2014 Kia Sorento Review
Overview: Take a look at the 2013 Sorento and then the 2014 Sorento. Looks pretty similar, right? Oh you’ll see a few changes but not a lot. So why did Kia release the 2014 model so early? Take a deeper look and you will find that almost everything is changed from the 2013 model. In fact, Kia says that about 80% of the vehicle has been changed. There is now a 290 hp V6 paired with a 6 speed automatic transmission. The chassis is completely new. The entertainment system has been upgraded. The interior has been upgraded. Now you might question why Kia made all these changes without changing the overall look, a look that while it works, is not all that exciting. But that’s something for the marketing heads to determine. What I do know is that they have transformed the 2014 Sorento into an SUV – actually, they are calling it a Crossover Utility Vehicle – a CUV that is comfortable, powerful and smooth. Smooth? Wait till I talk about the driving experience. I had a very well appointed EX model to test.
Exterior: The Sorento has an attractive exterior with a beautiful paint job. The nose is swept back complimenting a redesigned front facia. This along with a new rear facia give the Sorento a low and wide look. The sides of the hood are raised a little giving a swooped look down to the “tiger nose” grill. This is a good looking vehicle. Against the competition, it is one of the best looking. Compared though, with the new class of small SUVs coming out , this mid-size group looks a little dated to me.
Interior: Did I mention that the model I tested was nice? It is loaded with features. The entertainment system – Kia calls it UVO Infotainment – is excellent. It has everything you want including satellite radio, bluetooth connectivity, navigation, backup camera, voice recognition, emergency notification, trip assist and much more. Kia has added a blind spot detection system, something that every car should have. It works very well with visual indicators in the rear view mirrors when a vehicle enters the blind spot and an audible warning if you put your turn signal on while a car is in the zone. The seats were of a quality I would expect in a luxury car. The leather, the stitching, the side bolsters, the lumbar support – all worked to make the seats extremely comfortable. The model I tested also had both heated as well as air conditioned front seats. The steering wheel leather was quality and the controls were well laid out. The air conditioner was strong enough to chill the interior quickly – a big deal for living in Vegas.
Although the Kia comes with an optional third row, I see this best as a 5 seater leaving ample room for luggage. It is comfortable for 5 but not overly roomy. My measuring stick is my 6’1″ son who, as you can see in the picture, is ok but it is close.
And yes, I see those neon socks… and… I got nothing. The luggage space is adequate in the two row configuration. I put my two big dogs (100 and 140 lbs) in the back and while they fit, its good they get along. There was one feature that I just loved – the Panoramic Sunroof. It is huge, encompassing almost the entire roof. It is all glass with a power sunshade. The front half of the sunroof retracts to open up one of the largest openings that I’ve seen. Closed or open, it brightens up the interior tremendously.
Drive: The new engine, transmission and chassis give you an exceptional ride. I can’t overstate that – I was really surprised that an SUV could deliver that. With 290 hp, you have all the power you need. It isn’t in your face, it is simply there and it is oh so smooth. I can’t think of a better word to describe it. When you step on the accelerator, the acceleration is strong and smooth. While I didn’t time it, I’ve read that 0-60 time is 7.9 sec which is excellent for a vehicle like this. With the improved chassis, the ride is smooth and cornering sharp. When you step on the brakes, again, deceleration is smooth and predictable. Smooth… I do have a thesaurus but that word just applies the best here.
Final Thoughts: I was very impressed with the 2014 Sorento. The interior is luxurious beyond its class. Driving the car is a joy. It has plenty of power and corners and brakes with confidence. Let’s talk about price. You can get into a Sorento for $25k but I would recommend spending a little more and get the bigger engine which takes it to about $26.5k. At that price, the Sorento is a steal. It comes with a 5 yr/60,000 mile basic warranty and a 10 yr/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. That is huge! This SUV is a bargain compared to the competition. I’d seriously consider the entry level for my son who is going away to college and then the loaded EX for myself.
Click here to read my Kia Sportage review.
Product was provided by Kia Motors in order to review the Kia Sportage –
all opinions are my own.