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Kia Sorento an affordable, versatile crossover SUV



Kia-Sorento

Two years ago, the Kia Sorento redesign transformed this midsize sport utility vehicle from a truck-based model to a car-like body. The result: The Sorento now delivers a comfortable ride, which is what the majority of midsize sport utility vehicle owners desire.

Despite the redesign, the midsize crossover SUV Sorento has added a few changes for 2014. The changes include:

  • The base four-cylinder engine from 2013 was dropped, replaced by the entry-level engine, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder
  • Ride quality and steering have also been improved
  • Top-of-the-line SX-L trim level debuts

Although the Sorento used to be around the $20,000 range, those days are gone, perhaps due to the Sorento's popularity. The base price for the 2014 Sorento is now $24,100, nearly a thousand dollars over last year's entry-level model. From a money perspective, Kia's terrific drivetrain warranty of 10 years or 100,000 miles is as good as it gets.

This SUV has some serious competition in the Toyota Highlander, Dodge Journey, Honda CRV, Chevrolet Equinox and the Hyundai Santa Fe, which is produced by Kia's parent company.

The Sorento is offered in four-cylinder and V6 engines with a lot of variety, depending on your desires. Although the Sorento offers third-row seating, it's not that spacious, but is a little more tolerable for its occupants than similar SUVs.

The changes in the Sorento included a stylish grille and attractive headlights. Also new is the punch that a Sorento can provide. Three of its models feature a 3.3, V6 with 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque that is capable of going 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds.

2013 Kia Sorento

  • Performance: 2.4-liter, four-cylinder, 191 horsepower; 3.3-liter, V6, 276 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 18-26 mpg
  • Price: $24,100 to $38,300
  • Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain 10 years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance 5 years/60,000

The base model, which we tested on some mountainous terrain in Colorado and Wyoming two years ago, has some pep as well with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder that has 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque.

The Sorento provides enviable handling for a modestly priced crossover. If there is a complaint, it's the Sorento feels the bumps and uneven pavement a bit too much at higher speeds.

The Sorento cabin is well thought out and provides easy-to-master climate and audio controls. This crossover is also a good one for short or long trips for passengers in the first two rows, while the cargo room is ample. A downside with the Sorento interior is too much hard plastic.

Like many of Kia vehicles, the Sorento has a lot of positives - low sticker price, good performance, solid gas mileage, and seating versatility. It definitely warrants a serious look when shopping for a midsize SUV.

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Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at skiweidel@gmail.com
Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.




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