There's ambition behind the 2017 Kia Sorento. Redesigned for the 2016 model year, it makes its way into this new year with some significant refinements. That includes improved smartphone integration, a few choice safety tweaks and some trim variations. Previous generation Sorentos may have been compact crossovers at a keen price, but this latest Sorento has ascended up into mid-size mainstream where the competition is stiff and the options list must be comparable.
One advantage the Sorento brings into the fray is that it can be tailored to any customer. There are three different engines available: a base non-turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four and a thumping 3.3-liter V6. Those powerplants all come mated to a six-speed automatic transmission churning either the front wheels or all four of them.
Particularly when equipped with the V6, the Sorento is a refined and sophisticated everyday driving companion. And it's versatile too, with a choice of two or three rows of seating. Save the rearmost seat for the toddlers, however.
With its multiple personalities, the Sorento can be considered an alternative to virtually any crossover, from basic compacts to three-row behemoths fitted out like the Sultan of Brunei's personal 747. Well, minus the gold-plated lavatories and on-board dining room(s).
Fuel consumption naturally varies according to powertrain choice. The best fuel economy numbers come with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive that specs out at 24 mpg combined (21 city/28 highway). The lowest ratings are generated by the Sorentos with the big 3.3-liter V6 under their hoods and all-wheel drive. Those come in at a thirsty 19 mpg combined (17 city/23 highway). The turbocharged four-cylinder models have numbers closer the naturally aspirated four then the six.
With its wide range of talents, even wider range of options, and overall versatility, the Sorento attracts, no surprise, a wide range of buyers. It's one of Kia's best-selling vehicles and the largest crossover the company makes. It's also the first vehicle Kia produced (and continues to produce) at its assembly plant in West Point, Georgia.
Cutting through the blizzard of Sorento possibilities takes some solid research, and seeking out some good advice is always a good idea. And you've already taken a good first step by starting your buying journey here at Edmunds.com.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.