Bigger than the typical midsize crossover SUV but not as large as the full-size family haulers, the Kia Sorento has distinctive appeal for shoppers who are not satisfied with more common offerings. For 2018, the Sorento gets more standard equipment and receives minor adjustments to its optional features. But it still comes in your choice of five- or seven-passenger configuration, and it retains Kia's impressive five-year limited and 10-year powertrain warranties. The 2018 Kia Sorento starts at an MSRP of $25,800.
The Sorento offers more space and practicality than its five-seat rivals yet is less expensive and less cumbersome to drive than most large SUVs. It's well made, has ample feature content for the money, and sports a stylish, high-quality interior. On the other hand, the Sorento's 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 full-size three-row SUV. The base four-cylinder engine is underpowered for the vehicle's size.
The Sorento's unique size and long list of standard features will appeal to many shoppers. Still, we'd advise you to consider a few competitors. For example, the Ford Edge lacks the option of a third row, but it still has plenty of room for people and cargo. The midsize Honda Pilot can seat up to eight in its comfortable, high-quality interior, and it even has a bit of off-road capability. The three-row Hyundai Santa Fe offers an appealing mix of features for an affordable price and is comfortable and easy to drive. But if you like the idea of owning a vehicle that neatly bridges the gap between big and small, we think the 2018 Sorento is a great choice.Compare similar vehicles
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The 2018 Kia Sorento is available in five trim levels: L (starting at an MSRP of $25,800), LX ($27,100 MSRP), EX ($33,000 MSRP), SX ($39,100 MSRP) and SX Limited ($44,400 MSRP). Those are prices for the front-wheel-drive versions. Opting for all-wheel drive, which is available on all trims except the L, will add another $2,790 to the LX and $1,800 to the other models. The 3.3-liter V6 engine, standard on the SX and SX Limited and not available on the L, will add $2,400 to the LX and $1,100 to the EX. We like the Sorento EX with the optional V6 engine. It comes with seven seats and an abundance of useful features at a price that undercuts bigger three-row crossovers. Avoid the underpowered base four-cylinder engine if you can.Compare Sorento versions
If the Sorento's approach to size and seat configuration appeals to you, you'll likely find it to be an affordable choice. Features on the EX trim with the V6 engine ($34,100) include 18-inch wheels, foglights, a sunroof, a hands-free liftgate, leather upholstery and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. That's less than you'll pay for a Ford Edge Titanium, a Honda Pilot EX-L or a Hyundai Santa Fe SE Ultimate. Note that incentives and specials vary by brand and can play a significant role in what you'll end up paying for a new car.
Edmunds can help you find a great local price on a 2018 Kia Sorento. Check out our 2018 Kia Sorento Pricing page for the latest exclusive offers in your area.View Sorento incentives and deals
Slotted between its larger and smaller rivals, the Kia Sorento offers something different for shoppers who are looking for more room than a compact SUV but who don't want the bulk of the bigger models. The Sorento's third-row seat is a bit cramped for adults — more so, for example, than the more commodious Honda Pilot — but it's ideal for families with small children. We gave the Sorento an overall rating of 3.5 stars.
With its available third row, the Sorento gets the advantage over the five-passenger Edge when it comes to seating. Like the Sorento, the Edge's base four-cylinder engine can be a tad underwhelming, making the V6 the powerplant of choice. Based on its better comfort, utility and interior design, we gave the Edge a four-star rating.Compare Sorento and Edge
The Kia shines when it comes to price, making it a good value option. Buyers who don't need the Pilot's extra volume will appreciate the Sorento's midlevel approach to size. But if you plan to carry adults in the third row, the Pilot is a better choice. And due to its superior comfort, interior design and utility, we rated the Pilot at four stars, compared to 3.5 stars for the Sorento.Compare Sorento and Pilot
The Sorento's more expensive cousin, the Hyundai Santa Fe, is available in three trim levels with just one engine option. That means quicker decision-making but fewer personal choices. Despite the Santa Fe's larger size, its third-row seat doesn't provide much comfort for adults, but it does come well equipped and features a nicely designed interior. This choice will come down to the shopper's preference for size and price.Compare Sorento and Santa Fe
The 2018 Kia Sorento can seat either five or seven passengers. Firm padding in the front seats is a plus on long trips, but the bottom cushions could prove too short for some. The nicely shaped second-row seats slide and recline. The available third-row seat may be kid-size, but for families who need it, the extra passenger room will be appreciated. Overall, the cabin is thoughtfully designed, providing a decent amount of useful space and a good number of interior features for the money.
The Sorento's second row has two seating positions with complete child seat attachment hardware in the outboard locations. The center seat only has a tether anchor.Sorento safety ratings
The Sorento's interior materials are class-competitive, with abundant soft-touch surfaces and even simulated stitching on some panels. The EX comes with leather upholstery on the first- and second-row seating surfaces, and the SX Limited model ups the ante with premium leather. Heated front seats are standard on EX and higher trim levels, and the SX Limited adds heated seats for second-row passengers.
Cargo capacity in the Sorento is ample compared to its smaller competitors but still trails that of three-row rivals. Configuring the Sorento for cargo-hauling is aided by a second-row seat that folds via trunk-mounted remote handles and a third row that folds easily via pull-straps on the seatbacks. There's a total of 73 cubic feet of space available behind the front seats and 38 cubic feet behind the second row, but only 11.3 cubic feet behind the third row.
