, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, a navigation system, traffic reporting, a larger rearview camera display and a 10-speaker Infinity sound system with Clari-Fi digital music improvement technology.
The SX includes the Premium and Touring package equipment and adds upgraded steering, 19-inch wheels, LED taillights, upgraded exterior trim, a 10-way power driver seat (plus four-way power lumbar), driver memory settings, a fabric headliner and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The SX Limited adds chrome-clad 19-inch wheels, upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats and heated second-row outboard seats. The available Technology package adds xenon headlights, a multi-angle parking camera, an electronic parking brake, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure and forward collision warning systems.
Everything in the cabin feels high-quality, from the clean center stack design to the richly textured two-tone seating surfaces.
Performance & mpg
Standard on the 2016 Kia Sorento L and LX trim levels is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. As with every Kia Sorento, a six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional. EPA fuel-economy estimates stand at 24 mpg combined (21 city/29 highway) with front-wheel drive and 23 mpg combined (21 city/26 highway) with all-wheel drive. Towing capacity is 2,000 pounds.
The EX and SX Limited are available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds testing, an all-wheel-drive SX Limited with the turbo engine loped to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds, a leisurely performance given those healthy output numbers. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg combined (20/27) with front-wheel drive and 22 mpg combined (19/25) with all-wheel drive. Towing capacity is 3,500 pounds.
A 3.3-liter V6 engine is mandatory on the SX and available on the EX and SX Limited. It produces 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds testing, an all-wheel-drive SX hit 60 mph in 7.6 seconds, an adequate showing for a V6-powered crossover in this class. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 21 mpg combined (18/26) with front-wheel drive and 19 mpg combined (17/23) with all-wheel drive. Towing capacity is 3,500 pounds with front-wheel drive and 5,000 pounds with all-wheel drive.
Notably, a turbocharged SX Limited achieved 23.6 mpg on our standardized 120-mile driving loop, while the V6-motivated SX returned 23.3 mpg. These results suggest that the turbo engine's real-world advantage in fuel economy may be even smaller than the EPA estimates indicate.
Every 2016 Kia Sorento comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, and front- and second-row side curtain airbags. Optional on the LX and standard on the EX, SX and SX Limited are a rearview camera, rear parking sensors and Uvo eServices (geo-fencing, speed alert and curfew alert for secondary drivers). Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems are optional on the EX and standard on the SX and SX Limited. The SX Limited can be equipped with the Technology package, which includes lane-departure and forward collision warning systems.
In Edmunds brake testing, an SX Limited with the turbo engine stopped from 60 mph in 118 feet, a shorter-than-average distance. A V6-powered SX needed 121 feet, which is about average.
In government crash tests, the 2016 Sorento received the top five-star rating for overall crash protection, with five stars for total front-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. Likewise, the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2016 Sorento the best possible score of "Good" in the small-overlap frontal-offset, moderate-overlap frontal offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. The Sorento's seat and head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
There is a sense of sophistication to the 2016 Kia Sorento's ride that its predecessors lacked, as even top-of-the-line models with their big 19-inch wheels manage to soak up bumps without harshness. Kia's midsize crossover is also impressively quiet, especially in the EX trim and above, so count the Sorento as a good candidate for a comfortable family road trip.
Every Sorento comes with Driver Mode Select, which features three modes (Normal, Sport and Eco) that alter transmission shift points and steering effort. Although we could detect the changes in the former, it was difficult to differentiate between the steering settings. It's important to note, though, that the SX and SX Limited actually have a different steering system that should yield a greater sense of precision than the other trims. We found it to perhaps be a little light, but indeed suitably precise and confidence-inspiring for this class of vehicle.
We prefer the Sorento with the V6, as both four-cylinder engines have some disadvantages.
The base four-cylinder engine doesn't have a lot of power to adequately motivate the Sorento's not-inconsiderable size and weight. Opting for the V6 engine is recommended, as its 290 hp is certainly better suited to a vehicle of this size. If you can live without seven seats, the new turbocharged four-cylinder may appeal as an in-between option, but it lacks the low-end punch we've come to expect from modern turbo engines.
Most surfaces in the 2016 Kia Sorento are now soft to the touch and richly textured, while available two-tone color schemes accentuate these quality materials. There's now enough of a premium look and feel that higher trim levels seem properly luxurious. Much of the same can be said for the appealing design, which nevertheless features user-friendly controls. Either of Kia's touchscreen interfaces represents one of the simpler electronics interfaces around, with big virtual buttons and clear labeling.
