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2011 Kia Sorento Review

Redesigned for 2011, the Kia Sorento lost its truck-like platform and became one of the most comfortable-riding and fuel-efficient 2011 midsize crossovers. The Sorento offers tons of standard features to boot.

Pros & Cons

  • Long list of standard features
  • Available V6 balances power and fuel economy
  • Available third row is tight
  • Less cargo space than some rivals
  • Base engine can feel underpowered




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Kia Sorento Overview

When the redesigned Kia Sorento was introduced for 2011, reviewers praised the updates, saying that compared with the 2009 model, the Sorento went from a crude-feeling SUV to one of the best values in its class. The Sorento also has great fuel economy and performs well in crash tests. Shoppers looking for a roomy third row should look elsewhere, as the Sorento’s available third row is best left to children.

The 2011 Sorento comes with either a four- or six-cylinder engine, as well as front- or all-wheel drive. Reviewers said that the four-cylinder is adequate, but nearly all recommended the six-cylinder because it adds lots of power but doesn’t sacrifice much fuel economy. Base models come well-equipped with standard features like Bluetooth, satellite radio, auxiliary and USB audio inputs and steering-wheel mounted audio controls. Top-of-the-line SX trims come with standard all-wheel drive, navigation, a back-up camera and upgraded 10-speaker audio system. Shoppers looking for a three-row SUV should note that the third row is standard on LX and higher trim levels.

See the full 2011 Kia Sorento specs »

Other Cars to Consider

Shoppers looking for a seven-seat SUV should also consider the 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe. It shares its basic underpinnings with the Kia Sorento, however, the Santa Fe earns a higher safety score. Reviewers loved the Santa Fe’s excellent fuel economy, numerous standard features and affordable base price when it was new. On the downside, some mentioned that it isn’t as attractive as the Sorento and others dinged the Santa Fe for having boring driving dynamics.

The 2011 Toyota Highlander is a perpetual top pick in its class, thanks to good fuel economy in four-cylinder models and a well-made interior. The Highlander’s good safety scores don’t hurt, either.

Compare the Sorento to the Santa Fe and Highlander »

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