Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kia Sorento - What the Auto Press Says

The 2009 Kia Sorento ranks 3 out of 27 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of 22 published reviews and test drives of the Kia Sorento, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

The Sorento delivers good value with its strong towing capacity and excellent safety ratings. However, in comparison to its class, it falls short on fuel economy and ride quality.

For 2009, the Sorento gets a revised exterior with a new front grille and sixteen-inch wheels for the EX model. Keyless entry and front active headrests are new standard features. "There are a lot of good SUVs on the market, but few that you'd call a bargain," says U.S. News' Rick Newman. "This is one." Despite a powerful engine and long warranty protection, as well as its very affordable sticker price, most reviewers feel that a rough ride detracts from the Sorento's appeal. For a smoother ride, consider the Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V.

The Sorento comes in two trims, LX and EX, with a choice of two four-wheel-drive systems.

  • "If you want an SUV with a peppy engine...the Kia may offer better value than any of its rivals." -- BusinessWeek
  • "The Sorento was very pleasant to live with for nearly two weeks and probably close to 2,000 miles." -- The Auto Channel
  • "The Sorento is a traditional body-on-frame SUV with a fully boxed chassis, a live-axle rear suspension, and optional four-wheel drive with a conventional two-speed transfer case. All of this adds up to a rugged package designed for the demands of serious off-road driving." -- Car and Driver
  • "Sorento is priced like a compact SUV yet acts like a midsize, and impresses for interior decor and features per dollar. Resale values don't match those of top Japanese brands, but those rivals don't match Kia's generous warranty." -- Consumer Guide

Sorento Performance - 7.3 (Good)

The 2009 Sorento offers good acceleration for its class -- especially with the EX's V6 engine -- but most reviewers find the ride uncomfortable. "The Sorento is surprisingly sporty," says BusinessWeek. "The engine has a definite throb when you accelerate hard, and the manual-shifting mode adds to the fun of driving it." Continue with our full Kia Sorento Performance Review to learn about the Sorento's excellent towing capacity. continue

Sorento Exterior - 8.8 (Very Good)

The Kia Sorento's exterior styling is similar to the small Sportage and receives mostly favorable reviews. It's updated for 2009 with a new front grille. U.S. News' Rick Newman says, "The Sorento is sleek and modern without looking goofy." Continue with our full Kia Sorento Exterior Review to learn why some reviewers find the Sorento's styling too bland. continue

Sorento Interior - 8.3 (Very Good)

The 2009 Kia Sorento earns praise for its interior quality, spaciousness and upscale feel. "The Sorento's interior is tasteful and, for the most part, well-made," says BusinessWeek. Continue with our full Kia Sorento Interior Review to learn why reviewers have mixed opinions on the Sorento's cargo capacity. continue

Sorento Safety - 9.9 (Excellent)

The 2009 Kia Sorento does extremely well in federal government crash tests. It also comes with plenty of safety equipment, especially for its affordable price. Continue with our full Kia Sorento Safety Review to learn how the Sorento receives some sub-par scores in crash tests conducted by the insurance industry. continue

Sorento Reliability - NA

The 2009 Kia Sorento comes with impressive warranties, including a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty. Continue with our full Kia Sorento Reliability Review to learn about its lengthy powertrain warranty. continue

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