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2015 Kia Sorento Review

The 2015 Kia Sorento has below-average safety scores for the midsize SUV class, unimpressive driving dynamics, and a cramped, ho-hum interior. However, it salvages a midpack ranking thanks to a commendable reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Solid reliability rating
  • Intuitive in-cabin technology
  • Potent available V6 engine


  • Mediocre power with base engine
  • Below-average safety scores for class
  • Some low-rent interior materials


Rankings & Research

The 2015 Kia Sorento's #7 ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Kia Sorento has a score of 8.0 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 71 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.9
Performance: 7.0
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 8.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Kia Sorento Overview

Is the 2015 Kia Sorento a Good Used SUV?

The 2015 Sorento is a decent used midsize SUV that is available with either two or three rows. This Kia has user-friendly infotainment features and a muscular V6 engine option. A small turning radius makes it feel more like a car when driving. However, the standard four-cylinder engine typically feels underpowered, and the ride quality worsens at higher speeds.

The Sorento has less cargo space than most rivals, and its third row of seats is uncomfortable. The second row can even feel a little cramped, and the cabin features some low-quality materials.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 71 Kia Sorento reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Kia Sorento?

Our site has more than 1,300 listings for the 2015 Sorento, with an average price of around $17,200. Prices range from about $13,000 to roughly $24,000, and they vary depending on the vehicle's features, mileage, condition, and location.

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How Much Does the 2015 Kia Sorento Cost to Own?

The 2015 Sorento tends to be slightly more affordable than many other midsize SUVs when it comes to gas, insurance, repair, and maintenance costs. You can expect to pay around $25,400 over five years for these expenses. In comparison, a 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe's five-year costs are typically around $150 more than the Sorento’s.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Sorento?

The 2019 Kia Sorento is vastly different from a used 2015 Sorento. Kia fully redesigned the Sorento for 2016, and there have been significant changes since then. The 2019 model is only available with three rows, while you can find a 2015 Sorento with either two or three rows. The 2019 Sorento also has standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as available driver assistance features like front parking sensors, lane keep assist, and driver drowsiness monitoring.

A 2019 Sorento starts at around $26,000. You'll likely save heaps of money by going with a used 2015 Sorento, which costs less than a 2019 model. If you can afford the much higher cost of a new Sorento, it's worth buying.   

Read about the new Kia Sorento »

Nearly all new midsize SUVs have starting prices higher than even the upper end of what you might pay for a used 2015 Sorento. Even most new compact SUVs generally retail for more than $23,000, and base trims of the less-expensive SUVs don't offer a lot in the way of features.

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Which Model Year of the Kia Sorento Is Best?

For the Kia Sorento, 2015 marks the last model year of a generation that began with the 2011 Sorento. There were no major changes made for the 2014 Sorento, so you can likely save some money and still get a very similar car by going with an older model. However, Kia added optional blind spot monitoring for the 2014 model year and refreshed the Sorento’s interior and exterior design. Those upgrades make the 2014 model a better choice than a 2012 or 2013 Sorento

If you have room in your budget, you're better off going with the fully redesigned 2016 Kia Sorento. This new-generation model ranks highly in its class and has better scores than the 2015 model in nearly every area. It has two engine options, including a peppy turbocharged variant, a host of available active safety features, better crash test results, and a high-end cabin.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Sorento »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Kia Sorento?

The 2015 Kia Sorento has an above-average reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Sorento reliability »

2015 Kia Sorento Recalls

At the time of writing, no open recalls apply to the 2015 Kia Sorento.

See more information on Kia Sorento safety recalls »

Which Used Kia Sorento Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Kia Sorento is available in four trims: LX, EX, SX, and SX-L. The Kia Sorento LX comes with either a four-cylinder or a V6 engine, and the other trims come with the V6 only. Both front-wheel and all-wheel drive are available in every model.

You'll want to pass on any LX model with the underwhelming standard four-cylinder engine. The Kia Sorento EX is a better choice. It has a good balance of features and value, with leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key entry, push-button start, a rearview camera, and rear parking sensors. Some EX models also have features like ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, navigation, an Infinity stereo, blind spot monitoring, or a power liftgate.

SX models come standard with navigation, the Infinity stereo, ventilated front seats, and a power liftgate. The Sorento SX-L adds Nappa leather upholstery and heated second-row outboard seats.

See 2015 Kia Sorento trims and specs »

What Does Kia's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Kia offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 60,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Kia’s certified pre-owned vehicles receive the balance of the original 10-year/100,000-mile new-car powertrain warranty as well as a one-year/12,000-mile comprehensive Platinum warranty on non-powertrain parts. Every CPO Kia must pass a 164-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Kia warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Kia has one of the best CPO programs among affordable car manufacturers.

