2014 Kia Sorento EX Road Review

2014 Kia Sorento now kia has lightly refreshed the sorento for 2014 and we’re taking a look at the e x– model here with a 3.3 liter v6 let’s hop on the inside let’s dive into the hood take it out on the road and see how it is there are two different engine options in the sorento for 2014 things start out with the familiar 2.4 liter
191 horsepower 4-cylinder engine and our

particular model gets the all new direct
injection 3.3 liter v6 of course has dual overhead cams and variable valve timing and that puts out 290 horsepower which is quite good for this class as well as for this engine size now both engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission that’s manufactured by hyundai and kia and of course it sends power to the front wheels or to all four wheels depending on which option you choose the first generation sorento was a traditional truck based body-on-frame SUV that sent power to the rear wheels or had an optional locking four-wheel
drive system this new sorento since 2011

is a more traditional crossover vehicle
like the rest of the ones on the market normally since power to the front wheels unless there’s some wheel slip in which case it will send power to the rear but the one thing that kia has preserved from its old truck based days arm or truck like profile tires back here we have fairly wide 235 with rubber but they are 60 profile 18-inch wheels which means that the ratio of rubber to the wheel is slightly larger than you’d find at some of the other crossover competition it means that if you’re on a really rough road you’re less likely to bend your rim when you hit a rock but the on-road manners do suffer a little bit our commenters and viewers have been wanting us to talk more about styling so here it goes
the back end of SUVs are always a little

bit tricky to style if you ask me
because if you want a practical SUV you need to have a relatively flat hatch that’s really going on here with a sorento because of course there is a seven passenger option as well and that’s very different than things like the Venza which has a very sloping rear profile because there’s of course only five seats in the vehicle we have a single chrome exhaust tip over here and if we move on to the side you can see that we have a fairly typical side profile it’s a little bit boring honestly if you ask me but then nobody in this crossover segment is all that exciting and if we go around to the front you’ll see that the 2014 Sorento now features the new Kia sort of a BMW esque kidney grille that’s what

I think I’ll call that large Kia logo we

get some very rare Saab reminiscent headlamps if you ask me I think the front end is very attractive I love the new Kia lines because they’re attractive but they’re also very simple a little bit more muscular than the Hyundai lines and Hyundai is going for something it’s a little bit swoop here a little bit more dramatic but I’m not really quite sure how well that will aged in the long term front seat comfort in the Sorento is good but it’s about average for this particular segment front seats are a little bit firm for my tastes and they are exactly wide either we do have a nicely adjustable power driver seat however with two-way adjustable power lumbar support and a multi-way headrest that moves in and out as you can see we also get a tilt telescoping steering column and as part of an option package we do have a two position power memory driver seat in our particular model now

as part of that same package we also get
a four-way power passenger seat but the recline mechanism in the seat is still manual if we take a look around the interior you can see we have a large amount of fake wood in our sorento it is somewhat believable fake wood however it’s not exactly the best I’ve seen but it’s not the worst either we have a fairly dominant center stack with a large touchscreen navigation and infotainment system which we’ll go over in a bit dual zone climate control of course and in our ex model we get heated and cooled front seats and of course down here we have the USB plug for our media device we come over here to the instrument cluster you can see that our sorento gets a partial LCD disco – so you can see the speedometer portion of the instrument cluster has been replaced with a large screen here and as you can

see it offers fuel economy AV

information navigation information
service information of course vehicle settings certain things are configurable in the system as well you can change whether you want to see predominantly miles per hour or kilometers per hour but other than that it’s not quite as configurable as something like a Cadillac XTS digital gauge cluster the Sorento uses Kia’s new corporate steering wheel which is very nice it has nice leather Rat feel of course get our Bluetooth phone interface buttons down here these particular buttons control that LCD – in the instrument cluster cruise control voice command over here and our usual infotainment buttons over here continuing down the center console we have our gear shift of course we have two cupholders and these easily swallowed large american-style takeout cups we have our active eco button which changes the throttle and transmission mapping in our vehicle park sensor tert

