New for 2015

After significant revisions for the 2014 model year, the Sorento remains largely unchanged for 2015. The crossover gets redesigned for the 2016 model year.

Vehicle Overview

The Kia Sorento is a three-row crossover that fits above the Sportage and below the Sedona in the automaker’s lineup.

Summary

The 2015 Kia Sorento is a front- or all-wheel-drive three-row crossover that pairs a six-speed automatic with either of two available engines. The base engine is a 2.4-liter I-4 that sports direct injection, makes 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque, and is good for an EPA-estimated 20/27 mpg city/highway in FWD trim, or 19/25 mpg in AWD. We called it barely sufficient for the heavy crossover. Stepping up to the more capable 3.3-liter V-6, which makes 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque, nets an EPA-estimated 18/25 mpg FWD, or just 18/24 mpg in AWD trim. With the minimal penalty for AWD on V-6 equipped models, get it if you might use it.

Some of the most notable available features include an available 7-inch TFT LCD instrument panel, an 8-inch infotainment screen, a power rear liftgate, heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, and the latest UVO system.

The 2015 Kia Sorento received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and in IIHS testing was considered a Top Safety Pick for 2013, but because of a rating of poor in the new – more difficult – small front overlap test did not meet the tougher criteria for 2014.

What We Think

The 2015 Kia Sorento is in between the new and the old: while revised heavily in 2014 (the model was given a new platform and revised exterior styling) an all-new model has already been announced for 2016.

The 2014/2015 Sorento continues by making an already popular crossover (Kia’s #2 seller) and making it better, but only in an evolutionary way, nothing revolutionary despite the heavy changes. The third row is still short-trip/kid-only but folds flat easily and provides 36.9 cubic feet of storage space. The steering is par for the course with the crossover competition, but its electric nature makes it feel artificial and doesn’t communicate what the front tires are actually doing.

The Sorento both looks and drives a bit better and has a few more features on the options list. We’ll have to wait a few more years for the full redesign, when we hope to see a more significantly improved interior and — we can dream — more engaging steering and handling. In the meantime, the Sorento should continue to stand out in its segment for its above-average style and value.

You’ll Like

  • Seating for up-to seven
  • SXL features Nappa leather
  • Bold styling

You Won’t Like

  • Uncommunicative steering
  • Fuel economy isn’t class leading
  • Cheap interior materials

Key Competitors

  • Honda Pilot
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Chevrolet Traverse

Rating

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