Refined, rugged and roomy, Kia Motors America’s best-selling Sorento SUV remains as capable as ever for the 2019 model year, touting a number of visual and feature enhancements, inside and out. Aside from new front and rear fascias, which help it achieve a more sophisticated appearance, the cabin is now decidedly more upscale and integrates newly-added technology, including available Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keep Assist and QuantumLogic Surround Sound. In addition, the Sorento now pairs its available 3.3-liter V6 with a newly available 8-speed automatic transmission for an even smoother and more seamless driving experience.
“In the highly-competitive SUV category, the Sorento is a clear example of how world-class design and craftsmanship are executed,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, KMA. “Our popular utility now ups its game even further with enhancements in styling, packaging and content, making it even more attractive to shoppers seeking a premium level 3-row SUV.”
Standard luxury features and amenities continue to be available across five trim levels – L, LX, EX, SX and SXL.
Beautifully proportioned, the Sorento retains its refined and rugged exterior look, which was established when the vehicle underwent a complete redesign for the 2016 model year, and was in many ways inspired by the highly regarded Cross GT concept unveiled in 2013. But a subtle facelift now gives Kia’s popular crossover a tighter, sharper appearance. The revised front-end is headlined by a more artfully detailed radiator grille flanked by a new headlamp configuration, which offers full-LED lighting on upper trims – SX (optional) and SXL. The crossover’s familiar ice cube-style foglamps have also been redesigned featuring projection bulbs for EX and SX trims while SXL enjoys the more distinctive LEDs. The Sorento’s front fascia wears a newly sculpted bumper design to achieve a more aggressive overall expression.
The rear fascia of the crossover has also been enhanced with a new bumper design, sleeker taillamps (LED bulbs for EX trim and higher), revised liftgate and a sportier muffler tip. And the Sorento’s muscular body rides atop three newly designed wheels, ranging from 17 to 19 inches, depending on trim level.
Spacious and sophisticated, the Sorento’s cabin maintains a premium look and feel thanks to an array of upgrades and enhancements, including a new, more tactile steering wheel, new shifter knob and a revised instrument cluster with improved graphics. The makeover also includes alterations to the air vents and the center console design.
In terms of versatility, Sorento offers standard 40/20/40 second-row folding seats and 50/50 third-row folding seats now come standard on all trims, providing space for up to seven passengers. The seating system is designed to offer optimum comfort and ideal seating positions to fulfill the needs of every occupant. For added luxury, also available are heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, 14-way power driver and 8-way power passenger seats, driver’s seat thigh extension and a 4-way headrest with one-button adjustment. And for 2019, Sorento now offers 2-way powered lumbar support for the front passenger on SX and SXL trims.
The Sorento interior also offers available dual-zone HVAC and panoramic sunroof, as well as available premium Nappa leather trim seating surfaces, similar to those found in Kia’s exciting new sports sedan, the Stinger. Newly available interior/seat colors are Mahogany and Terracotta for the SX and SXL trims, respectively. And updated interior accent trims are standard visual enhancements across all trim levels.
Tech Savvy SUV
The 2019 Kia Sorento is loaded with technology, including an upgraded AVN 5.0 navigation system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay offered. Even the base level L trim gets a standard 7-inch user interface, also equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. And to eliminate the need for a charging cord, there’s now an available wireless charging tray for compatible Android6 devices, as well as Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
On the Road
The spirited front- or available all-wheel drive experience is brought to life with a choice of two proven engines, including a 2.4-liter inline-4 GDI or a 3.3-liter V6 GDI. For 2019, the 2.0-liter turbo I-4 will no longer be offered as part of Sorento’s powertrain strategy. However, a new diesel engine with the latest emission controls is currently under development and more information is forthcoming.
The carryover 2.4-liter engine is mated to a revised and more efficient electronically controlled six-speed automatic gearbox featuring Sportmatic shifting and delivers a capable 185 horsepower. The Sorento’s familiar V6 brings with it a stampede of 290 horses while connecting to a newly available 8-speed automatic transmission. The result is a noticeably smoother and more seamless interaction between engine and transmission.
To achieve a more intuitive driving experience, Sorento replaces the former Drive Mode Select setup with the new Smart Shift & Drive feature across all trim levels. This enhancement automatically activates the optimum drive mode – Eco, Sport or Smart – based on driving style or may be set by driver preference.
Kia’s suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems is now standard on Sorento EX trims and higher. In addition to Forward Collision Warning System, Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Collision, Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning and Surround View Monitor, Sorento now offers Lane Keeping Assist and available Driver Attention Warning which is designed to detect when driver concentration has waned by monitoring vehicle and driving behavior. If it detects driver fatigue or inattentive driving practices, the system issues visual and audible warnings, including a coffee cup icon in the instrument cluster, to encourage the driver to take a break. Lane Keeping Assist helps alert the driver and can even steer the vehicle back to its original position should the system detect the vehicle drifting out of its lane.
Sorento continues to offer an available advanced AWD system designed to automatically route power to the wheel with the most traction. When certain adverse conditions call for more sure-footed capability, the 4WD Lock Mode splits engine power evenly between the front and rear drive shafts. The system also provides drivers the added stability of Torque Vector Cornering Control. The TVCC system is activated when yaw and steering sensors detect unwanted understeer.