The Sorento's infotainment system is easy to use thanks to plenty of physical buttons and knobs.
Just as notably, however, are the gains made in passenger space for 2016. The second row gains a half inch of legroom, while being able to slide, recline and fold flat via levers in the cargo area. This versatility is present regardless of seating configuration, which isn't always the case in competing SUVs. As for the third-row seat, kids and smaller adults have additional space and it isn't the penalty box you'd imagine; however, larger crossovers like the Toyota Highlander do have more adult-friendly space (as well as seatbelts for eight).
Cargo capacity behind the third row has grown (11 cubic feet), though it's still really only good for a pair of small suitcases or several grocery bags. There's a healthy 38.8-cubic-foot cargo bay behind the second-row seat, with maximum capacity hitting 73.5 cubes when you fold the second row. That's more than you'll find in most five-passenger midsize SUVs, but less than what larger three-row crossovers offer.
Features & Specs
More About This Model
The 2016 Kia Sorento represents a complete redesign for this family crossover, which sees it growing up both literally and figuratively. It is bigger in most dimensions, increasing room for passengers (especially those in the third row), while also boasting more sophisticated styling, driving manners and interior trappings. As a result, what was previously a bigger, more spacious alternative to compact SUVs is now a smaller, less cumbersome alternative to some of the larger three-row vehicles in the segment.
What Is It?
The 2016 Kia Sorento is a midsize SUV available in five- and seven-passenger configurations as well as five trim levels: L, LX, EX, SX and SX-L. The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is standard on the L and LX trim levels. A 3.3-liter V6 is an option on the LX, standard on the SX and one of two available engines on the EX and SX-L. The other available engine is a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Note that all V6-powered Sorentos come with seven-passenger seating, while all turbo Sorentos and the base L are five-passenger. The four-cylinder LX can be had as either. All-wheel drive is available on every trim level and even the most basic trim comes with generous feature content.
How Big Is It?
In many ways, the previous-generation Sorento could be viewed as a slightly bigger alternative to compact SUVs like the Toyota RAV4. For 2016, the Sorento moves up in the world and in many ways can now be viewed as a slightly smaller alternative to larger three-row crossovers like the Toyota Highlander. With 3 inches added to its wheelbase and overall length, the 2016 Sorento gains some welcome interior volume that moves it well clear of so-called compact SUVs (most of which aren't that compact anymore anyway).
The second row gains 2 extra inches of legroom, while still reclining for added comfort and sliding to bring the kids closer up front or to provide extra legroom for the folks in the third row. As for those folks, they no longer have to be children to occupy the Sorento's aft-most quarters. A pair of 6-footers will technically fit back there with their knees awkwardly pointing toward their chins due to the low-mounted seats, but adults of average height will be good for short trips and more importantly, kids will be more comfortable. Plus, there are air vents back there to prevent things from getting stuffy.
Behind that 50/50-split folding third row are an additional 2 cubic feet of cargo space, creating a more useful space for a pair of small suitcases or several grocery bags. Folding the seat down or opting for the five-passenger configuration yields 38 cubic feet, which is basically on par with bigger compacts like the Honda CR-V and midsizers like the Ford Edge. With all seats folded, the Sorento provides 73 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, which is bigger than both of the above.
Now, the Highlander is still longer and wider, boasting 10 extra cubic feet of maximum cargo space and enough room to squeeze a middle seatbelt into its third row for eight-passenger capacity. However, the distance between it and the Sorento has noticeably shrunk, and for families in search of a three-row vehicle, the Sorento should certainly be cross-shopped against Toyota's big crossover that netted a top "A" rating from the Edmunds editors.
What Is the Interior Like?
Although the last-generation Sorento's dimensions differentiated it from compact SUVs, its interior design and quality were in keeping with that less expensive segment. Plastics were hard, the design was rather plain and even when loaded up with every leather-lined and heated extravagance possible, the cabin never attained a truly luxurious feel.
