Kia suv 2016 review

Kia suv 2016 review DEFAULT

New Kia Sportage 2016 review

The Sportage's high-riding chassis doesn't exactly devour corners, but it provides a comfortable trade-off between sportiness and comfort. It's one of the better drivers' cars in the crossover class, with sweet steering, a light but positive manual gearshift that matches the engine's calm power delivery and decent pace.

There's a good amount of grip, and the intelligent four-wheel-drive system fitted to our test car means you won't have to worry too much when the conditions become slippery. It doesn't hit efficiency too hard either, as most of the time the transmission sends power to only the front wheels. It'll divert up to 40 per cent to the rear axle when it senses extra traction is needed.

We drove a GT Line model that was loaded with kit, and while UK equipment specifications haven't yet been confirmed (the range will include KX-1 to KX-4 trim levels, as well as the new GT Line version we tried), features such as sat-nav, heated seats and steering wheel, autonomous braking, connected services, leather and a reversing camera are all on offer, depending on the model.

The Sportage effectively takes the seven-seat Sorento's formula and downsizes it for the mid-size market - and it's just as good, with an interior that scores on comfort, quality and space.

It's only slightly longer than before, but a longer wheelbase gives more space inside. Legroom in the back is good, while the boot is bigger and more practical than the old car's - plus the awkward loading lip has been reduced.

The smarter cabin, better performance, stronger efficiency and extra practicality over its predecessor all come at a price, though - the entry level Sportage now costs £17,995, or around £500 more than before. However, it still comes with Kia's seven-year warranty, which gives it a real edge.


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2016 Kia Sorento Test Drive Overview

2016 Kia Sorento Test Drive Review

Saying a car is all new is one thing, but the 2016 Kia Sorento actually delivers on that billing, starting with an exterior that still looks like a Sorento, just one that has evolved in a more upscale direction. Its profile is very close to the previous generation's, but look at it from the front, and it’s suddenly a different story.

The new Sorento has narrower headlights, a lower air intake, and fog lamps that stand out for their unique design, making this crossover look different than all the other CUVs on the road. The Sorento has also grown to a 109.4-inch wheelbase that marks a 3.1-inch increase that you can see. It looks beefier and makes a stronger impression.

Inside the changes come from more soft-touch surfaces that have a better texture and quality and make this feel like a higher-end car. It is modern, updated, and very upscale. That bigger size on the outside translates to a roomier interior as well, with cargo volume going up to 73.5 cubic feet overall. Passengers in the second and optional third row also score an extra half-inch of room with an additional 1.5 inches of boarding room for anyone squeezing back into that third row.

The engine lineup has also grown with the addition of a new 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder as an option for select trims. It puts out 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, and although it’s not the most powerful engine available, it does prove peppy thanks to that turbocharging.

Eight different trims are offered, starting with the base L, which comes in at $24,900 and is still a very well-equipped trim. Standard features include solar-control glass, variable intermittent wipers, projector-beam headlamps, heated rear glass with a timer, and a rear spoiler.

Inside it has AM/FM/CD/MP3/SiriusXM, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, 40/20/40 split second-row seats, and steering-wheel-mounted audio, hands-free phone, and cruise-control buttons. A USB/auxiliary jack, 12-volt power outlets, tilt and telescopic steering column, and remote keyless entry are also standard in every Sorento.

The L has a 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission providing 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard for this and all trim levels. Once you move up to the LX, Dynamax all-wheel drive, a locking center differential, and torque-vectoring cornering control become options and remain optional throughout the rest of the range.

The LX trim adds UVO eServices infotainment, low-profile roof rails, a shark-fin antenna, sound-absorbing windshield glass, and a rear camera with optional back-up warning. Other options include an auto-dimming mirror, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a 50/50 split-folding third row. Heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a leather and wood-style gearshift are also offered as options in the LX.

Those looking for a bigger engine can choose the LX V6, which gets a 3.3-liter V6 offering 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. The third row becomes standard in this trim, and rear air conditioning becomes an available option.

Breaking the $30,000 price point takes you into the EX, which adds sound-absorbing front window glass, fog lights, and options including smart welcome lighting, power-folding mirrors, a panoramic sunroof with power sunshade, and power liftgate with programmable height adjustment. The sound system also gets a boost with optional Infinity Surround Sound with Clari-Fi, 10 speakers, an external amplifier and subwoofer, and HD Radio. Voice-command navigation with an 8-inch display, blind-spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert are optional, while the back-up warning system becomes standard.

Additional optional features for the EX include a supervision meter cluster with a 7-inch TFT color LCD display, push-button start, LED map and room lights, and integrated second-row sunshades. Dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, leather seat trim, and leather and wood-style accents become standard.

The EX is also your first chance at the new 2.0-liter turbocharged I4, which is standard in this trim. The EX V6 offers a similarly equipped version of the Sorento with the more powerful V6 engine and brings back the third row and rear air conditioning, which are not available on the EX trim.

The SX V6 sticks with that V6 engine and turns the optional features on the EX V6 into standard features. It also adds body-color accents, rear combination LED headlamps, reverse tilt-down outside mirrors, memory driver’s seat, and a leather-and-black deco gearshift.

