Kia Sorento

#1 in Midsize SUVs Overall Score: 8.7 / 10
2017 Kia Sorento View More Photos »
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2017 Kia Sorento Overview

The 2017 Kia Sorento ranks 1 out of 19 Midsize SUVs.

The 2017 Kia Sorento is a versatile crossover that rates highly in a competitive class thanks to a powerful V6 engine, many user-friendly tech features, and the availability of third-row seats. It also has excellent safety and reliability ratings, and its low starting price makes it a great value.

SEATING


5-7

MPG


17-21

  CITY


23-28

  HWY

DRIVETRAIN


FWD, AWD

HP


185-290
See full 2017 Kia Sorento specs ยป

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to use infotainment system
  • Potent V6 engine
  • Stable handling
  • Quality interior
  • Weak standard engine
  • Limited options for base model

Notable for 2017

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now available
  • New safety features include adaptive headlights and automatic emergency braking

Kia Sorento Rankings and Research

The 2017 Kia Sorento ranking is based on its score within the Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Kia Sorento has a score of 8.7 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 24 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

Scorecard

Overall: 8.7
Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 8.3
Safety: 9.7
Reliability: 4_0

Rankings

2017 Kia Sorento Pictures

2017 Kia Sorento Review

By Cody Trotter June 30, 2017

The 2017 Kia Sorento is a versatile crossover that rates highly in a competitive class thanks to a powerful V6 engine, many user-friendly tech features, and the availability of third-row seats. It also has excellent safety and reliability ratings, and its low starting price makes it a great value.

Is the Kia Sorento a Good SUV?

The 2017 Sorento is a good SUV, which is why the Kia crossover finishes near the top of our midsize SUV rankings. It also performs well in our rankings of the best 3-row SUVs. Not only does the Sorento do well in our rankings, but it also won our 2017 Best 3-Row SUV for the Money award, because it has the best combination of quality and value in the class. 

The base Sorento seats five, but an optional third row expands seating to seven. The interior is nice, cargo space is about average for the class, and there are plenty of available features. The Sorento offers a powerful V6 engine, and though the base engine feels fairly weak, it gets great gas mileage for the class. The Sorento has one of the highest safety ratings in the class and is backed by one of the best warranties on the market. 

Should I Buy the Kia Sorento?

We extolled many of the 2017 Sorento's virtues in the preceding paragraph, but the midsize SUV class is littered with good choices, so there are plenty of options to choose from beyond the Kia crossover. For example, the Sorento is available with a third row, but perhaps you want something that's a 3-row SUV regardless of which trim you choose. In that case, the Honda Pilot, with roomy seating for eight, may be for you. If price is a primary factor for you, the Hyundai Santa Fe is refreshed for the 2017 model year, and the 2-row Sport model is one of the few midsize SUVs with a lower starting price than the Sorento.

These are just a couple alternatives in a loaded vehicle class, but there's nothing that says you need to shop around. There's a lot to like about the Sorento, and there's a reason why it performs so well in our rankings. If you read this review and decide that the Sorento is the car for you, you can feel confident that you're making a smart purchase.

Compare the Sorento, Pilot, and Santa Fe »

We Did the Research for You: 24 Pieces of Data Analyzed

To help you decide whether a 2017 Kia Sorento is right for you, we've thoroughly analyzed 24 pieces of data about the Sorento, including crash test results, EPA estimates, reliability ratings, and professional reviews. We've combined all of that information to create an accurate and complete overview of this Kia crossover SUV. In short, we've done all of the legwork, so you don't have to.

Why You Can Trust Us

We've been ranking cars for nearly a decade, and our team has a combined 75 years' worth of experience in the automotive industry. Our writers and editors do not accept expensive gifts or trips that are paid for by car companies, and all of the advertising on our site is handled by a third party. As a result, you can trust that the information about the cars in all of our reviews is unbiased and presented with the sole aim of helping you make a smart buying decision.

How Much Does the Kia Sorento Cost?