You can see where this is going. The 2016 Sorento moves up in the world figuratively as well. Although the $25,795 base L trim is a shell of the fully loaded SX-L we drove, every Sorento nevertheless gains an abundance of soft-touch materials with richer textures on its dash and doors. Like an increasing number of redesigned vehicles, stitching has been applied to the dash top to supply a degree of elegance, while available two-tone color schemes (including those that feature a tasteful light gray across the lower dash portion) create a much warmer, distinctive environment. The top-of-the-line Sorento SX and SX-L models we drove give up nothing in terms of luxury compared to other optioned-out competitors (the title of class best is certainly possible) and really aren't that far away from luxury-branded models.
The same could be said of its interior design, which is interesting to look at without sullying Kia's reputation for user-friendly controls. The Sorento LX and EX trims come standard with a 4.3-inch touchscreen, while the 8-inch screen you see here in photos includes a navigation system and is optional on EX trims and standard on the SX ones. Based on past experiences with other Kias, both are intuitive to use, with the latter in particular benefiting from large virtual buttons.
What Engines Are Available?
The Sorento is once again available with four- and six-cylinder engines, but for 2016 it gains an intermediate 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that provides better fuel economy than the V6 along with a smooth power delivery that some drivers may prefer. It produces 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. As with every Sorento, a six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The EPA estimates that it will return 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway) with front-wheel drive and 22 mpg combined (19 city/25 highway) with all-wheel drive.
In Edmunds testing, an all-wheel-drive Sorento with the 2.0-liter turbo reached 60 mph in a rather slow 8.7 seconds. In order to accelerate with any authority, drivers will feel the urge to floor the pedal, which negatively affects fuel economy. As a result of this, we only achieved an 18.4-mpg average in its time with us. On our highway-heavy evaluation loop, we averaged 23.6 mpg.
The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder now features continuously variable valve timing for improved efficiency. It produces 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque, which is a bit less than the last Sorento, but is on par with the four-cylinder available in the Highlander. We didn't get a chance to drive a Sorento with this engine, but given that the vehicle weighs 110 pounds more than the last version, expect it to be slightly slower than before. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 24 mpg combined (21/29) with front-wheel drive. This would be 1 mpg combined better than the last Sorento and 2 better than the four-cylinder Highlander, but is 2 mpg shy of the Toyota RAV4 and 3-4 mpg lower than other bigger compact SUVs. Again, it falls somewhere in between the two segments.
Kia expects the base four-cylinder to once again be the volume choice, but given the 2016 Sorento's clearly more upscale positioning, it also expects the more powerful engine options to gain in popularity. And given the base engine's power deficiency, we'd certainly recommend at least opting for the turbo-4 or (especially if you want the third row) the 3.3-liter V6, which produces 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. Kia estimates it'll return 21 mpg combined (18/26) with front-wheel drive, which would match the combined figures of the V6-powered Highlander and larger three-row Hyundai Santa Fe.
How Does It Drive?
A stiffer structure for 2016 and numerous improvements to the suspension have resulted in a more comfortable, composed and sophisticated ride. The Jeep Grand Cherokee was tabbed as a benchmark for ride quality by Kia's engineers, and although it can't match the heavyweight Jeep's feeling of road-crushing solidity, it certainly contributes to the overall sensation that the Sorento now belongs in a different, higher-priced segment. Even with the optional 19-inch wheels, the Sorento did a good job of soaking up rugged pavement.
Every 2016 Sorento comes standard with Driver Mode Select, which alters transmission shift points and steering effort in Normal, Sport and Eco settings. Although we noticed the more eager downshifts and later upshifts in Sport, it was difficult to tell much of a difference in the steering (it's much more noticeable in Hyundai's multimode steering settings). This is more of an observance than a problem, as the Sorento SX's steering proved to be precise, competent and seemingly vice-free for the segment.
It's important to note, though, that the SX trims we experienced have a different steering system than the other trims, with the electric motor mounted to the steering rack rather than inside the steering column. This typically results in improved steering feel, so it's safe to assume that the SX and SX-L will be better to drive than their lesser brethren.
The overall handling is solid, and the Kia's smaller dimensions and commendable visibility make it feel less cumbersome to drive than a Grand Cherokee or Highlander. On a variety of surfaces, the interior remains impressively quiet, to the point of rivaling true luxury SUVs. Braking ability is also praiseworthy, stopping from 60 mph in a short 118 feet while remaining very composed and controllable.
What Features Do You Get?