Topping out the range are the Limited and Limited V6 at $41,300. The Limited is the only other trim to offer the 2.0-liter turbocharged I4. It also gets optional HID projector-beam headlights with auto-leveling, standard LED fog lights, optional surround-view monitor, and optional safety features, including advanced smart cruise control, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and an electronic parking brake with auto hold. The Limited V6 once again offers the V6 engine as well as the third row with rear air conditioning, which are not available on the Limited.

If there’s one thing the Sorento offers, it’s plenty of choices. At its most basic this is an attractive, full-featured crossover with plenty of style and, thanks to its increase in size, plenty of room for the family and cargo. The optional third row gives it what many crossovers lack with seating for 7 passengers. It also does this very affordably.

The starting price of $24,900 gives those with a tighter budget the chance at this stylish crossover, while those with around $40,000 in their pocket can get all the bells and whistles for thousands less than they could from competitors. Kia is not known as an upscale brand, but it delivers an upscale experience for a heck of a lot less than most competitors. If you don’t need an expensive badge on the hood to impress your friends, then the Kia Sorento is a great choice.

2016 Kia Sorento Test Drive Review

The 2016 Kia Sorento Limited features the new 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 with 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque and, as tested, came with Dynamax all-wheel drive. There may be more horsepower in the V6, but the 2.0-liter turbo is no slouch. It was responsive in all kinds of traffic, whether accelerating at highway speeds or managing side roads. The only time its bulk became truly noticeable was off the line, when the response wasn't quite as quick as expected with just a small amount of turbo lag.

The drive can be tweaked with Drive Control, which offers Eco, Comfort, or Sport modes. Flipping through the options adjusts shift points and steering, but not dramatically. The differences are very subtle between Eco and Comfort and more noticeable in Sport with tighter steering and a better throttle response.

The cabin is very quiet, thanks partly to the sound-absorbing windshield and front glass. Road noise is minimal, and so is wind noise. Even with the panoramic sunroof open, it’s easy to carry on a conversation with those in the second row.

Steering is much improved with better weighting that lends to a better sense of control for the driver. This is a large crossover, but there was never a time that the steering felt sloppy or poorly controlled. Braking was confident with minimal nosedive and a very solid pedal feel.

This isn’t really the kind of car you’ll go off-roading in, but 7.3 inches of ground clearance and the available locking center differential will let you leave the pavement with confidence. It also has a 3,500-pound towing capacity, so you’re able to take a little extra on your travels. Switch to the V6 and you’ll get a 5,000-pound tow rating.

The Sorento takes regular unleaded gas and is rated at 19 mpg city/25 highway/22 combined, which is impressive for a turbo with AWD. I averaged 21.0 driving a good mix of city and highway roads with not much in the way of cargo or passengers.

2016 Kia Sorento Test Drive Review

The most significant improvements to the 2016 Kia Sorento are in the car’s interior, making it a very nice place to spend time. Trims look and feel better, and there are soft-touch surfaces throughout. There’s an extra half-inch for second- and third-row passengers and a larger access space for those getting into that third row, which help make it comfortable no matter where you sit.

Leather seats are supportive with moderate bolstering that is perfect for long drives. The driver gets a 14-way adjustable power seat, while the passenger gets an 8-way adjustable seat. The driver especially can make things soft as a marshmallow or stiff as a board depending on his or her preference. Heated and ventilated seats make hot summers and cold winters more bearable, and the heated steering wheel will keep your fingers warm.

Steering-wheel controls are all nicely positioned with enough space and difference between the buttons that you’re not accidentally changing the radio station when you only intended to turn up the volume. Buttons are similarly well-positioned for the infotainment system. Everything is within easy reach and clearly marked to help you keep your eyes on the road.

There is plenty of storage with a large center console and glove box, lots of those precious cup holders throughout, and even places to hold bottles on the front and rear doors. Cargo capacity has increased this year with 38.8 cubic feet behind the second row or 73.5 cubic feet with the second row folded flat.

Loading the Kia Sorento is easier thanks to the power liftgate, which can be closed at the touch of a button or pulled down with a well-placed handle. Even better, the height is programmable and can be adjusted so it's reachable for drivers of every height.

2016 Kia Sorento Test Drive Review

The Kia Sorento Limited comes with the UVO eServices infotainment system, voice-command navigation, and Sirius traffic. There’s a well-placed 8-inch color display for controlling features that are easy to find through an intuitive set of menus, and there’s Bluetooth wireless technology that allows for hands-free connectivity. Radio volume, channels, and phone calls can all be handled through buttons right on the steering wheel.

UVO eServices offers a suite of features with no additional subscription fees required. You can download the UVO app to your iPhone or Android device to easily stream music and use services like Pandora and Yelp right through the vehicle’s touchscreen. The system also includes Siri Eyes Free and Local Search for finding what’s nearby.

The Sorento also offers some great features for parents with teen drivers. Geo Fence, Curfew Limit, and Speed Alert will make sure you know what your kids are up to when you’re not in the car. An app can even help you find the car if you happen to forget where you parked. Additionally, the system can be set to give you maintenance notifications, perform vehicle diagnostics, and even schedule a service appointment.

AM/FM/CD/MP3/SiriusXM are standard in every Sorento. You’ll get a 3-month trial to SiriusXM before you have to decide if you want to pay for the service. Sound comes from an Infinity with Clari-Fi Surround Sound system that has 10 speakers, an external amplifier and subwoofer, and HD Radio. Clari-Fi is a new feature that adds back the details lost in digitally compressed music for a richer listening experience. Those teens you’re tracking with that Geo Fence are going to love this sound system.