disabled for the rear parking sensors
and of course a button to turn on and off the hundred and fifteen volt power inverter that’s standard in our Sorento e.x let’s talk plastics quality because that’s something that the press really spends an awful lot of time on if you look at the dashboard in the Kia Sorento you’ll see this is pretty hard touch plastics we also have hard plastics lower in the dashboard hard plastics over here hard plastics even on the doors so all the all the upper and the lower portions of the driver’s side door are hard so if you tend to rest your arm on the upper part of the door that’s gonna be a little bit more painful in the Sorento then some of the competition however Kia does offer a wide variety of
features in this particular vehicle that

you won’t find in the competition we
course got the heated and cooled seats we get that LCD disco – what you just saw we get dual zone climate control we have power folding sideview mirrors you know they fold the touch of a button over here we have the 2 position seat memory we have a driver power seat we of course get this large panoramic sunroof over here which will open and you can see I don’t have to turn on the car for that one we course get the keyless entry and keyless go as you can see we have this very large panoramic sunroof which goes all the way to the rear if you were to ask me I think that that’s a valid trade so I think that the the creature comforts in this vehicle in trade for these hard plastics that’s a worthwhile trade for me my complaint really is in vehicles where you don’t get the creature comforts and you have the hard plastics but in this kia sorento i think the hard plastics are just fine especially when you take a look at the fact that our particular vehicle started at thirty one thousand seven hundred dollars and essentially fully loaded ended up at thirty five thousand seven hundred dollars this is a very good value in this particular segment it’s about five thousand dollars cheaper than the American or Japanese competition the rear seats and the Sorento are comfortable and they’re easy to get in
and out of they’re also a little bit

higher off the ground than most
crossover vehicles which makes sitting in them a lot more comfortable for adults this front seats adjusted for me at six feet tall so you can see I have seven inches of legroom left now there’s barely any hump in the middle of the Sorento so if I go to the middle seat thanks to that front-wheel drive chassis there’s a decent amount of legroom for a middle passenger and there’s still a bit of headroom as well even though our particular model has the optional panoramic roof if I moved all the way over to the other side you see the Sorento has a few niceties like these standard window shades that are integrated well into the rear doors the quality of the plastics in the rear however is not a whole lot better than in the front so we still have the hard plastic upper part plastic lower and the only soft touch plastics you’ll find on the doors are right here at the armrest in terms of cupholders where passengers get two large cup holders here in this padded center armrest these were able to accommodate the largest sodas I was able to throw at them and of course we get to

bottle holders one integrated into each
door we also get reclining seat backs in the rear which is quite a nice feature as you can see the range of recline is fairly good on these seats as well they go from a decidedly uncomfortable very vertical position mostly so that you can enlarge your cargo area in the back so if you needed to fit a very large square item in the rear you can set these middle seats that very upright position you can still buckle someone in although this is not going to be very comfortable to a decidedly reclining peceiving position back here and unlike many cars that have reclining rear seats if I recline this seat that’s closer to the camera you can see that the recline angle starts low in the seat back so it’s not hitting you somewhere strange in the middle of the seat back that’s something that an awful lot of crossovers do for some reason the Sorento is available in a 7 passenger version which means of course we get a convenient cubby right there under the load floor of our 5 passenger version you can almost fit someone in there maybe if they’re a little smaller on the

real cargo carrying side however we can
fit quite a number of large roller bags as you can see in the cargo area even when this 60/40 folding section of the seat is folded in its most reclined position this of course is in its most upright position telling you to square off that cargo area so you can put larger cargo items in here overall the starter score is a solid 9 out of 10 points in our exclusive trunk comfort index because of course we also get a power closing trunk lid our Sorento is equipped with Kia’s UVO infotainment system controlled by this large LCD in the dash just below the CD player and if you aren’t interested in our in depth review of this infotainment system then just follow that little link down below and fast-forward to the drive section of our review now this system is standard on our IX model and it’s controlled by these direct access buttons here and of course there’s some climate control buttons below it now unlike some of the other systems this system really just gives you a climate display so all the climate control buttons are physical buttons and knobs
in the system but the system is