Despite finishing high in our midsize SUV rankings, the 2017 Sorento has one of the lowest base prices in the class. The Sorento L (base) trim starts at $25,400, which is thousands less than most of the competition. The popular LX trim starts at $26,700. If you want the V6 engine, which is one of the most powerful in the class, you can jump to the LX V6 trim, which starts at $28,990.

The EX and EX V6 trims start at $31,500 and $33,100, respectively, and come standard with comfort and convenience features like leather seats, heated front seats, and the UVO infotainment system, which are optional in some lower trims. Though the option packages can cost a few grand, the EX V6 is arguably the best value in the Sorento lineup.

The most expensive trims are the SX ($38,600) and the SX Limited V6 ($43,600). Though starting prices that approach and exceed $40,000 seem like they're pushing the upper limits for midsize SUV pricing, they actually aren't bad. Because almost every feature you can get in a Sorento comes standard in the highest trim, the price doesn't go up a whole lot from there, so in terms of price, a fully loaded Sorento is comparable to or less expensive than many class rivals.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Kia dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Kia deals page.

Kia Sorento Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Kia Sorento or Hyundai Santa Fe?

The Hyundai Santa Fe has been refreshed for the 2017 model year and, like the Sorento, is available in two- or three--row models for a nearly identical base price. However, unlike the Sorento, the Santa Fe has a bevy of option packages for the base model that include goodies like a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, leather seating, and advanced safety technologies. Choosing the Santa Fe will allow you to get more features at a lower price. The Santa Fe also features a handful of engine choices and one of the sportier rides in the class. If you only need two rows of seats, the Santa Fe Sport (starting at $22,700) is the model for you. But if you think you'll need that third row, you should consider the longer Santa Fe (starting at ($30,800). There's no doubt that the Santa Fe holds its own in a crowded class, but at the end of the day, it just doesn't have enough advantages to justify choosing it over the Sorento.

Which Is Better: Kia Sorento or Honda Pilot?

Though it starts at about $5,000 more than the Sorento, the Honda Pilot ranks high on our list of best midsize SUVs. It comes standard with a third row that actually has enough room for full-sized adults to sit in. A standard V6 engine gives you enough muscle under the hood, while the cabin remains pleasantly quiet. Adding a V6 engine and third-row seats to the Sorento lowers the price differential to just over $1,300. The Pilot also features an upscale interior with attractive surfaces and materials that almost compare to luxury brands, which becomes more apparent if you opt for leather seats. When it comes to cargo space, the Pilot easily bests the Sorento, and it gets better fuel economy than a V6-equipped Sorento. There are plenty of reasons to like the Pilot and the Sorento, and when both are comparably equipped, it really comes down to whether you prefer the slightly more upscale interior of the Pilot or the slightly higher safety ratings of the Sorento.

Which Is Better: Kia Sorento or Kia Sportage?

If you're thinking that a midsize SUV might be bigger than you really need, you should consider the Kia Sportage, which is one of our highest-ranking compact SUVs. The Sportage has spacious seating for five people and a long list of available features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The Sportage has average cargo space for its class, but the Sorento, being a larger SUV, still has significantly more cargo room. The Sportage delivers a smooth ride and remains poised around corners, and it performs well in crash tests. The Sportage also gets slightly better gas mileage than the Sorento. And because it's also a Kia, the Sportage has the same great warranty that comes with the Sorento. Essentially, the Sportage has many of the same strengths (relative to its class) as the Sorento but in a smaller package. If you like the Sorento but want something a little smaller, the Sportage may be a good fit for you.

Compare the Sorento, Santa Fe, and Sportage »

Sorento Interior

How Many People Does the Sorento Seat?

The 2017 Kia Sorento seats five people on standard cloth seating. The Sorento does have optional third-row seating (available in models with the base engine or optional V6) that boosts seating capacity to seven. Other optional amenities include leather seating, heated front- and second-row seats, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

The Sorento offers ample room for most passengers, with especially spacious legroom and knee room for those in the second row. The second-row seats also slide and recline to provide even more space to stretch out. However, the optional third-row seats are only adequate for smaller adults or children.