A USB/auxiliary input jack is standard, as are up to four 12-volt power outlets. There are also two available USB 2.1 charger ports and a 110-volt power inverter for the top trim levels.

2016 Kia Sorento Test Drive Review

The 2016 Kia Sorento had not yet been evaluated by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) at the time of this review, but it has been rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It received their top rating of Good in all tests and earned 2015 Top Safety Pick status for its performance in crash tests.

The list of safety features on the Kia Sorento is extensive, and most of them are standard for every trim level. There are dual front advanced airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, and side curtain airbags for the first and second rows. Also standard is a rollover sensor, front-seatbelt pretensioners, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, vehicle stability management, electronic stability control, traction control, and electronic brakeforce distribution.

That’s a comprehensive list of standard features, but there are additional features that are optional or standard on higher trims. There’s a rear camera with an available back-up warning system, a surround-view monitor that provides a 360-degree view around the car when in reverse, blind-spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert. Advanced smart cruise control, forward-collision warnings, and lane-departure warnings round things out.

2016 Kia Sorento Test Drive Review

Kia is known for producing affordable cars, but there was a time when that price required a sacrifice in quality. The company has worked very hard to change that perception both by introducing models like the K900 and by improving its existing lineup. The 2016 Kia Sorento has benefited from those improvements.

The Sorento is rated at 19 mpg city/25 highway/22 combined as a turbo I4 with all-wheel-drive, which are economical numbers, and it takes regular unleaded gas. The Sorento will not constantly empty your wallet at the pump. My average of 21.0 during mixed city and highway driving bears out those numbers and puts it in line with the rest of the segment.

The base trim levels are the most economical, as you’d expect, but price does start to creep up by the time you get to the top of the line. That leaves you plenty of room to get the features you want and are willing to pay for without having to spend too much.

Even opting for the most expensive Limited V6, you’re getting a lot of car. It’s got lots of technology and safety features and an interior that's borderline plush. Try that in other similar vehicles and you’re going to pay more at the dealership.

Warranty coverage on the Kia Sorento includes a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, 5-year/100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty, and 5-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan.


2016 Kia Sportage


The Kia Sportage is the most visually compelling compact crossover in a jam-packed category. Sleeker in appearance than most compact SUVs, Sportage stands apart from the crowd because of its tidy proportions, eager stance, and fashionably rakish profile. Focusing on practical efficiency, the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 dominate this category; but Kia’s entrant emits a livelier attitude.

Countering its visual flair, Sportage suffers from a comparatively small interior, which translates to tight legroom in the back seat. Sportage is smaller than some of its competitors, though it scores major points when judged by the fit and finish of its cabin.

Ride quality falls short, too, and Sportage can get expensive as you move up the trim-level scale. Sportage isn’t recommended for off-roading, though available all-wheel drive does include a differential lock that provides a 50/50 split, at up to 25 mph.

Changes are minor for 2016, aiming to simplify the lineup. The 2016 Kia Sportage EX gains leather-trimmed seating surfaces and pushbutton start. Contents of LX Popular and EX Premium packages have been revised for 2016.

Two four-cylinder engines are available. Sportage LX and EX get a 2.4-liter direct-injected engine, rated 182 horsepower in the LX and 180 hp in EX. Each drives a 6-speed automatic transmission. In the sporty and markedly swifter Sportage SX, a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine makes 260 horsepower, and its transmission includes shift paddles for improved responses.

By today’s standards, fuel economy is so-so. With the base engine and front-wheel drive, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates 21/28 mpg City/Highway, or 24 mpg Combined. The turbocharged Sportage SX gets an estimate of 19/26 mpg City/Highway. All-wheel drive drops the figures to 19/26 mpg with the regular 2.4-liter engine, or 19/25 mpg with the turbo. Several rivals return better than 30 mpg in highway driving.

Crash-test scores trail prominent rivals, and Sportage has few modern high-tech safety features. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the front-wheel-drive Sportage a four-star overall rating, while the all-wheel-drive version scored five stars. In the small overlap frontal crash test performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Sportage ranked Poor, which is poor. Hill-start assist and downhill brake assist are standard equipment.

Model Lineup

The 2016 Kia Sportage comes in three trim levels. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is optional ($1,500).

Sportage LX ($23,045) comes with the 2.4-liter engine, air conditioning; power windows, door locks, and mirrors; tilt/telescopic steering column; keyless entry; Bluetooth; USB/iPod connectivity; and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Sportage EX ($26,245) comes with leather seating surfaces, keyless pushbutton start, steering wheel-mounted audio/phone controls, and 18-inch wheels. A UVO eServices telematics package includes satellite radio; a version with navigation and a rearview camera is available.

Sportage SX ($30,885) includes the 2.0-liter turbo engine, a power driver’s seat, cooled glovebox, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift, roof rails, rear spoiler, and 18-inch wheels. Also included are UVO eServices telematics with navigation and a rearview camera, a panoramic sunroof, Homelink universal garage door opener, leather-trimmed seating surfaces, and ventilated front seats.

Exterior Features

2016-sportage-profileMore than most compact crossovers, the Kia Sportage has a look all its own, exuding what might be termed elegant simplicity. The front end is especially clean in style, while the roofline flaunts a tilted-back posture, similar to the profile of the smaller Kia Soul.