The Sorento's touchscreen interfaces are some of the easiest to use in its class. The base model includes Bluetooth connectivity with a 4.3-inch touchscreen, a USB port and steering-wheel-mounted controls. However, we recommend the 7- or 8-inch Uvo3 units, which are standard on the EX and SX models, respectively. They include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a variety of other appealing extras. The SX trim also gets you an integrated voice-command navigation system.
Shoppers looking for a bit of extra top-end power will want to opt for the 3.3-liter V6 rather than the standard 2.4-liter four. The six-cylinder — optional on the LX and EX, and standard on the SX and SX Limited — makes 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque, compared to 185 hp and 178 lb-ft for the base four-cylinder. Also standard only on the EX is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 240 hp and 260 lb-ft, which provide plenty of off-the-line zip. All engines come mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all but the L can be ordered with all-wheel drive.
The Sorento can be expected to return fuel economy that's in line with that of most competitors. A front-wheel-drive Sorento with the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is EPA-rated at a combined 24 mpg (21 city/28 highway). You give up a bit with the 3.3-liter V6, which will deliver 20 mpg combined (18 city/25 highway). And the 2.0-liter turbo-four is rated at 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway). Expect all-wheel-drive models to lower these figures by 1 or 2 mpg.
The Sorento has one of the most refined rides of any non-luxury-brand crossover, making it an excellent choice for road trips. Steering is light, but it is a tad short on feedback. And while the V6 provides smoothness and power, its extra weight means it's not quite as responsive as the four-cylinder models. If you care about acceleration and passing ability, the V6 is an easy choice, but it doesn't feel as light on its feet.
The Sorento's ground clearance is a modest 7.3 inches. Its all-wheel-drive system includes an electronically lockable 50-50 front and rear torque split, which could be useful in low-traction scenarios. All in all, it's winter-ready, but it's clearly not an off-roader.
With the base four-cylinder engine, the L and LX Sorento trims with front-wheel drive are rated for towing 2,000 pounds. The EX turbo can tow 3,500 pounds in either front- or all-wheel-drive configuration. All other models are rated for 3,500 pounds in front-wheel-drive versions and 5,000 pounds with all-wheel drive.
In government crash tests, the 2018 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. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2018 Sorento a Top Safety Pick and awarded it the best possible score of Good in the small-overlap front-impact, moderate-overlap front-impact, side-impact and roof-strength tests. The Sorento's seat and head restraint design was also rated Good for whiplash protection.
Standard safety features on all 2018 Kia Sorento models include antilock disc brakes, traction control, electronic stability control, front-seat side airbags, first- and second-row side curtain airbags, and a rearview camera. Other available safety technologies include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, rear parking sensors, a surround-view monitor, and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic emergency braking.
The 2018 Kia Sorento SUV is available in five trim levels: L, LX, EX, SX and SX Limited. The base L model is only available with the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which many shoppers will find to be lacking in power. In addition, the L trim can't be ordered with all-wheel drive. Most buyers will be happier with the turbocharged engine, which is standard in the EX, or the V6, which can be ordered with the LX trim, the nicely outfitted EX, or the even better-equipped SX and SX Limited models.
For most buyers, we think the EX with the V6 provides the best combination of performance, features, comfort and value. This trim level comes with a host of technology features and near-luxury touches that put it well above the lower models while staying under the price point of the top-of-the-line SX Limited. But shoppers who demand the latest in driver-assist and safety tech might want to add those features as optional equipment on some Sorento models or opt for the SX Limited, on which they're standard.
Standard features for the base L include 17-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, selectable drive modes, a height-adjustable driver seat and Bluetooth connectivity. Also included are a six-speaker sound system with a 4.3-inch display, 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. It can also be ordered with the V6 engine, as well as several optional packages that add such items as heated seats, automatic climate control, an upgraded infotainment system, and a number of automated safety features.
The EX gets the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with the option of a V6. It also includes eight-way power-adjustable driver and passenger seats, heated front seats, a dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 7-inch Uvo touchscreen interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. Also standard are 18-inch wheels, foglights, a hands-free liftgate, power-folding mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, noise-reducing front side windows, leather upholstery, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. An available Advanced Technology package adds several automated driver-assist and safety features.
The SX comes standard with the V6 and includes upgraded steering, 19-inch wheels, LED running lights, upgraded exterior trim, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, a 10-way power driver seat, driver-seat memory settings, an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system and a 10-speaker Infinity sound system. It can also be equipped with the Advanced Technology package, comparable to what's on the LX V6 model with the addition of xenon headlights, ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
The SX Limited comes with most of the features of the lower trim levels but also includes the Advanced Technology package as standard equipment. In addition, the SX Limited adds 19-inch chrome wheels, upgraded premium leather upholstery, heated second-row seats and a wood-trimmed steering wheel.
Kia's basic warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles of use. There's also a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and five years/60,000 miles of roadside assistance.
If you're ready to buy, you're probably wondering about Kia Sorento resale value. How much will a Kia Sorento be worth in two years or five years — or whenever you decide to sell? Check out the Edmunds True Cost to Own (TCO) calculator. It includes projected annual depreciation over the first five years of ownership based on Edmunds' robust market transaction data.
Kia builds the 2018 Sorento in the United States. According to the government, 51 percent of four-cylinder Sorento models and 45 percent of V6 models have content that comes from North American suppliers.
|EPA Est. MPG||20|
|Drive Train||Front Wheel Drive|
|Passenger Volume||154.2 cu ft|
|Curb Weight||3968 lbs|