2018 Kia Sorento Review
Pros & Cons
- Convenient size should fit many families
- Ample feature content for the money
- Stylish and high-class interior
- Extra-long warranty coverage
- Less cargo space than other three-row models
- Third-row seat is strictly for kids
- Base four-cylinder engine is underpowered
List Price Range
$15,988 - $32,888
Used Sorento for SaleSee all for sale
Which Sorento does Edmunds recommend?
The Sorento EX with the V6 engine comes with seven seats and an abundance of features (including advanced driving aids) at a price that undercuts bigger three-row crossovers. You can even order luxury add-ons and still keep the price pretty reasonable. As for the V6, it's not only more powerful but should deliver respectable real-world fuel economy. Avoid the underpowered base four-cylinder engine if you can.
Edmunds' Expert Review
The three-row SX V6 feels heavier than the two-row SXL 2.0T, because it is. Handling is more ponderous, and braking distances are a few feet longer. The V6 adds a sense of urgency that's missing from the 2.0T, but you give up some athleticism.
The standard third-row seat is kid-size, and the front seats could benefit from longer bottom cushions. Otherwise, the Sorento is one comfortable crossover, featuring an impressively quiet cabin and a smooth yet well-controlled ride that's among the segment's best.
The cabin is thoughtfully designed for the most part, faltering mainly in third-row space and access, at least relative to larger crossovers. The touchscreen infotainment system is both attractive and functional. The materials quality is top-notch, with SX trims seeming properly luxurious.
The third row folds easily via pull-straps on the seatbacks (not much room behind them). The second row folds via nifty trunk-mounted remote handles. Cargo capacity is ample but still trails that of three-row rivals. Plenty of nooks for personal items.
Kia's touchscreen interfaces are some of the easiest to use, though we recommend the 7- or 8-inch Uvo3 units that include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a variety of other appealing extras. Advanced safety tech is available on all but the most basic L trim.
|Overall||7.2 / 10|
Most helpful consumer reviews
SX 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
If it didn't say Kia on the grille, you would have it at the top of your list. My sister bought a 1972 Toyota Corolla as her first car (used) and EVERYONE doubted Japanese cars. She sold it with 211,000 miles, at a time when 100,000 was considered outstanding. I think the same is now true for Korean cars... they need to prove themselves. But take the badge off and overall the Sorento trails no one. Drove the 2018 Audi Q5 and there's nothing not to like but for $15,000 more than the Kia all it had was the really cool display and a faster 0-60. Drove the Lexus RX350. Again, really nice but $12,000 more than the Kia and no Apple CarPlay and only the base engine was same HP. Drove Acura RDX. Again really nice and only 2k more but way smaller in size. Drove the Honda Pilot but after driving the Acura, it was quickly dismissed. Toyota Highlander a bit larger than Kia but an extra $9,000 for same equipment, and again the Toyota/Lexus clunky infotainment system with no Google or Apple. Then we drove the 2019 Kia Sorento. For $40,000 we received AWD and all the safety and entertainment features currently available. The interior was equal or better than everyone except the Audi. Capacity better than anyone except Toyota and Honda but enough for us. With the 3.3L V6 and the 8 speed trans on the 2019, performance is at least equal to everyone except Audi. Safety, it's the only IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus in the group. Reliability is yet to be seen for 2019 but the warranty (60/60,000 and 120/100) is by far the best and, based on past reliability, it's better than all but Lexus and Toyota. So when you put together: value #1, performance #2/3, interior quality #2, infotainment #1 and safety #1: the Kia wins. You just have to get over the fact that it says Kia on the badge.
EX 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
We shopped around for Mid size/compact SUV. After trying CRV, CX-5, Tiguan, Pilot, Highlander we settled down on Kia Sorento. The size is just right with lots of room for front and mid row passengers. The third row is good to have. The V6 engine is perfect for the weight of the vehicle to accelerate. The car handling is very nice with active safety features. The warranty is just great, gives peace of mind for 5 years bumper to bumper and 10yrs/100K on transmission. We have owned Toyota's and Lexus cars before and change to Kia brand was a big decision, we are glad we did make that right.
SX Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
In January 2018, I compared the average consumer ratings on Edmunds for midsize SUVs with at least 20 ratings in the 2017 model year. Acadia trailed the pack at 3.7. Grand Cherokee, Explorer, Highlander, Murano, and Pilot fell in a narrow 4.1- 4.3 range. Edge came in at 4.4. Sorento, Santa Fe, and CX-9 topped the list at 4.6. (By the way, there is often little relationship between consumer ratings and expert reviews of the same vehicle. For example, both Acadia and Sorento received 3.5 stars from the Edmunds expert.) While the Sorento is unchanged in 2018, some of the others are now in new editions and their 2018 ratings may turn out to be different. But it's safe to say that the current Sorento has been well received by the owners who submitted reviews to Edmunds. And this satisfaction mirrors my own. High-quality interior, quiet ride, excellent safety technology, superior warranty, peppy V6 on regular gas, Android Auto, thoughtful touches throughout (e.g., AC outlet). Shoppers should be aware that several competitors are roomier, but so far I can't find much else I'd change. Oh, I did replace the front and rear Kia badges with the more stylish “K” logo displayed on Kias sold in Korea. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this vehicle. UPDATE 9/12/20 -- I still love my 2018 Sorento, but Kia seems to have a problem with the 2019 model. Currently, Edmunds consumer ratings of the Sorento have dropped from 4.5 in both '17 and '18 to 3.9 for the 2019 model year. However, ratings of the 2020 model seem to be rebounding. UPDATE 10/5/20 -- How have the Edmunds consumer ratings of popular 2018 midsize SUVs fared after a couple of years on the road? To date, average ratings of Traverse, Acadia, Enclave, Explorer, Pilot, XT5, and Grand Cherokee are unimpressive at 3.3-3.8, while Forrester, Outlander, Durango, Murano, Sorento, and Santa Fe score well at 4.4-4.5. CX-9 leads the league with 4.6. All vehicles have at least 24 ratings. Variations in sample size and other factors require caution when interpreting small differences.