Although the tall stance and slightly stubby nose make it clear that Sportage is essentially a utility vehicle, its basic proportions almost manage to suggest something quite different indeed: one of the European-style hot hatches.

Interior Features

2016-sportage-interiorFunctionally angular in form, the Sportage cockpit exudes a sporty attitude, led by large instruments mounted on a rectangular dashboard. Materials convey a feeling of substance, standing well above what’s found in several crossover competitors. Specifically, the interior has more soft-touch materials and surfaces than are customary in the compact crossover category, matched by thoughtful attention to detail.

Front-seat occupants get ample space for legs and shoulders. Headroom is good, too, though a sunroof (if installed) steals a segment of that space. Nicely shaped seats deliver sufficient support and offer adequate possibilities for adjustment to suit each rider. The Sportage SX features ventilated (air-cooled) front seats.

Back seats are tighter in both legroom and head space. In fact, rear occupants might find themselves slumped forward a bit.

Cargo space is useful enough, but could be bigger. With back seats upright, volume totals 26.1 cubic feet. That’s more than some, but the space is rather tall and the cargo floor isn’t all that big. With those rear seats folded down, cargo volume expands to 54.6 cubic feet.

Because blind spots are sizable, the available rearview camera and rear parking sensors would be a prudent extra-cost choice.

Driving Impressions

2016-sportage-drivingThe Kia Sportage does not offer the lowest levels of noise, vibration and harshness, and optional 18-inch wheels make the ride worse.

Kia’s multi-mode Flex Steer system lets the driver choose from three possible levels of steering heft, yet fails to improve the overall feel appreciably. Handling, as a whole is less than impressive.

The 6-speed automatic transmission delivers smooth and adequately measured responses but gear changes are slow.

Both engines feel fairly spirited with front-wheel drive, but a bit less so with all-wheel drive. The turbocharged engine in the SX edition yields abundant midrange torque, which is especially noticeable when coming out of a swift corner. All told, the turbo qualifies as a pleasant surprise in a vehicle of this nature.

The throttle is touchy at tip-in — when starting off. This phenomenon can be overcome by engaging the Eco button, which subdues throttle response for improved fuel economy. However, that same button weakens response when it’s time to pass or merge.

Final Word

2016-sportageThe Kia Sportage can provide good value, but upper trim levels pass the $30,000 mark. A Sportage LX with front-drive is best for fuel economy; opting for the turbo engine or all-wheel drive reduces fuel economy. All-wheel drive can be a major boon in winter driving, however; because it adds 200 pounds we recommend pairing all-wheel drive with the more powerful turbocharged engine.

Driving impressions by Kirk Bell, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.


Suv 2016 review kia

40,000-Mile Wrap-Up

It’s hard to imagine that there’s a more under-the-radar vehicle for sale in America than the Kia Sorento—certainly among those that sell more than 100,000 copies annually. Which is a shame because, as we learned during our 40,000-mile test of this Sorento, it’s a practical and wieldy three-row SUV. (A confession: We sometimes forgot this thing’s name while it was here, calling it the Sportage—Kia’s smaller two-row crossover—about a third of the time. Oops.)

How We Did Spec It

We’re a shallow lot, so we started our Sorento ordering process in late 2015 by seeking out versions without shameful-looking wheels. These turned out to be the top two trims, the SX and SXL. We stopped shy of the SXL and its upgraded nappa leather upholstery, ventilation for the front seats, and heated rear seats because we had already inflated the Sorento’s base price from about $26,000 to something like $40K. Because we wanted to look cool. Driving a three-row Kia SUV.


But the Sorento SX does look nice, a rather simply sculpted product of a German-led design studio that wouldn’t look out of place with a European badge in its grille. (That said, some of us felt the design was a bit too simply sculpted, a factor perhaps causal to the nameplate’s relative anonymity.) It’s not as if we suffered by choosing the SX; it has pretty much Kia’s entire arsenal of features as standard. A full rundown is available in our introductory story, but highlights include an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a third-row seat, proximity entry and start, a 7.0-inch screen in the gauge cluster, and those sweet, sweet 19-inch wheels. To the all-wheel-drive SX’s $40,795 base price we added just a few minor accessories to bring the total to $42,180. That’s a tall number for a vehicle that starts at less than $26K, but it’s par for the course in a well-kitted mid-size, three-row SUV. Thus equipped, our Ebony Black Kia rolled onto our parking lot.

If a Sorento has an SX badge on its butt, it has a 3.3-liter V-6 up front. (Kia also equips the Sorento with a choice of four-cylinders, either a 2.4-liter or a turbocharged 2.0-liter.) We were largely happy with the naturally aspirated six, which had no issues and offered the sort of smooth, linear power delivery and predictable throttle response and tip-in that even today’s best turbo engines struggle to match. The transmission stayed out of the way and did its job; that’s all we have to say about it. While it won’t snap necks, the zero-to-60-mph time of 7.1 seconds is respectable, and the V-6 even managed to return 22 mpg over 40,000 miles. The latter figure was aided by the Kia’s frequent use as a road-trip vehicle, but it’s just 1 mpg shy of the EPA’s highway estimate for the 4400-pound SUV.

Always on the Move

Indeed, the Sorento rarely had time to cool its tires before it set out again on frequent trips to small towns and cottages in northern Michigan or journeys to Chicago and Pennsylvania. The Kia also spent a few months in Montana, in the care of C/D’s moose, cocktails, and moose-cocktails editor John Phillips, who took it on adventures in at least eight states before returning the Kia to Ann Arbor.


