• Front- or all-wheel drive
  • Up to seven passengers
  • Edgy exterior
  • Lethargic in-line four
  • Tiny third-row seats
  • Ride quality could be better

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Sorento in 2014

The 2014 Kia Sorento has been heavily revised. It rides on a new platform, has updated sheetmetal, and is more comfortable than its predecessor...more

Vehicle Summary

Over the years, the Kia Sorento has morphed along with its market segment. Originally a tough SUV, the Sorento transformed into a slightly larger and much softer SUV before becoming what it is today -- a typical crossover. Kia has seriously updated the Sorento for 2014. The 2014 Kia Sorento is based on the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, which means that it has the same nicely balanced manners as the Hyundai. It also means that one of the 2014 Kia Sorento's strongest selling points -- its optional third-row seats -- is still compromised. This is a good crossover for families that would very occasionally use third-row seats. Families who would rely on the extra row would do better to look at larger crossovers, such as the Nissan Pathfinder and the Dodge Durango. Still, the 2014 Kia Sorento is a fantastic option for buyers who want something sportier and smaller than a full-size crossover.

Overview

This generation of the Sorento is a leap forward from what the Sorento used to be, which was a brutish crossover with body-on-frame construction. For 2011, Kia turned the Sorento into a unibody crossover with a little space in the back for a third row, and it was pretty much inaccessible to anyone but toddlers. For 2014, Kia has again updated the Sorento, but this refresh is more of a step forward than a second leap.

The Sorento now rides on a new platform that yields a bit more space in the third row, although you'd still be hard-pressed to get anyone not wearing a Hannah Montana shirt and Velcro-strap shoes back there. The real benefit we see from the new platform is that the Sorento's handling and ride quality have improved. A strut-tower brace increases chassis stiffness, and new rear bushings and mounts help keep out road noise and vibrations. New, too, is the Sorento's 3.3-liter V-6 engine with direct injection. It produces 290 hp, more than the larger engine it replaces, but it's no more efficient than the previous V-6. Eco-friendly buyers might want the Sorento LX for its more economical 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder engine, even though it's not very lively.

The exterior benefits from both a redesigned nose and a redesigned tail. The interior on most models has been updated with a seven-inch LCD instrument cluster, and there are now heated second-row seats on the top-trim SX-L model. This 2014 refresh illustrates that Kia is still moving in the right direction with its Sorento.

Key Competitors

  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Ford Edge
  • Honda Pilot
  • Toyota RAV4

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