2017 Kia Sorento Review
Pros & Cons
- Controls are easy to operate
- Cabin is well-made and attractive
- Second-row seats are versatile and comfortable
- Strong value proposition
- Turbo engine isn't as punchy or efficient as expected
- Most seven-passenger competitors offer more interior space.
Edmunds' Expert Review
There is a marked sense of sophistication in the 2017 Kia Sorento's ride. 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 be a little on the light side, but suitably precise and confidence-inspiring for this class of vehicle.
The base four-cylinder engine sometimes struggles with 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 EX's 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 2017 Kia Sorento are soft to the touch and richly textured, while available two-tone color schemes accentuate these quality materials. There's enough of a premium look and feel that higher trim levels seem properly luxurious. Much the same can be said for the appealing dashboard design, which happily also includes user-friendly controls. Kia's touchscreens are generally among the simpler electronics interfaces around, with big virtual buttons and clear labeling.
Legroom is generous in the second row, and you can further customize the Sorento for greater comfort or cargo space as the second row seats 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, it's got room for kids or smaller adults; 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 (11.3 cubic feet) is really only good for a pair of small suitcases or several grocery bags. There's roughly 38 cubic feet behind the second-row seat, with maximum capacity reaching up to 73.5 cubes when you fold the second row. That's more than you'll find in many five-passenger midsize SUVs, but less than what a number of competitive three-row crossovers offer.