Helping the Sorento’s suitability for long-distance travel were its comfortable and spacious interior and its admirably low levels of noise, vibration, and harshness. The SX gets second-row side sunshades and a panoramic sunroof, meaning we and our passengers could let in as much or as little light as we liked, and the firm, supportive seats allowed for long but fatigue-free days in the saddle. Easy-to-access LATCH connectors made swapping various child seats a snap.

All primary and secondary controls are easily reached from the driver’s seat, and we made ample use of the three available USB ports for front- and second-row passengers to keep devices charged; our Sorento had a 115-volt household outlet on the back of the center console for additional juicing, too. We were always happy to use the Kia’s UVO infotainment system on account of its crisp graphics, quick responses, and intuitive layout. We were able to upgrade our Sorento for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, something Kia now offers to owners of vehicles with the UVO3 version of the system. (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto became optional for 2017.)

Interior room and cargo flexibility proved adequate in use, even though they’re on the small side compared with some key competitors. The Kia has a good amount of space for stuff in back with the third row folded, and it offers numerous cubbies for the detritus of daily life, although making use of that room—notably the third row—was more difficult than we’d have liked. For instance, you can clamber into that row via either rear door, but neither side of the 40/20/40 split-folding second row can tumble forward; moving a seat out of the way is a two-step process (fold down the backrest, then slide the seat forward), which would be difficult for little ones to manage on their own. Finally, only the passenger side has a lever accessible to those in the third row who wish to make an unaided escape. Kia should study the functionality of the Honda Pilot, where the seatbacks tip forward and slide at the touch of a single button, and both can be moved out of the way easily by third-row occupants.


On the plus side, the second-row seat slides through a decent amount of real estate, which made it easy to apportion legroom among all back-seat occupants. We rarely had passengers in the wayback, though, as the seat bottoms are too low and the backrests are too flat, making it suitable only for children and/or short trips. Helpfully, each side of the second-row bench can be folded from the cargo area, using release levers located on the outer walls. Interior materials generally appeared to be of high quality, and they wore well overall. Nothing broke, even though our multitude of drivers were unusually torturous on this vehicle, even by our tough standards (as a nice person, you’d probably treat it with more respect).

Useful but Tame

From behind the wheel, our Sorento SX turned out to be everything we knew it to be from previous exposures: capable, easy to drive, and utterly anodyne. There’s little excitement to be found in this class in general, and we didn’t find any in our Kia. That’s not to say it isn’t well tuned. Body motions are nicely damped, and we found maneuvering the Sorento in tight parking lots easier than in some other crossovers because of its good forward and rear visibility. The ride is amazingly smooth, with a sophistication to the way the suspension irons out impacts large and small that’s more typically found in far more expensive vehicles. The brakes are strong enough to place it midpack in our 70-mph-to-zero test, although we did wish that Kia engineers had taken up the slack at the top of the pedal travel.

We never figured out what was going on with the steering, the one major source of frustration. In general, it was stupendously numb but otherwise accurate, and the Kia tracked straight on long freeway stretches. Often, however, the steering would go heavy or light, sometimes varying its weight back and forth during a single spin of the steering wheel. The worst symptom was the inconsistent weight just off-center, where sometimes it would just go extremely heavy for no apparent reason.


Service, Wounds, and a Recall

With the Sorento flying hither and yon to Montana, where Kia dealerships are about as common as coral reefs, we missed a couple of scheduled services but then got the care and feeding of the Kia back on track in Ann Arbor. One service we missed was a routine $76 job, but the other was a biggie and would have cost $413; absent those costs, we spent $470 for scheduled maintenance. Our Sorento was subject to a single recall repair, for the trailer-wiring connector, which may not function properly and keep the trailer’s brake lights illuminated. This was, of course, repaired at no cost. (The Kia had a tow rating of 5000 pounds, but we rarely took advantage of it.)

The right rear of our Sorento was cursed. First, an unknown assailant backed into the rear bumper and took out half of the passenger-side reflector. Then another accident ninja dented the right-rear quarter-panel near the D-pillar in such a way that we could only guess they punched it with a fist—or with someone else’s head. Whether during that incident or another one, the same area ended up with long creases in the body. We had the reflector replaced for $72 and the sheetmetal pulled for $200. We also replaced a windshield to the tune of $480 due to a large crack that formed after taking a stone chip. But none of these were the Kia’s fault. Its only real flaw was a power hatch that sometimes refused to be a power hatch; occasionally, we’d have to lift it manually—oh, the indignity—before it would happily motor closed at the push of a button.


Our time with the Sorento showed it to be a solid choice among mid-size SUVs that still merits consideration even 16 months on, although newer competition is on the way in the form of Volkswagen’s Atlas and Chevrolet’s Traverse. If Kia can inject some personality and more functionality into the next generation of its three-row SUV, it’s likely more folks will have the Sorento on their radar screens. We might even stop calling it the Sportage.

Months in Fleet: 16 months Final Mileage: 40,545 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 22 mpg Fuel Tank Size: 18.8 gal Fuel Range: 410 miles
Service: $470 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $480
Damage and Destruction: $272

30,000-Mile Update

WHAT WE LIKE: The Kia’s refinement continues to impress more than halfway through our 40,000-mile test, with low levels of noise, vibration, and harshness in the cabin; a generally placid ride; and well-controlled body motions. The infotainment interface still garners kudos for being easy to learn and even easier to use—nearly every function is where you’d expect it to be, with clear buttons and icons that are sized right for on-the-go operation.