The base L trim for $24,900 isn't luxurious, but it does provide welcome features like alloy wheels, LED running lights, stain-resistant fabric, satellite radio, a USB/iPod interface and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. The LX trim adds a few extras like an acoustic windshield for a quieter cabin, two rapid-charge USB ports, a rearview camera, a 4.3-inch touchscreen and UVO eServices (Siri hands-free, numerous smartphone apps and secondary driver security functions like geo-fencing and speed warning), but it's in the EX trims where the Sorento begins to truly resemble a high-end SUV.
Bigger wheels, more interior sound-deadening, dual-zone climate control, leather seating and steering wheel, and heated power seats are some of the items standard on the EX, while many of the SX trim's standard features like a panoramic sunroof, push-button start, navigation, 10-speaker Infinity sound system, second-row sunscreens and power liftgate (with proximity hands-free opening) are optional. The SX and SX-L essentially add power-adjustable driver thigh support and a variety of exterior and interior trim upgrades, while the SX-L in particular opens the door up to the Tech package that includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure and collision warning systems, and an "around-view" multi-angle parking camera.
How Much Does It Cost?
The five-passenger Sorento essentially splits the price difference between the pricier midsize SUVs like the 2015 Ford Edge and smaller, less-equipped compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V. Seven-passenger versions also start off between $1,000 and $3,000 less than bigger models like the Toyota Highlander and Hyundai Santa Fe. In general, it represents strong value.
However, that doesn't mean its upper trim levels are inexpensive. A fully loaded SX-L V6 with the Tech package hits the register at $46,720, which is actually slightly more than a similarly equipped Highlander. Now, most other loaded competitors are on par or even more, but that price tag still speaks to Kia's belief that its redesigned Sorento is a higher-quality product worthy of a higher price. All-wheel drive can be added to any trim for $1,800.
What Are Its Closest Competitors?
The Toyota Highlander is presently our highest-rated three-row family crossover, boasting a well-rounded blend of road manners, passenger space, interior quality and feature content. The fact that we've compared the Sorento so heavily to Toyota's big crossover speaks to how good it has become.
In terms of its exterior and interior dimensions, the Sorento fits between its two corporate cousins: the five-passenger Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and seven-passenger Santa Fe. The Sorento's base price and feature content are similar to the smaller Sport, while its third-row and cargo space are less than the bigger Santa Fe. Both Hyundai models can't quite match the cabin quality of the newer Kia.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the five-passenger midsize SUV that Kia used as a benchmark for the new Sorento. Although the Jeep's greater weight, tremendous off-road capability and more powerful available engines make it considerably different, it is another comfortable, composed and thoroughly competent choice for those who don't need three rows (and if they do, the mechanically related Dodge Durango is a good alternative as well).
Why Should You Consider It?
Its improved driving manners, classy design and elevated cabin quality make the Sorento a viable competitor to the best crossovers in the class. A wide range of features and configurations make it flexible enough to meet most budgets.
Why Should You Think Twice?
The price point of its base model may seem appealing, but the base four-cylinder engine doesn't possess a lot of power for such a large vehicle. On the other end of the spectrum, a loaded Sorento tops $46,000, which puts it deep into luxury territory.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Used 2016 Kia Sorento SUV Overview
The Used 2016 Kia Sorento SUV is offered in the following styles: LX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), EX 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A), LX 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A), EX 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A), EX 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A), L 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), LX 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A), EX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Limited 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SX 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SX 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A), and Limited 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A).
What's a good price on a Used 2016 Kia Sorento SUV?
Save up to $875 on one of 148 Used 2016 Kia Sorento SUV for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, VA with prices as low as $12,990 as of09/23/2018, based on data from dealers and consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from1 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for Used 2016 Kia Sorento SUV trim styles:
- The Used 2016 Kia Sorento SUV LX is priced between $14,895 and$22,990 with odometer readings between 12177 and335172 miles.
- The Used 2016 Kia Sorento SUV EX is priced between $16,800 and$27,474 with odometer readings between 357 and85409 miles.
- The Used 2016 Kia Sorento SUV SX is priced between $21,988 and$29,900 with odometer readings between 12502 and86488 miles.
- The Used 2016 Kia Sorento SUV Limited is priced between $22,977 and$31,295 with odometer readings between 10407 and57791 miles.
- The Used 2016 Kia Sorento SUV L is priced between $12,990 and$17,995 with odometer readings between 39059 and74410 miles.
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Used 2016 Kia Sorento SUV Listings and Inventory
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Should I lease or buy a 2016 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.