2018 Kia Sorento Review
Edmunds expert review
Kudos to Kia for offering something a little different. Designed to be bigger than the typical five-passenger midsize crossover SUV but not as large as a seven-row family hauler, the 2018 Kia Sorento has distinctive appeal for shoppers not satisfied with more common offerings.
Available in five- and seven-passenger configurations, the Sorento offers more space and practicality than its five-seat rivals yet is less expensive and less cumbersome to drive than the big boys. At the same time, it gives up nothing in terms of interior quality and feature content. Indeed, these are reasons why the Sorento is worth a look regardless of which seating configuration you're considering. There's actually even more standard feature content for 2018, and, since it's a Kia, you still get its tremendous five-year limited and 10-year powertrain warranties.
The Sorento isn't for everyone. After all, its middle-of-the-road approach means it's ultimately more expensive than a typical four-cylinder, five-passenger crossover and not as commodious as a large three-row crossover SUV. But if you like the idea of owning a vehicle that does a little bit of both, we think the 2018 Sorento is a great choice.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Kia Sorento is available in five trim levels: L, LX, EX, SX and SX Limited. There are also three engines available. The L and LX come standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (185 horsepower, 178 pound-feet of torque). Only the EX comes standard with the 2.0T turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (240 hp, 260 lb-ft). A 3.3-liter V6 (290 hp, 252 lb-ft) is optional on the LX and EX, and it comes standard on the SX and SX Limited.
Every engine comes equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all but the L can be ordered with all-wheel drive. A third-row seat comes standard on V6-powered Sorentos and the all-wheel-drive LX; it's optional on the front-wheel-drive LX.
Standard feature highlights for the base L include 17-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, selectable drive modes, a height-adjustable driver seat, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio, a CD player and a USB port.
The LX adds a noise-reducing windshield, roof rails and two extra USB ports. With all-wheel drive, it comes with seven seats and a windshield de-icer.
The LX's optional Convenience package pads on rear parking sensors, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with lumbar adjustment), heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 7-inch Uvo touchscreen interface that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The Cool and Connected package is similar but adds just the climate control and Uvo system. The LX V6 can be equipped with the Advanced Technology package that adds a forward collision warning system, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and an electronic parking brake.
The EX gets the content of the Convenience package as standard and further adds the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, 18-inch wheels, foglights, a hands-free liftgate, power-folding mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, noise-reducing front side windows, an eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat, leather upholstery, second-row retractable sunshades and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Advance Touring package (standard with EX V6) includes a panoramic sunroof, LED interior lighting, a 110-volt household style outlet and everything from the Advanced Technology package.
The SX comes standard with the V6 and includes upgraded steering, 19-inch wheels, LED running lights, upgraded exterior trim, automatic wipers, the panoramic sunroof, a 10-way power driver seat (with four-way lumbar adjustment), driver-seat memory settings, an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, and a 10-speaker Infinity sound system. It can also be equipped with an Advanced Technology package, which is comparable to the LX V6 version but adds xenon headlights, ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
The SX Limited comes with 19-inch chrome-clad wheels, upgraded leather upholstery, heated second-row seats, a wood-trim steering wheel and the SX's Advanced Technology package.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our Full Test of the 2016 Kia Sorento SX (3.3L V6 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Sorento has received only minor revisions. Our findings remain applicable to this year's Sorento.
Noise & vibration8.5
Ease of use8.0
Getting in/getting out7.0
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.