The interior has worn well, with the only real sign of the Sorento’s busy life being the glossy leather on the steering wheel and the front-seat cushions. And we’re still happy with our decision to spec the smooth 3.3-liter V-6, which offers plenty of power for merging and passing while never seeming strained; one can’t say the same for lesser Sorentos with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder or the turbocharged 2.0-liter four.


The Sorento remains a pleasant road-trip vehicle, with the comfortable seats and well-mannered chassis helping to ward off fatigue. And while it’s an increasingly common feature, the reclining and sliding second row gives occupants there plenty of stretch-out room while offering flexibility when we need to call on the third row and the cargo area. Our observed fuel economy has ticked upward by 1 mpg to 22 thanks to plenty of highway cruising.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: New complaints since our last update were few: One driver complained about the “awful texture” of the lower, mostly hidden half of the dashboard, while another said “the passenger seatbelt sometimes bangs against the B-pillar.” And those with minions who populate the third row are occasionally annoyed when they discover that only the passenger-side second-row seat tips forward to let those rear-seat riders in and out.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Our Montana bureau chief, John Phillips, reported a “strange new wind noise” emanating from the top of the driver’s-side front window at 25,000 miles, and he had to replace the windshield due to a stone chip that quickly turned into a large, lateral crack. That cost $465 but isn’t really the Kia’s fault. The wind noise, which we suppose might be the car’s fault, disappeared, and the Sorento otherwise has been faultless.


WHERE WE WENT: Our Sorento was in Montana for a good portion of the time since its last update, eventually returning home to Ann Arbor via Rapid City and Mitchell, South Dakota—Corn Palace!—and Mason City, Iowa. Since sliding back into the Car and Driver parking lot, the Sorento has largely served as a commuter and local family shuttle.

Months in Fleet: 11 months Current Mileage: 27,183 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 22 mpg Fuel Tank Size: 18.8 gal Fuel Range: 410 miles
Service: $238 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $480

15,000-Mile Update

WHAT WE LIKE: Eight months and 17,500 miles into our long-term Kia Sorento’s life with us, its logbook is overflowing with praise. Such as, “The Sorento strikes me as a Korean version of a Jeep Grand Cherokee.” Okay, it isn’t quite yet on that mountaintop, but you have to agree it’s a compliment.

What you notice first about the Sorento is the cockpit’s remarkable serenity, how isolated it is from road noise, and how reassuringly solid this crossover feels. As far as we could tell, most of the minor wind noise is being generated by the optional crossbars on the roof.

Kia is also getting better at interior appointments, although the company remains famous for offering a few dazzling surfaces that act as distractions. That’s the case here. Notice the rich, creamy headliner fabric flowing down the A-pillars. And there’s a lovely slash of high-gloss black plastic across the top of the dash, around the window switches, and around the door pulls. Unfortunately, the majority of the dash surface is a pebbly vinyl that would look good only in a contractor’s truck. Its principal feature is its uncanny ability to latch onto dust, dirt, and pieces of paper towel.

The center stack also looks a little downscale, but the rotary temperature controls and the HVAC switchgear are large and easily learned. In fact, all control relationships are pretty much bang-on. What’s more, the seats are surprisingly firm and so far have elicited zero complaints.


There are three driving modes: Normal, Eco, and Sport. The latter remaps the transmission so that kickdowns manifest sooner and harder and upshifts are delayed until higher revs. It’s not particularly sporty, but it offers useful engine braking on downhill grades.

The split second-row seats slide and recline. Slid to their rearmost stops, those seats offer legroom that will satisfy NBA stars. Really, it is remarkably comfortable back there, more than in a dozen more expensive SUVs. There’s also a 110-volt AC outlet in the rear, plus 12-volt and USB ports. What you won’t find, strangely, is your own fan control, because that’s located to the right of the folks who might have occupied the third row. Wouldn’t you expect the second seat to be inhabited far more often? With rear seats flattened, the cargo area extends a full six feet. No problem storing a bike back there. Heck, two campers could sleep back there.

We also love the panoramic sunroof, which is standard on the SX V-6 model. That the sun shade also automatically extends and retracts makes the whole system practical and desirable. Speaking of shades, the second-row side windows are fitted with you-pull-’em blinds, in case you’re asked to ferry the Queen to the bingo finals.

What has surprised us the most about the Sorento is that roll/dive/squat are adequately damped, at least for this soft-life crossover, and the ride is as close to perfect in this vehicular niche as you are likely to find. Looking at the 19-inch Kumho Crugens (isn’t a crugen a type of pastry?), we never would have dreamed the ride could be so supple. In fact, what the Sorento feels like is a very well-developed station wagon.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: This may sound facile, but the Kia Sorento is one of the blandest, most universally generic-looking crossovers extant. It looks like its exterior shape coalesced from a team of 30 stylists, all too willing to head home at 3 p.m. When you lose your Sorento in Costco’s lot, you’ll wind up searching for it by color, not shape. Prepare to make accidental unlawful entry into other folks’ vehicles.