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How Safe Is the Sorento?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 Kia Sorento an overall rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in the frontal and side crash tests, as well as four stars in the rollover test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Sorento the highest score of Good in four individual crash tests. However, the Sorento received the lowest rating of Poor in the driver-side small overlap front test. The 2015 Sorento has below-average safety scores for its class.

No driver assistance features come standard in the 2015 Sorento. Available features include rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and blind spot monitoring.

See Sorento safety scores »

2015 Kia Sorento Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Kia Sorento or 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe?

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe is a well-rounded midsize SUV that ranks near the top of its class. Like the Sorento, the Santa Fe has an above-average reliability rating. Both of these SUVs are available in two- and three-row configurations. However, this Hyundai beats the Kia in most other areas. The Santa Fe’s standard four-cylinder engine is zippy enough, and you can pick from a mix of turbocharged four-cylinder or V6 engines. This SUV is also fairly fun to drive, with athletic handling and controlled body motions around corners. The Santa Fe has a nicer interior and a little more cargo space than the Sorento. Prices for the Santa Fe are a bit higher than for the Sorento, but the Hyundai is worth the extra cost.

Which Is Better: 2015 Kia Sorento or 2015 Honda CR-V?

The 2015 Honda CR-V is a two-row compact SUV that has almost as much cargo space behind its front row of seats as the Sorento. The CR-V’s second row also offers lots of room for passengers. There’s only one engine choice in this Honda – a four-cylinder – but what it lacks in power, it makes up for in fuel economy. Average prices are a little higher for the CR-V than for the Sorento, but the Honda’s projected five-year ownership expenses are about $5,500 less than the Kia’s.

Compare the Sorento, Santa Fe, and CR-V »

2015 Sorento Performance

How Does the 2015 Kia Sorento Drive?

The base 2015 Kia Sorento LX comes with a 191-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It's adequate for daily driving, but it can feel underpowered in certain situations, like merging onto a freeway. All other models feature a 290-horsepower 3.3-liter V6. This engine moves the vehicle swiftly off the line, and it provides smooth power delivery as you accelerate. A responsive, smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission is mated to both engines.

The Sorento has a tight turning radius that makes it easily maneuverable on tight city streets and through crowded parking lots. The ride is comfortable at low speeds, but it becomes bumpier and more unsettled as you go faster. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

Does the 2015 Kia Sorento Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2015 Sorento gets 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with its four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive. Those values are decent for the class. The base engine returns 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway with AWD.

V6-powered models return fuel economy estimates of 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with FWD and 18/23 mpg city/highway with AWD.

2015 Kia Sorento Towing Capacity

The Kia Sorento can tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about Sorento performance »

2015 Sorento Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Sorento Seat?

The 2015 Sorento is available in two- or three-row configurations, with seating for five or seven. Cloth upholstery is standard. Available amenities include leather upholstery, premium Nappa leather upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a four-way power-adjustable passenger seat, heated front seats, ventilated front seats, and heated second-row seats.

The front seats are roomy and comfortable, while the second row feels a bit cramped. However, those seats can slide and recline to give more space as needed. The third row offers generous legroom compared to other three-row SUVs, but the seats are low, resulting in an uncomfortable seating position. Smaller adults and children might find them suitable, though.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Kia Sorento?

Each of the Sorento's second-row outboard seats has a complete set of LATCH connectors, and the middle seat has a top tether connection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The lower anchors are easy to access and use, but it can be easy to confuse other hardware on the back of the seats for the tether connections.

2015 Kia Sorento Features

Standard features in the 2015 Sorento include Bluetooth, a USB port, and satellite radio. Available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a heated steering wheel, proximity key entry, push-button start, navigation, an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, a 115-volt household-style power outlet, and a 10-speaker Infinity surround-sound stereo.

Kia's UVO infotainment system responds quickly to inputs, and it's generally regarded as among the most user-friendly systems on the market. There are also large, clearly labeled physical knobs for climate and audio controls. 

See 2015 Kia Sorento specs »

Read more about Sorento interior »

2015 Kia Sorento Dimensions

Kia Sorento Cargo Space

The Kia Sorento has less cargo space than many other midsize SUVs. There's 9.1 cubic feet of space behind the third row of seats, 36.9 cubic feet with the third row folded, and a maximum of 72.5 cubic feet behind the front seats. A power liftgate is available.

2015 Sorento Length and Weight

The 2015 Sorento is 15.4 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,594 to 3,894 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Kia Sorento Built?

Kia built the 2015 Sorento in Georgia.

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