James Flammang
Contributing Editor - June 3, 2016

2017 Kia Sorento OVERVIEW

For a compact crossover, the Kia Sorento has always been generously sized. Last year’s redesign pushed it even further toward midsize status. Kia continues to deliver excellent value in its products. Given its seven-passenger capacity and available V6 engine, the current Sorento can serve as a legitimate alternative to larger, more costly vehicles.

What's New for 2017

Completely redesigned for the 2016 model year, the Sorento adopted a more sophisticated appearance and overall feel, with a stronger body structure and upgraded interior materials. For 2017, autonomous emergency braking has been added to various option packages, and to the SX Limited model. The EX edition adds paddle shifters.

Choosing Your Kia Sorento

Sorentos are available with either five- or seven-passenger seating. In seven-passenger models, the second row slides and reclines to provide the best balance of passenger and cargo room. Third-row seating is standard with the V6, but unavailable on four-cylinder models. With all rows folded, the Sorento can handle up to 74 cubic feet of cargo.

Three engines are available under Sorento hoods. The roster starts with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 185 horsepower, standard in L and LX models. Standard in the EX edition is a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder that produces 240 horsepower. Top choice is a 3.3-liter V6 that achieves 290 horsepower. Standard in SX and SX Limited trim levels, the V6 is also optional for LX and EX Sorentos.

Each engine mates with a six-speed automatic transmission. All except the L model are available with all-wheel drive as an alternative to standard front-drive. Selectable driving modes (Sport, Normal, Eco) allow the driver to tweak transmission performance and steering effort. A properly-equipped V6 Sorento with all-wheel drive can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Sorento engines and seating configurations are determined by the trim level:


Powered by the 2.4-liter engine, with five-passenger seating, the “entry-level” Sorento comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, Bluetooth wireless phone and audio, a rear spoiler, and satellite radio. Seats are upholstered in YES Essentials fabric.


Builds on the L, adding roof rails, an acoustic windshield, and a rearview camera. The optional Convenience package adds heated front seats with 10-way power for the driver, rear parking sensors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, Kia’s UVO telematics, and an auto-dimming mirror. Models so equipped are eligible for a third row. The LX V6 adds the V6 engine and third-row seating, along with automatic headlights.


Comes with the 2-liter turbo engine and the contents of the Convenience package as standard, plus leather seating for five passengers, dual-zone automatic climate control, acoustic front side glass, and 18-inch wheels. Kia's UVO infotainment and app interface is standard The EX V6 adds the V6 engine and third-row seating.

The available Premium package tacks on a hands-free power liftgate, power-folding mirrors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Models with the Premium package are also eligible for the Advanced Touring package, which adds a panoramic sunroof and power rear sunshade, as well as such safety features as forward collision and lane-departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and autonomous emergency braking.


Gets the V6 and third-row seating plus contents of the Premium and Touring packages as standard. Also included are a driver’s memory, upgraded steering, 19-inch wheels, LED taillamps, additional exterior trim, and a fabric headliner.

SX Limited V6

For a hefty $45,700, the SX Limited V6 tops off the Sorento lineup with 19-inch chrome wheels, chrome accent side sills, upgraded Nappa leather upholstery, a heated woodgrain/leather-wrapped steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and heated second-row seats. Xenon HID headlights have automatic leveling. Exclusive to the SX Limited is a group of safety features, including a surround-view parking camera, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, forward collision alert, and an electronic parking brake.

CarsDirect Tip

There's a monstrous $20,000 spread between the base MSRP for a Sorento L model, versus an SX Limited V6. If you want space for seven and lively acceleration, we recommend compromising with an EX V6. Or, to keep costs down, an LX with either a four-cylinder engine or a V6 might suffice nicely.

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