Despite the 3.3-liter V-6’s 290 horsepower, the Sorento feels rather languid, even though 60 mph is achieved in a not-so-bad 7.1 seconds. Step-off is especially poky, but at least it makes it easy to drive smoothly, and the V-6’s low levels of NVH comprise a double bonus. Observed fuel mileage so far is 21 mpg.

The steering’s heft is fine, on-center feel is excellent, and tracking is satisfactory. But the steering delivers little info about the tire-to-road interface. Worse, the electric power assist seems to fluctuate, as if tuned in steps instead of one fluid arc. It means that even if you summon a perfect steering angle on turn-in, you’ll be making corrections moments later. On the upside, the column itself is generously adjustable for reach and rake. Another oddity: Before the brakes bite, there’s a funny dead spot on initial application of the pedal. But it’s another quirk easily mastered.


You can buy a Sorento SX AWD (the second-highest trim level) at a base price of $40,995. On our long-term model, we added the roof crossbars ($225), a cargo net and tray ($165), the auto-dimming mirror ($350), a tow hitch ($395), and a windshield-washer heater ($250). All of that pushed the as-tested price to $42,180. If you’re saying, “That’s a lot for a Kia,” well, we said it first.

WHAT WENT WRONG: In Livingston, Montana, the Sorento suffered a flat right-rear tire. Changing it was a breeze until it came time to return the spare back up into its hidey-hole beneath the cargo area. That’s when it will hang up on the optional tow hitch—every damn time—becoming a sweaty ordeal requiring a two-person team not prone to cursing. Plus, be willing to sacrifice one T-shirt.

So far, nothing on our Sorento has broken. It has undergone two scheduled services, and that’s it. On the other hand, the automatic cargo-hatch opener is prone to balk and fuss, as if it’s about to stage a coup. Also, someone gently backed into the Kia’s rear hindquarters, breaking a section of red reflective plastic—not all of it, just half of it. It’s difficult to notice, so we’ll have to decide whether it’s worth replacing.

WHERE WE WENT: Apart from a trip to Chicago, the Sorento was pretty much a homebody. Until, that is, road warrior Mad Max Mortimer aimed its grille west, checking out Mount Rushmore and eventually depositing the car with the editor of our Montana Desk, where nothing at all was happening. Since then, the Sorento has accomplished a serene trip to Livingston, Montana, the home of reclusive writers and Hollywood celebs, all of whom eventually migrate to the Murray Bar, as did we. As this is written, the Sorento is headed to Milwaukee by way of Denver, then back to the Montana Desk, where nothing at all is still happening.—John Phillips

Months in Fleet: 8 months Current Mileage: 17,575 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 21 mpg Fuel Tank Size: 18.8 gal Fuel Range: 390 miles
Service: $238 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $15


Kia’s crossover SUVs have become fully competitive at the right time. The market for high-riding, roomy, and all-weather-capable machines has never been stronger, including in the heady days of sub-one-dollar gas in the 1990s. And today’s crossovers are more comfortable, more versatile, and more efficient than pretty much anything of comparable size two decades ago.

When we first encountered this third-generation Sorento, we stated that buyers couldn’t do much better in terms of value, style, quality, and capability in the three-row-SUV segment. Two subsequent short exposures at our Ann Arbor headquarters confirmed that Kia had indeed cooked up something savory. But would those impressions hold up over a full, 40,000-mile long-term test?


We restrained ourselves when we spec’d our Sorento, going for the penultimate $40,795 SX trim level rather than the full-hog SX Limited, a.k.a. the SXL. (The Sorento starts at $25,795.) So we’re missing out on some chrome exterior trim, wood interior accents, front-seat ventilation, nappa leather upholstery, and second-row heated seats—absences that cause us to lay our head on the non-heated steering wheel and weep. We’ll have to be comfortable with our crossover’s fancy 19-inch gunmetal-finish wheels, 14-way power driver’s seat, panoramic sunroof, regular leather, LED tail- and accent lights, and other goodies.

Other items baked into our particular Sorento as standard include a third-row seat; dual-zone automatic climate control; a 110-volt household electrical outlet; an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, real-time traffic, and Bluetooth connectivity; proximity entry and start; and a 7.0-inch TFT screen in the gauge cluster. Oh, and SX-exclusive red-painted brake calipers, which are very important. To all of that we added $1385 in small items—among them a tow hitch, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a washer-fluid heater—for a final tally of $42,180. Okay, life ain’t so bad.

As for the engine, our choice was simple: The SX is available only with a 3.3-liter V-6, although the Sorento line also offers a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder (L and LX) and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (standard in the EX and SXL). The V-6 suits us just fine. While the Sorento’s 2.0T is strong enough to pull around 4200 pounds (or more) of CUV, the market’s swift adoption of downsized turbocharged engines means we don’t get to play around with naturally aspirated six-cylinders much these days, and the six is rated to tow 5000 pounds versus the 2.0-liter’s 3500. Our observed fuel economy so far—19 mpg—isn’t stellar, but it matches the EPA combined rating and is only 1 mpg lower than we saw in our test of an AWD turbo four-cylinder model.


Initial commentary has largely been positive. “This might just be the best modern Kia,” wrote our very first logbook commenter, online editor Alexander Stoklosa. “Big bounds forward in ride quality,” opined technical director Eric Tingwall, referencing an occasional bugaboo in previous Sorentos, “and the body control is spot-on.” The crossover’s interior roominess, general comfort, and solid structural feel have also drawn compliments, as have the interior materials, which wouldn’t be out of place in a vehicle with a luxury badge on the nose.