Sorento and Car Seats

The Sorento's LATCH system for installing car seats earns a rating of Acceptable (the second-highest rating) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Each rear outboard seat has a full set of LATCH connectors, and the rear middle seat has a tether anchor.

The tether anchors are easily found, but it's possible to confuse other hardware for the anchor, so double-check that you're not securing a car seat to the wrong apparatus. The lower anchors are a breeze; they aren't too deep in the seat, and it doesn't take much force to snap in a car seat.

LATCH systems are found in virtually every new car nowadays, but that doesn't mean they're all alike. If you have several young children, the Honda Pilot, which has four full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors, may be more your speed. Or if you want a more highly rated system, the Toyota Highlander's earns a rating of Good (the highest rating) from the IIHS.

Sorento Interior Quality

The 2017 Kia Sorento features impressive cabin design and build quality, with interior materials that evoke a premium feel. Some critics, however, note that interior quality varies noticeably depending on the trim level.

Sorento Cargo Space

The 2017 Sorento has average cargo capacity for the class, with about 38 cubic feet behind the second row of seats and 73 cubic feet with all seats folded. Models equipped with a third row offer 11.3 cubic feet of space behind it. The Sorento offers good space with all the seats down, and an optional smart liftgate automatically opens when you stand behind it with the key fob.

The Sorento doesn't have as much cargo space as 3-row rivals like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, but it does have about as much space as a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and more space than two-row rivals such as the Nissan Murano and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Without the optional third-row seat, the Sorento gives you plenty of room to store luggage for a trip (the average carry-on is about 1.4 cubic feet) or cart a large dog around (a Labrador needs about 13 cubic feet of space). If you need the third row of seats, there's still enough space for a grocery trip (grocery bags are about 1.3 cubic feet) without putting the seats down.

Sorento Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the 2017 Sorento include satellite radio, Bluetooth, and a USB port. Optional features include a 4.3 inch touch-screen audio display, Kia’s UVO infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, navigation, HD Radio, a 10-speaker Infinity sound system, a three-prong power outlet, push-button start, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a panoramic sunroof.

The base Sorento has few standard features, and there are no option packages available for it. To get access to more options, you’ll have to upgrade to a higher trim. The UVO infotainment system is easy to use and functions well. Other physical buttons around the dashboard are easily accessible and control frequently used commands like volume. The Sorento also sees the addition of new technology for 2017: The UVO infotainment system is newly available with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which make it easier than ever to sync your smartphone with your vehicle and use many of your favorite apps.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

Sorento Performance

Sorento Engine: Underpowered Base Engine

The 2017 Sorento features an automatic transmission and a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 185 horsepower. Other available engines include a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 240 horsepower and is only found in the EX trim. The Sorento's available third row is available in models that feature either the base engine or optional V6 (details below). The turbo-four-powered EX trim is unavailable with the third row.

A 3.3-liter V6 that puts out 290 horsepower is optional in LX and EX trims and standard with the SX and Limited trims. The base engine’s power is among the weakest in the class, while the V6 is more powerful than most other rivals.

The base engine offers adequate to underpowered performance, while the V6 provides enough strength to move the Sorento around with ease. Opinions are split about the turbocharged engine: some think it offers great low-end power, while others find it lacking. You may have to test-drive it to determine whether or not it's the right choice for you.

Sorento Gas Mileage: Base Engine's High MPG Ratings Make Cents

What the base engine lacks in power it makes up for with efficiency. A base Sorento gets an estimated 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, which are good numbers for the class. The turbocharged engine is a little less efficient, at 20 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway, while the V6 only gets 18/25 mpg city/highway. It may not sound like there's a huge difference in those mpg estimates, but sticking with the base engine instead of upgrading to the V6 will save the average driver about $250 per year in gas money. The base Sorento also stacks up well against other midsize SUVs; it'll save you about $100 in gas money per year over the Honda Pilot, and you'll spend about as much on gas as you would in a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.