LX 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
This 2018 Kia Sorento LX V-6 is perfect for me. I didn't want a large SUV, and found this vehicle provided 'just right' passenger and storage room. Plenty of cubbyholes for various gear, enough USB and power receptacles, rear-seat passenger HVAC controls, ease of entry and exit front and rear, lots of passenger room, comfortable seats, plenty of power from the V-6 engine. I found the 4 cyl just too anemic, and I don't care for turbos. Interior finish and quality of materials are excellent. I didn't need a lot of high-tech options which are available, settling instead for a backup camera, but forgoing most of the other technology. My GPS links perfectly well and displays on the vehicle's screen so no need for navigation. U.S. News ranks the 2018 Sorento #2 in their list of the top 19 mid-sized SUVs, and I agree wholeheartedly. I shopped the GMC Acadia, Toyota Highlander, GMC Terrain, Ford Edge, and Hyundai Santa Fe, and in the end, felt the Sorento was the best value for the money spent. Build and materials quality are top-notch. So far, I am VERY pleased with my choice. Can't imagine needing or desiring any more than this vehicle offers. I received an email request from Edmunds today, asking that I update the original review of my 2018 Kia Sorento LX. I am now 8 months into the ownership and daily use of this vehicle. I have owned many different vehicles in the 60 years I have been driving. I still contend that this one is my all-time favorite. This SUV is just right for my needs; roomy enough, very comfortable, quiet, smooth, and V-6 power which never ceases to surprise me. I have read some reviews which find fault with this SUV's handling. I have never experienced any traffic or road conditions in which my Sorento handled in any manner other than perfectly. Considering the price I paid and the options included in the LX model, I cannot think of another better vehicle for me. I plan to keep this SUV for a long time, but given my satisfaction level, I would certainly seriously consider replacing it with another Sorento, should the need arise. 9/7/19 Once again, I am responding to an Edmunds request for an update on my 2018 Kia Sorento LX. During the year and-a-half in which I have owned this vehicle, I have had only one service problem. Some Sorentos of varying years have developed a 'sticky steering' situation. It is as though the tires have caught in a groove on the road, and you must exert a little steering wheel pressure to break the wheel free. It was irritating, but not a major deal for me. My Kia dealership took care of the situation. Two service visits were necessary, but even though I live a 130-mile round trip from the dealer, that wasn't a problem for me. The service department handled my complaint very well, and the dealership even gave me a nice loaner vehicle each time. I STILL love this Sorento! Quiet, smooth, great V-6 power, nice handling, plenty of room. exceptional build and material quality. I am as happy as ever with my purchase of this SUV, and plan to keep it for many more miles. 3/9/20 Once again, I am responding to Edmunds request that I update my posts of ownership of my 2018 Kia Sorento LX v-6. Everything I have posted above still holds true, including my complete satisfaction with this SUV. I currently have right at 17,000 miles logged. I have zero problems with any aspect of this vehicle. I am as satisfied with the quality of the build, ride, performance, comfort, room, and materials as with any vehicle I have ever owned, and that covers a lot of territory. I feel that I received excellent value for the money spent. Since I plan to drive this vehicle for a number of more years, I am hopeful it will remain one of my favorites. So far it has met all of my considerable expectations. As an aside, I was reading the Edmunds review of the 2020 Sorentos, and was shocked to see one comment from the testers. In their assessment they stated that even with the V-6 engine, the acceleration was lackluster. I strongly disagree. My 2018 V-6 Sorento has surprised not only me, but several passengers in situations where it became necessary to 'get on it.' It will SCOOT when needed! It is now 9/11/20, and I am answering a request from Edmunds to once again update my earlier posts regarding my opinion of my 2018 Kia Sorento LX v-6 SUV. At this point, I have 20,000 miles on this vehicle, which I purchased new in early 2018. Each positive comment I have made in my posts above, still holds true. I am just as pleased and satisfied with this SUV now, as I was when it was first purchased. Quiet, smooth, handles well, roomy, comfortable, excellent quality and performance. Absolutely zero complaints. Plan to keep it for many more miles and years. 3/14/21 Here we are three years into ownership of our 2018 Kia Sorento LX V-6. I am just as satisfied with this vehicle as I was when we purchased it new in 2018. I have no complaints, and still regard it as one of the best vehicles we have owned.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Sorento models:
- Autonomous Emergency Braking
- Warns the driver when an imminent front collision is detected. Can automatically brake if needed.
- Lane Departure Warning System
- Alerts you when the system detects that you're drifting out of your lane.
- Uvo eServices
- Includes automatic 911 calling when an airbag deploys, plus geofencing and speed alerts for secondary drivers.