integrated with this infotainment slice
will show you your status of your climate control system we have our fairly typical am and FM interface with presets along the top menu button over here for auto store presets cans etc similar thing going on in the Sirius satellite radio over here as well we have our track up and down buttons here as you would expect going over to the map button we have our fairly typical mapping interface with of course traffic information displayed on this particular system as you can see now that is serious traffic data so you do have to have a serious traffic subscription for this data service to work destination entry is very straightforward here we have access to points of interest stored addresses etc in this particular system address entry is very easy and it can be done while you’re in motion which is a nice feature in the system you can do that in motion when you’re using the voice commands in the system or the buttons right here on the screen so your passenger can also enter an address for you we’re here on the phone button we have our fairly typical phone interface
and the thing fancy going on here now

unlike MyFord Touch and Toyota’s Entune
system there are no voice commands for your iDevice library in this particular system so that means you have to use this on-screen interface in order to control and search for your tunes this does take quite a bit more time than those other competitive systems although the system does cache your information so it is fairly responsive and you can touch various portions of this list here to fast forward but there’s no keyboard on here so you can’t skip directly to the MS or the peas or you know a particular beginning letter so that means it does take a decent amount of time with your eyes off the road if you want to hunt and peck for a particular song on your iDevice not something I would necessarily recommend of course leave that to your passenger down here we have a root button as you can see with that’s where we would control all of our mapping and navigation functions here it’s nice that they separate this from the map button and the destination button so you have easy access to these particular functions but even so Kea didn’t go button heavy with this particular system as you can see it’s they kept it to a relative minimum which is quite nice this display is part of the four thousand dollar touring package in our ax model and includes the navigation system the Infinity surround system which does sound excellent in this
particular vehicle the ventilated front

driver and front passenger seat bright

blind spot detection the four-way passenger seat the panoramic moonroof power sunshade the memory driver’s seat with memory mirrors the power folding outside mirrors and of course the power liftgate which is a decent amount of tech for that four thousand dollars if we click on this button with the eye and the gear on it that takes us over to our setup page as well as our info and UVO services now the UVO services do require an Apple iPhone or an Android device with the appropriate UVO app on it you do have to register that app with keya so our particular vehicle does not have access to these services because our app is not registered unfortunately we do have access to parking minor which helps you find your vehicle in a parking space vehicle Diagnostics which connects you with the kia server and helps you diagnose problems you know check engine light that sort of thing on your car we have roadside assistance we can call for help my point of interests allows you to synchronize point of interests with your device or with your web browser on your regular computer of course we have a guide GPS info and help of course compared to my Ford touch and Toyota Entune system Evo is still a little bit behind because it does lack the voice commands for your USB library or your iDevice but the rest of the system is very snappy and it’s definitely worth that four thousand dollars especially when you consider all the other tech that’s bundled with that same package this rough mountain road that were on
right now really is what the Sorento is

all about because the Sorento is trying

to be a more off-road or soft Road capable crossover than a number of its competitors most namely that Ford Edge and the Toyota Venza the GMC Terrain and Chevy Equinox definitely have similar ground clearance to this Sorento and similar off-road prowess but the the GM SUV is rapid in honestly a better suspension design they’re just feel nice or on the road the Sorento drives like a truck which surprised me honestly because a number of other Kia’s and Honda’s other crossover vehicles have more car like road manners and the Sorento really doesn’t the Sorento reminds me an awful lot of the GMT 360 series SUVs perhaps not quite as truck ish and it hasn’t have a little bit better road feel in this Sorento but it’s in that same category of vehicle in that same category of Road feel the one thing that’s decidedly not truck like about the Sorento is the fuel economy because even though this vehicle is only rated for 18 miles per gallon city and 24 on the highway with an EPA combined rating of 20 we’ve been averaging 23 to 24 miles per gallon in this vehicle over a wide variety of driving situations and about 650 miles so far this week that’s excellent for a vehicle that’s this size and this heavy especially when you consider that my daily commute takes me up and over a twenty two hundred foot mountain pass so the fuel economy from
this 3.3 liter direct injection engine