Sorento Ride and Handling: The SX is Good

The 2017 Sorento comes standard with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is optional. The steering is controlled and provides good response. Overall ride quality is good, as the Sorento handles rough roads well and stays quiet inside.

Sorento Dimensions and Weight

The Sorento's dimensions are fairly typical for a midsize SUV. Its 187.4 inches long (about 15.5 feet) and 74.4 inches wide (about 6.25 feet). The wheelbase is 109.4 inches (just over 9 feet). The curb weight varies depending on the trim and whether you opt for all-wheel drive or not (AWD models are heavier), but it ranges from 3,704 to 4,343 pounds.

Sorento Towing Capacity

Midsize SUVs aren't the most formidable towing vehicles, but most of them are capable of moderate towing. When properly equipped, front-wheel-drive Sorento models have a max towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, and all-wheel-drive models have a maximum capacity of 5,000 pounds. That means that an AWD Sorento has enough power to tow a fully loaded 6-by-12-foot U-Haul trailer, which tops out around 4,400 pounds.

Read more about performance »

Sorento Reliability

Is the Kia Sorento Reliable?

The Sorento receives a reliability score of four out of five from J.D. Power and Associates, making it one of the most reliable vehicles on the road.

Kia Sorento Warranty

Kia covers the 2017 Sorento with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. That's one of the best warranties on the market, and the Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the few class rivals that can match it. Most competitors, like the Honda Pilot and Nissan Murano, have shorter warranties.

Read more about reliability »

Sorento Safety

Sorento Crash Test Results

The 2017 Sorento earns some of the highest safety marks in the class, with excellent safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. IIHS awarded the Sorento its coveted Top Safety Pick+ designation and perfect scores on individual crash tests. NHTSA gave the Sorento a five-star overall crash test rating. In its class, the Sorento shares its impressive safety scores with the Nissan Murano, Buick Enclave, and Chevy Traverse, while the Hyundai Santa Fe leads the class.

Sorento Safety Features

The Sorento offers a wide selection of driver assistance technologies, but to get them, you’ll have to upgrade from the base trim and then purchase them as part of a package. These advanced features include a rearview camera, rear park assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. Many competitors in the class feature a rearview camera as standard equipment. In the highest trim, a 360-degree surround-view camera comes standard. The Sorento is one of only a few vehicles in the class to offer this feature, along with competitors like the Nissan Murano and Toyota Highlander.

Read more about safety »

Which Kia Sorento Model Is Right for Me?

The Kia Sorento was redesigned for the 2016 model year. Changes to the 2017 Sorento include the availability of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, as well as new safety features.

The 2017 Kia Sorento is available in a variety of trim levels that range from $25,400 to more than $45,000. Depending on the trim, the Sorento comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, a 3.3-liter V6 engine, or a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. An automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard in all models, and all-wheel drive can be added to any trim but the base for $1,800. All V6-equipped models include a third row of seats, though you can also get a third row in models with the base engine as well. You can also add remote ignition to any model for $425.

The Sorento's base model has very few standard and available features, so unless price is your primary concern, it's probably not the best option for you. The middle trims are available with many desirable tech features, but you don't really have access to the high-end comfort and driver assistance features unless you spring for one of the top trims.

Overall, the trim that gives you the most bang for your buck is the EX V6 trim. It has a starting price just over $33,000, which still leaves it closer to the base model than the top trim in terms of cost. It comes with the V6 engine, which is one of the most powerful engines in the class. The EX V6 also has a good selection of features, and if you're willing to spend an extra $3,700 on option packages, you can equip it with many of the best tech and active safety features available in the Sorento.

Kia Sorento L

The base trim is the Sorento L, which starts at $25,400 and comes with the 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine. Standard features are sparse, with only cloth seating, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and a USB port. There are no option packages available for the base model.

