Kia has steadily been working on its image, especially in the hot-selling crossover segment, and it has made massive strides recently. Just last year, the Sorento received a full overhaul, putting it in a spot to better compete with more premium models in its class. Now, with a year under its belt, the 2017 Sorento is primed to continue its success.

Pricing and Equipment

As with all Kia models, the Sorento is put in a position to deliver great value, which is evidenced by its starting price of $25,400 for the base L trim with front-wheel drive. Even at this low price point, the Sorento L is pretty well equipped with features like:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • LED running lights
  • Tilt and telescoping steering wheel
  • Bluetooth phone and audio
  • Sliding and reclining second-row seats

There is a whole other side to the 2017 Sorento in the form of the fully loaded Limited V6 trim that has the features to compete with some luxury crossovers.

Performance Pros

The Sorento’s V6 and 2-liter turbo engines offer all the performance most shoppers will need. What’s more, the Sorento offers an unexpectedly high towing capacity.

  • 290-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 is great for buyers looking to tow up to 5,000 pounds
  • Easily accessible 260 pound-feet of torque from the 2-liter makes for a responsive throttle
  • Differential lock helps tackle tougher conditions, like snow or deep mud
  • We find the turbocharged model’s steering and suspension more responsive and easier to toss around

Performance Cons

The Sorento’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine isn’t anything special and feels out of place next to the two optional engines. Despite respectable ground clearance, we don’t suggest trying anything more than light off-road duties in the Sorento.

  • Standard four-cylinder engine is a little wheezy at 185 horsepower
  • Look up "soft-roader" in the dictionary and you'll see the Sorento
  • No available all-wheel drive in the base L trim

Interior Pros

Kia Sorento

While the base L trim is a little on the simpler side, we find the higher trim levels pack amazing features into this value-oriented crossover. We feel plenty comfortable behind the wheel as things are right where we expect them to be and the seats are plenty comfortable for long hauls.

  • Available Nappa leather upholstery and piano-black accent in the Limited trim
  • Available third row for larger families
  • Soft-touch materials on all the main touch points
  • Third-row seats were roomier than expected

Interior Cons

Yes, the Sorento has an amazing cabin, but we wouldn’t say it is perfect. We find that the second-row bench is a little on the short side, making for a bit of a squeeze getting three people in it. It’s also a little odd that we can’t get a third row with the turbo engine.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Kia Sorento

Towing is never the strongest trait of any crossover, but for a midsize people hauler like the 2017 Sorento to be able to tow up to 5,000 pounds was pretty impressive. Even the 2,000-pound capacity of the base model with front-wheel drive was a pleasant surprise.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

We find the limited availability of active-safety features a little strange in the 2017 Sorento. Sure, we are able to get all of the latest and greatest, like lane departure warning, frontal crash warning, a surround-view camera system, and adaptive cruise control, but only as an optional package on the SX-L trim. We’d expect an option to get all of these features without needing all of the fancy upgrades, but there isn’t one.

The Bottom Line

The Kia Sorento will give any crossover buyer a reason to think twice about their choice. It has all the features the buyers want on the upper end of the spectrum and the affordable price on the lower end, making it a model that fits the needs of many buyers.