2016 Kia Sorento 2.0T SXL

2016 Kia Sorento 2.0T SXL Review

The spacious, luxurious new Sorento makes a clean break.

By: Lindsay Prossnitz

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: June 12th, 2015

Kia has redesigned its Sorento from the inside out, creating a more spacious vehicle that allows the Sorento to fully distance itself from the compact crossover segment it had been flirting with. Kia's fancy facelift includes a longer wheelbase, new interior styling, and an additional engine option. With the looks of an SUV, the pragmatism of a minivan, and the comfort of a luxury sedan, the Sorento brings Kia to a new level of classiness.

  • Interior

    The Sorento has all the perks of a luxury vehicle. We had the upgraded Nappa leather, which gave us some very comfortable heated front seats, complete with adjustable lumbar support, and a heated steering wheel. A panoramic sunroof helps open up the roomy cabin, letting in ample natural light. With Bluetooth technology to sync your phone and Sirius XM radio, you'll be able to take calls and jam out in your car with impeccable sound quality, thanks to an Infinity surround sound system that employs the use of 10 speakers.

    If you're considering buying a Sorento, the SXL Technology Package is a great investment. To the tune of $2,500, your car will be decked out with numerous beeps and chimes to keep you concentrating on the road. The Lane Departure Warning System alerts the driver when they've veered from their intended course without signaling. A Forward Collision Warning System will sound the alarm when you're getting too close to the vehicle in front of you. And a surround view monitor gives the driver a bird's-eye 360-degree view of the vehicle in real time to give an accurate measure of how close the vehicle is to various objects. Thankfully, if you don't want your car to sound like a child's musical instrument, you can disable these safety warning features.

  • Exterior

    Every part of the 2016 Kia Sorento has been redesigned from its predecessor. A new body structure gives it a more refined look, with three extra inches in the wheelbase for more room overall in the cabin. And, slightly taller, the new Sorento makes a clean break from the compact crossover segment it was bordering against (including vehicles like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4). Now, it cruises gracefully in-line with competitors like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Highlander in the heart of the midsize crossover segment. The top-of-the-line SXL trim is also complete with 19-inch chrome-finish wheels and chrome roof rails for added elegance. But functionality and practicality still reign supreme with a hands-free power liftgate and heated exterior mirrors.

  • On the Road

    Driving the Sorento around the city and neighboring suburbs gave me a good feel for how the vehicle handled in bumper-to-bumper traffic, on the highway, and through the pock-marked streets of Chicago. The new engine option, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic, gives the Sorento some hustle, but those looking for more oomph can opt for the V6 that will put you just 10 ponies shy of 300 horsepower. While the vehicle has a 3,500 pound hauling capacity, it only seats five in the SXL trim. Optional third row seating is available in LX packages. The all-wheel-drive and advanced-traction-control system give it great grip on the pavement during inclement weather. I encountered some rain during my time with the Sorento, but the LED front fog lights produced great visibility.

  • Final Thoughts

    Kia's march towards refinement is only sped up with the Sorento. The sleek outer curves of the vehicle, combined with improved interior styling trim elements and an extended wheelbase, give the Sorento a sophisticated feel, while also remaining highly practical. Responsive steering and a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine deliver a smooth ride, while tech features like a 360-degree-view monitor and lane departure and forward collision warning systems ensure it's a safe one. It offers plenty of cargo and passenger space if you don't need a third row of seating - and it will help you avoid the minivan stigma.

  • Specs & Price

    Engine: 2.0-liter direct-injection, turbocharged I-4

    Transmission: Six-speed automatic

    Drivetrain Layout: Front-engine, all-wheel drive

    Power Output: 240 hp / 260 lb-ft

    Fuel Economy (mpg): 19 city / 25 highway

    Base Price: $41,700

    As Tested: $45,095 (incl. $895 destination)

    Available Features:

    SXL Technology Package: HID headlights with auto leveling, Surround View Monitor, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, electronic parking brake with auto hold

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