Kia Sorento LX

Upgrading to the LX trim ($26,700) adds a standard 4.3-inch touch-screen display, a rearview camera, and two USB ports, as well as access to a number of other options. For $1,800, the Convenience package includes dual-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, rear parking assist, and Kia’s UVO infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. If you need more room than the standard five seats, a Third-Row Seating package is available for $1,490 on top of the Convenience package. The Advanced Technology package costs $1,500 with purchase of the previous two packages and includes many advanced safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

The LX V6 trim comes with the V6 engine and costs $28,990. It includes all features found in the LX trim, as well as a third row. With this trim, the Convenience package retails for $2,500 and adds blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and third-row air conditioning vents and controls to the features in the regular LX Convenience package. For $1,000, you can get the same Advanced Technology package that’s available for the LX trim.

Kia Sorento EX

Starting at $31,500, the EX trim includes attractive standard features like the UVO infotainment system, rear parking sensors, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and heated front seats. Options include a Premium package for $1,600 that adds an automatic power liftgate, folding side mirrors, a power outlet, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. The Advanced Touring package costs $2,500 and includes a panoramic sunroof with a power sunshade, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. The EX trim is the only trim to offer the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is standard.

The EX V6 ($33,100) includes the V6 engine and adds standard features like blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. On this model, the Premium package only costs $1,200 while the Advanced Touring package is $2,500.

Kia Sorento SX

Rounding out the lineup is the SX trim, which only comes with the V6 and starts at $38,600. Additional standard features include an 8-inch touch screen with the UVO system and navigation, HD Radio, a 10-speaker Infinity premium sound system, power outlets, a 14-way power driver’s seat, smart power liftgate, folding outside mirrors, and a panoramic sunroof. For $2,000, the Advanced Technology package includes a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and high-intensity discharge headlights with automatic cornering and leveling. The SX Limited V6 trim starts at $43,900 and comes fully loaded with all previously mentioned options, as well as premium Nappa leather, heated second-row seats, and a surround-view monitor.

Who Makes the Kia Sorento?

The 2017 Sorento is made by Kia, which is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, and they are the second-largest South Korean automaker behind Hyundai. Kia Motors America is a subdivision of Kia, and they have a manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, which is where the Sorento is built. So although Kia is a Korean company, the 2017 Sorento is assembled here in the United States.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Kia dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Kia deals page.

See 2017 Kia Sorento specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Kia Sorento earns its high spot in our rankings. It has a fuel-efficient base engine and powerful available engine options. The ride is smooth and the interior is well-built. There are two rows of roomy seats, and you can add a third row to expand seating capacity to seven. The Sorento's tech features are easy to use, it has excellent safety ratings, and it's backed by a great warranty. You can't go wrong with the Sorento, which has much to like and few weaknesses – but there are solid alternatives out there. The Honda Pilot seats up to eight and has better cargo capacity than the Sorento. The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has a slightly lower starting price and better feature availability in lower trims. And if you like the Sorento but think that a midsize SUV might be just a little too big, consider the Kia Sportage, which is among our most highly rated compact SUVs.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The 2017 Kia Sorento is a great example of why Kia deserves your attention. You get a lot for the money, along with the peace of mind that comes with a long warranty and top safety scores." -- Edmunds
  • "With three engines to choose from and pricing that ranges from around $26,000 for a basic family vehicle to over $45,000 for a leather-lined quasi-luxury SUV, the Sorento fits a wide range of budgets and needs. … The Sorento excels as a jack-of-all-trades, and continues to improve with enhancements such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The jury's out on the range-topping 2016 Kia Sorento models, as they don't offer significant discounts relative to the luxury-brand competition. But the redesigned Sorento is a compelling option in the $25,000-40,000 range, where its newfound premium ambiance pairs very well with Kia's traditional value advantage." -- Autotrader (2016)
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