is excellent and again you can thank

that that very modern engine up front for that fuel economy as well as the trick all-wheel drive system that normally sends all the power to the front wheel we may have a lock button on the dash but unlike traditional SUV is there is no center differential in the kia sorento instead the front and the rear differentials are always locked together via a multi-plate clutch pack and what the lock button does is it locks that clutch pack together so there’s no true center differential the only way that you can get the front and the rear differentials to rotate at different velocities is by allowing that clutch plate to slip that’s very different than your your traditional more hardcore off-road machine it’s not going to be quite as durable of course because the the friction material will heat up the oil will heat up and performance will suffer a bit but for 99% of people honestly in their in their SUV or CUV purchases this is completely adequate because the vast majority of drivers will never take their SUV or their crossover on anything even approaching this bad road here most people are really just going to be out there in suburbia and their their big reason for buying crossover vehicles because they like the right height they like the way it looks they like the way it feels and they don’t want to get their front caught on those parking lot headstones

Mike the subaru forrester the kia

sorento is trying to be a slightly more off-road capable crossover vehicle then your run-of-the-mill crossover in this segment and as such it’s a little bit interesting and it’s a little bit more difficult to compare directly with some of the other entries here the Toyota Venza is decidedly an on-road crossover vehicle you really would not want to take your Venza off-road gravel roads are fine of course but if it encounters something larger than you know say a your average brick out on the road then you’re going to start scraping things underneath the vehicle that won’t happen in the Serano ‘that won’t happen in the forester that really makes the forester probably the the best comparison with this vehicle and in terms of the forester versus sorento comparison the Sorento is much more refined it has a much nicer interior it’s much quieter the engine is way more refined than those boxer engines that you’ll find into the hood of the Subaru the off-road system is not quite as advanced as the super system not quite as rugged but again for the vast majority of drivers that really doesn’t matter in terms of the forward edge and the GMC Equinox and our GMC terrain and the Chevy Equinox I should say this vehicle represents an incredible value because this is about $5,000 cheaper than a comparably equipped Ford Edge it has about the same amount of power under the hood with that 3.3 liter direct injection engine we went from zero to 60 in about eight point three seconds which is very respectable when you compare to the competitors and this vehicle has overall a nicer feature set than those other vehicles admittedly kia does you know take back a few points for having these
hard dashboard plastics and hard door

plastics but if you think about it I
think that my personal preference would be that I would give up those soft touch plastics for things like the power folding mirrors the dual zone climate control the LCD disco – I think that that’s a worthy trade-off and well some people might derive Kia for these hard – plastics I think that if a decision had to be made between the one and the other I think Kia made the right decision the Sorento ix model ranges from 31 thousand seven hundred about $36,000 as our model is equipped here of course if you get that seven passenger option it’s going to cost you a little bit more and the regular Sorento runs from about twenty-four thousand to about twenty-eight thousand depending again on your option packages your engine choice whether or not you’re gonna go with five or seven seats kia has made a very compelling vehicle with this refresh of the 2014 kia sorento you know we have that 3.3 liter direct injection v6 under the hood which gets excellent fuel economy and delivers very good performance in this particular vehicle we have a price tag that’s reasonable as well $35,000 as equipped with a la a number of options that you don’t find in the competition the side profile is a little bit boring but it is obvious when you look at the side that we get a decent amount of off-road ride height that’s excellent because this vehicle has a bit more off-road prowess than you’d find in some of the competition again we have that five to seven passenger seating in the rear we have this large cargo area in the rear and it tops off with a 10-year hundred thousand mile powertrain warranty and a 5 year 60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty if you if you take a look at all those together then it it causes my normal suvs crossover

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