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#11

in Affordable Midsize SUVs

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MPG: 20 City / 26 Hwy
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Kia Sorento Performance

The 2014 Kia Sorento delivers the comfort that families want, according to one automotive journalist, but little in the way of sporty performance. Still, one reviewer says the Sorento’s handling is decent, and compares it with rivals like the Ford Edge and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. The Sorento’s cabin earns praise for being well-insulated from road noise.

  • "Exterior road noise now barely penetrates the passenger space; the suspension happily soaks up nastiness below; and there's ample power throughout the V-6's entire rev range." -- Motor Trend
  • "The Sorento is not designed for driving excitement; it comes across as an easily accessible daily driver that's nicely insulated from the outside world." -- MSN
  • "The new Sorento delivers the most important driving characteristic a family needs-comfort. The new suspension system provides a ride that's as plush as an air-spring-equipped Jeep Grand Cherokee." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "Even with the stiffer new platform and a powerful engine, the Sorento is no athlete. Its competent handling compares closely to those of midsize crossovers like the Ford Edge and, of course, the Santa Fe Sport." -- Automobile Magazine

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Kia Sorento is powered by a 191-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A 290-horsepower, 3.3-liter V6 engine is optional. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional. The EPA reports that the 2014 Sorento gets up to 20/26 mpg city/highway, which is average for the class. The all-wheel drive V6 model gets 18/24 mpg city/highway.

Reviewers disagree about whether the Kia Sorento’s four-cylinder engine offers enough power. One says that it has good passing power, but another thinks it’s underpowered and recommends the V6. Other auto writers say the V6 provides strong acceleration, although one complains that the engine could be more responsive when accelerating from a stop. The six-speed automatic transmission garners praise for its smooth gear changes.

  • "Power is adequate across both engines, with the V6 being a premium in both price and luxury. It can tow up to 3,500 lbs, if you're into that sort of thing, but economy-minded buyers will presumably spring for the smaller, 191-horsepower four. They will receive a fine engine with good highway passing power and leisurely gearing, aimed toward its 20/26 city and highway MPG rating." -- AutoWeek
  • "There's a bit of a lag between the time you pin the throttle and the moment the Sorento launches from a stoplight. It's as if the engine, transmission, and AWD system must all check with base camp for approval. No matter: Once under way, the Kia has plenty of highway passing power." -- Popular Mechanics (V6)
  • "Out on the road, the Sorento's new 290-horsepower V6 and smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission combine to deliver responsive, seamless acceleration." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Most drivers will find that the 2014 Kia Sorento feels a bit underpowered with the base four-cylinder engine. Considering its negligible fuel economy advantage, the V6 engine is well worth the upgrade if your budget allows." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

One critic says the Sorento’s suspension doesn’t handle windy roads very well, but other test drivers agree that the 2014 Sorento has a comfortable ride. The steering earns praise for its accuracy, and one test driver says that the brakes are powerful for the class.

  • "Smooth describes the ride quality, too. The suspension tuning leans toward soft, as you'd expect of a family-oriented ride, but stops short of squishy-owners are unlikely to need Dramamine on twisty stretches-and the new electric steering delivers an acceptable approximation of on-center feel." -- Car and Driver
  • "In Edmunds brake testing, the V6 AWD model came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet, a better-than-average distance for SUVs in this class." -- Edmunds
  • "But bend the Sorento into a set of twisties at high speeds and it soon becomes clear that this Kia is out of its element. With a cabin full of kids, dogs, and mothers-in-law, you won't be speeding anywhere except to the grocery store for more Honey Nut Cheerios." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "And here the steering is light and accurate, albeit unenthusiastic. The suspension can be best described as squishy, but the ride was comfortable enough." -- AutoWeek
Review Last Updated: 9/23/13

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