Not all has been rosy, however, and the steering has come in for the most complaints. The system in the SX (and in the SXL) differs from other Sorentos in that it mounts the electric-assist motor on the steering rack rather than on the column, in the interest of providing better feel. We’re not sure Kia should have gone to the trouble of developing two setups. The early returns show the steering in our Sorento to be afflicted by numbness and a tendency to require minute corrections during straight-line cruising, as are some other Kia vehicles. In addition, multiple drivers have commented on the steering’s “notchiness,” as when you’re holding the wheel in a steady curve (think cloverleaf ramp) and making small inputs, you can feel the boost ebb and flow. “It’s as if the EPS [electric power steering] was tuned to follow stair steps rather than a smooth curve,” said Tingwall.

All in all, our long-term test is off to an auspicious start, and the Sorento hasn’t created any outright detractors. Of course, we have 35,000 more miles to cover—and plenty of logbook pages to fill.

Months in Fleet: 3 months Current Mileage: 4997 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 19 mpg Fuel Tank Size: 18.8 gal Fuel Range: 360 miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0



2016 Kia Sorento

front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door hatchback

$42,180 (base price: $25,795)

DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
204 in3, 3342 cm3
290 hp @ 6400 rpm
252 lb-ft @ 5300 rpm

6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

Wheelbase: 109.4 in
Length: 187.4 in
Width: 74.4 in
Height: 66.5 in
Passenger volume: 143 ft3
Cargo volume: 11 ft3
Curb weight: 4378 lb

Zero to 60 mph: 7.1 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 19.5 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 33.9 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 7.6 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 3.9 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 5.1 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.7 sec @ 91 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 121 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 174 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.80 g

Zero to 60 mph: 7.1 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 19.5 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 33.6 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 7.5 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 3.7 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 5.0 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.6 sec @ 91 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 121 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 177 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.81 g

EPA city/highway driving: 17/23 mpg
C/D observed: 22 mpg
Unscheduled oil additions: 0 qt

5 years/60,000 miles bumper to bumper;
10 years/100,000 miles powertrain;
5 years/100,000 miles corrosion protection;
5 years/60,000 miles roadside assistance

c/d testing explained


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Kia Sportage Review: 10 things you need to know

Be Smart, Check in Advance. CARFAX — Your Vehicle History.

CARFAX — Your Vehicle History Expert

Sometimes what you don't know can't hurt you, but that's not the case when buying a used car. As an independent vehicle history provider, at CARFAX we've made it our mission to tell you everything you need to know by uncovering as many events as possible from the previous life of a used car. Our primary goal is to help you get to know your next car from the inside out before deciding to make an investment that will be part of you and your family's everyday life. We believe your next car shouldn't be hiding anything from you.

CARFAX Vehicle History Reports contain over 28 billion historical records from 20 European countries, the US and Canada, which are updated daily with new information.

Even if you live in a country we don't collect vehicle data from, it's still always worth checking the Vehicle Identification Number without obligation. The used car import and export market is booming and many owners would be surprised to find out exactly what happened to their vehicle during its previous life abroad.

Privacy for Customers — Transparency over Vehicles

Let's be clear: Although we strive to find every detail of a vehicle's life so far, we are focused only on the vehicle's history, and do not collect any information on previous owners. The information we provide relates solely to the vehicle, its odometer reading, any accidents that have been covered up, where the vehicle comes from and much more — it never gets personal. We've uncovered irreparable damage several times in the past, but other times our vehicle history checks draw a blank — and sometimes that's actually a good thing.

Second Hand — Not Second Best

Did you know that considerably more used cars are sold than new cars? We think this second-hand system is nothing short of fantastic. However, it goes without saying that it gives rise to different methods and tactics: Some sellers will disguise a car that's been in an accident under a fresh coat of paint, tamper with the odometer or conceal theft. This is one of the less appealing aspects of buying second hand. Our goal is to establish trusting relationships between buyers and sellers, since this is the best way to help customers make the right decision. Your new car should be reliable and make you feel safe, as well as make you feel like you haven't paid too much.

But more than anything else, we don't want you or your family unknowingly sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle that isn't 100% safe. This is why we strive to take these vehicles off the road, which not only makes the used car market safer but our streets safer too.

CARFAX — 35+ Years of Experience in Vehicle Histories

CARFAX was founded in the US in 1984 and expanded into Europe in 2007. Around 100 team members spread across six European offices process vehicle information from 22 countries.

Fostering strategic partnerships with registration authorities, law enforcement agencies, government departments, insurance companies, inspection centers and numerous other leading companies around the world has enabled us to compile a unique international database for vehicle histories. We use this database to help make the used car market more transparent. We give everyone in the process of buying a used car access to what is currently the world's most comprehensive source for vehicle history reports, and is growing day by day.

We remain neutral and independent despite our partnerships — our sole purpose is help customers make an informed choice and ensure their safety and the safety of their family. This includes never collecting any personal details — we do not accept any PII from data sources amongst the information we provide about a vehicle. We ensure that data protection laws are observed at all times. Furthermore, we always collect our data in compliance with legal and regulatory frameworks — in all the countries in which we are active. We expressly distance ourselves from illegal activities such as data theft, scraping and hacking.


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Kia Sportage

Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.

0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.

Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.

Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.

Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.


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