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MSRP
$26,990
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2020 Kia Sorento Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 6.9

The 2020 Kia Sorento offers a smooth ride and composed handling. It also features a strong available V6 engine and good fuel economy. However, its steering feedback is minimal, which creates a less engaging ride than some of its midsize SUV classmates.

  • "One of the Sorento’s most enticing attributes is its sub-$28,000 price tag. Unfortunately, to get that price one must also sacrifice power for passing and merging. That’s because the entry-level L and LX trims come equipped with the rather weak 185-horsepower 4-cylinder engine." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "What wasn't vexing about the Sorento was how it handled itself in wintry driving conditions. The drive route through western Colorado took us from elevations of 5,800 feet to more than 9,000 ft., but the Sorento SXL suffered no altitude sickness. The robust V6 engine never felt out of breath and the new 8-speed automatic transmission expressed no signs of light-headedness." -- New York Daily News (2019)
  • "The suspension remains pleasantly comfortable, even with big wheels, and we didn't detect any nautical rebound over the bumps and rises during our test drive. We also found it to be quite comfortable during an extended stint riding in the back seat -- there's no reason to think the kids won't be happy. In terms of handling, the Sorento is competent, but no one will ever describe it as sharp or engaging." -- Autotrader (2019)

Acceleration and Power

The Sorento comes standard with a 185-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. This setup provides enough power for your daily driving needs, but acceleration is weak at times.

Instead, opt for the available 290-horsepower V6 engine that's mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain delivers faster acceleration and doesn't take too much away from the Sorento's gas mileage estimates.

The base model delivers an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, while models with the upgraded engine get 3 fewer mpg both in the city and on the highway.

  • "Under the hood, the base engine is a bit lacking in acceleration and doesn't improve fuel economy all that much. The V6 has plenty of power and is well-mated to the 8-speed automatic. The base engine is okay for commuting, but the V6 is better-suited for regular family hauling duties." -- Autotrader
  • "Base L and LX trims are powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with a 6-speed automatic transmission, while S, EX and SX trims have the well-regarded 3.3-liter V6, now connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The larger V6 has 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque, and the added power helps the Sorento handle the steep grades. A … eight-speed automatic always seems to keep the engine in the best gear, resulting in a smooth, confident driving demeanor." -- CNET (2019)

Handling and Braking

The Sorento is a comfortable cruiser that's easy to maneuver, even in tight spots. Its ride remains compliant over uneven pavement, and available all-wheel drive gives it additional road grip. Its light steering doesn’t provide much feedback.

  • "The added benefit to the SUV’s smaller size is its ease of maneuvering and parking." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "We had our first taste of this Kia Sorento on the roads of southern Georgia. Although they didn't provide an opportunity to put the Sorento's available all-wheel drive (AWD) to the test, they did serve to remind us just how comfortable and drivable the Sorento is." -- Autotrader
  • "The Sorento offers a pleasant enough experience behind the wheel. Its demeanor is quiet, refined, and comfortable, and it compromises some degree of agility and responsiveness to achieve this ideal. The ride is soft, the steering is light, and it generally wafts around unperturbed by rough pavement or choppy freeway expansion joints." -- Car and Driver (2019)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Kia Sorento

MSRP: $26,990 - $41,890

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