Launched in January 2010, the 2011 Kia Sorento compact utility vehicle (CUV) returned to the Kia line-up fully redesigned right down to the platform and quickly became the brand's best-selling vehicle in the U.S. Encompassing the brand's signature design cues as well as its distinct combination of value, style and safety features, Sorento presents consumers with a well-equipped, well-appointed CUV with impressive power and handling suited perfectly for the fun, dynamic and discerning driver. Sorento also offers an impressive amount of safety features in addition to comfort and convenience, and was appointed a 2010 "Top Safety Pick" award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shortly after its debut.
With a streamlined and attractive look, Sorento represents a modern CUV that is just the right size for today's consumer. Completely redesigned for the 2011 model year, Sorento employs a unibody design with the ability to comfortably fit up to seven passengers, offering more space and ride comfort than the previous-generation model. Prominently displaying the signature tabbed grille and wraparound headlamps exhibited on all new Kia models, Sorento offers an aggressive stance and sleek profile.
Available in LX, EX and SX trim levels, pricing for the popular CUV begins at $22,395 for the LX trim, offering standard convenience features, including air conditioning, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service, MP3 connectivity and Bluetooth® wireless technology and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
Confident and Contemporary Exterior
Based on the KND-4 concept shown during the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show, Sorento offers the same swept-back lines and dynamic presence as the concept vehicle. With an angled window line, large flared-back headlamps, prominent fog lamps and rounded nose, Sorento clearly belongs to the Kia family and effortlessly conveys strength and authority. The view from the rear offers the same forceful attitude with a rounded back and tail lamps set powerfully within the rear lift gate.
Moving around the vehicle, the versatile CUV offers tasteful exterior features on all three trims, including 17-inch alloy wheels with 235/65R17 tires and wheel moldings, body-color heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signal indicators. The EX trim offers standard 18-inch alloy wheels outfitted with 235/60R18 tires, automatic headlamps, fog lamps (optional on LX trims) and a rear spoiler. Optional for LX models are roof rails for those looking to spend a weekend away or endeavor in recreational activities, while EX trims offer the options of 18-inch ultra bright mirror-finish wheels or a panoramic sunroof (V6 models only), a first for any Kia vehicle. With an overall length of 183.9 inches and overall width of 74.2 inches, the new CUV is longer, lower, roomier and more aerodynamic than its predecessor and offers occupants a more spacious and comfortable ride. Advancing to the more refined SX trim adds mirror-finish five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome-tip exhaust, body-color wheel well molding, stainless steel under bumper trim accents, sleeker body-color front and rear bumpers and LED tail lamps for a decidedly more upscale appearance.
Modern and Tech-Inspired Interior
Moving inside, the feeling of spaciousness is all the more evident, and with both five- and seven-passenger seating configurations (third row optional), Sorento is now more versatile than ever. With 142.5 cubic feet of interior volume when equipped with five seats or 149.4 cubic feet with seven, Sorento offers quite a bit more space over the previous generation's 137.5 cubic feet. Head and legroom also have increased for optimal occupant comfort. With nearly five cubic feet more in cargo capacity, the new generation effortlessly accommodates both passenger and cargo needs for cruising around town as easily as weekends camping in the mountains.
In addition to offering a comfortable ride, an impressive slate of technology features also come standard, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SIRIUS® Satellite Radio, auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting personal MP3 players, and Bluetooth wireless technology connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls to enable hands-free operation for all compatible mobile phones. As well, all EX models offer standard push button-start ignition with smart key and rear sonar back-up sensors, while available voice-activated navigation, rear view back-up cameras and air ionization purification technology complete the modern and high-tech driving experience. Moving to the SX trim offers the navigation system as standard while also adding an upgraded Infinity® surround sound system with 10 speakers for superior listening enjoyment.
Standard comforts can be found throughout, including air conditioning, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel with integrated audio controls, trip computer, rear map pockets, automatic up and down driver's window function, illuminated vanity mirror, EcoMinder™ Indicator to assist with fuel efficient driving habits, and a second row arm rest with cup holder. Progressing to the EX trim provides even more well-appointed standard features including dual automatic temperature control, rear air conditioning (V6 models only) and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Adding additional touches of sophistication, SX trims include an automatic dimming rear view mirror with Homelink®, heated front seats, leather seat trim for the first and second rows, stainless steel pedals and a stainless steel sill plate with illuminated scuff trim.
Able to suit practically any driver, Sorento offers the discriminating consumer numerous package options. The Convenience Package, available for the LX trim, offers roof rails, rear sonar, a rear view mirror with backup display, heated front seats and fog lamps. Moving to the Premium Package (EX trim) are roof rails, leather trim seats, heated front seats, a rear view backup camera and a panoramic sunroof (standard on EX V6 models only), further adding to the feeling of spaciousness. By upgrading to the Limited Package, available for the EX trim outfitted with the Premium Package, drivers will benefit from luxuriously appointed features including a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic, an Infinity premium surround system with 10 speakers and a 550-watt digital amplifier, 18-inch chrome-finish wheels and interior accent mood illumination. A DVD Entertainment Package also is available on EX V6 models (without sunroof) for those looking for a little extra entertainment while on the road.
The 2011 Sorento offers two engines – a 3.5-liter V6 providing class-leading 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque and a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 175 horsepower and 169 pound-feet of torque both are coupled to a new six-speed automatic transmission, which together provide ample power and offer improved fuel efficiency over previous generation. This six-speed automatic transmission is a proprietary design for Kia Motors that was designed, engineered and built specifically for Kia vehicles, making the brand one of only three manufacturers to employ such a transmission. To further meet consumer needs, both engines can be mated to either front- or all-wheel-drive configurations, the latter coming with a locking center differential to evenly distribute power to all wheels while operating the vehicle at low speeds during more severe weather conditions. For enhanced ride performance, the 2011 Sorento employs a more compact and lighter MacPherson strut front suspension and a fully independen multi-link rear suspension.
Advanced Safety Features
Like all Kia vehicles, the 2011 Sorento is equipped with a plethora of standard safety equipment. All trims come outfitted with driver and passenger advanced front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, first and second row side curtain airbags11and front active headrests, four-wheel Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Brake Control (DBC) also come standard on all models, the former assisting in preventing the vehicle from rolling backward when trying to pull away from an uphill gradient, while the latter helps keep the vehicle moving straight and steady down steep grades.