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Sleek styling, good ground clearance, available all-wheel drive, spacious interior; available third row seating; plenty of available luxury features
Following a redesign last year, the Kia Sorento is relatively unchanged for 2015: The front grille is slightly revised, and the direct-injected 2.4-liter 4-cylinder now has improved highway fuel economy, up to 27 mpg.
The Kia Sorento is a midsized crossover vehicle. It starts at about $24,000 but is available with a ton of optional features that run from interesting to downright luxurious. Third-row seating is available for owners with large families and the Sorento does an admirable job of moving people and their stuff around in a quiet and comfortable environment.
The Kia Sorento is powered by one of two engines, both connected to a 6-speed automatic and optional all-wheel drive. The base model gets a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine making 191 horsepower. With this engine, the Sorento averages 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. All other models are powered by an aluminum 3.3L V6, good for 290 horsepower and enough to make the Sorento feel quite spry. Even with the bigger engine, the Sorento still manages to average 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
The Sorento is available in four different trim levels, which progressively ramp up the features, until the Sorento is more than capable of facing off with various luxury vehicles on the market.
The base trim is dubbed the LX and basic though it may be it still comes with plenty of amenities. Notable features on the LX include keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel-mounted audio and phone controls, heated mirrors with turn signals, 17-inch alloy wheels and a USB input jack for the stereo.
The next step up is the EX, a trim level that makes significant strides towards taking the Sorento into luxury vehicle territory. The Sorento EX upgrades the engine to the V6 unit but also adds heated front seats, second row sunshades, pushbutton start, automatic headlights, front fog lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, a digital instrument cluster, a rearview backup camera, dual-zone climate control, an electronic automatically dimming rearview mirror, interior accent lighting, leather seats a leather steering wheel and a leather shift knob.
Upscale SX models get power folding rearview mirrors, a panoramic sunroof with sunshade, LED rear taillights, 19-inch alloy wheels, an Infinity premium sound system, vented front seats, a navigation system with an 8-inch screen, a blind spot detection system, a power liftgate, a power adjustable front passenger seat and some upgraded trim along the doors.
The top-of-the-line model is dubbed the Limited. The Sorento Limited is even more polished than the already luxurious SX. Upgrades include chrome 19-inch wheels, Napa leather seating surfaces, heated second row seats, HID headlights and a heated and wood-trimmed steering wheel.
Safety features across the Sorento line include anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic brake distribution, a rollover sensor, front, side and side curtain airbags, active headrests and hill start control. A backup camera is available as an option on the LX, but comes standard across all other trims.
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