2011 Kia Sorento SX

Not content with just three trim levels for its 2011 Sorento, Kia has unveiled a new topline SX model for its bestselling vehicle. The SX slots in above the Base, LX, and EX trims with a plethora of unique refinements and features.

The most obvious revisions are made to the exterior. The Sorento SX differentiates itself with five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, a new front grille, front and rear skidplates, and special front and rear fascias. The new front bumper cover is especially discernible, featuring larger foglight housings, new foglights, and a sportier-looking trapezoidal cutout with slightly larger air inlets. The SX bumpers abandon matte-black trimmings for a more premium, fully color-keyed look.

Chrome has been generously spread throughout the Sorento SX. The exhaust outlets, LED taillights, and roof rails gain a heaping helping while the new wheels are finished with chrome-like hyper silver paint.

Inside, the SX is equipped with leather seating, heated front seats, a unique metallic gauge cluster with stitched meter housing, and a 10-speaker Infinity Audio surround sound system. Other additions include accent interior illumination, stainless-steel pedals, an electrochromatic mirror with Homelink, and a voice-activated navigation system with rearview camera.

If these changes aren’t enough to garner consideration, the range-topping Sorento will also be equipped with special Dual Flow Damper shock absorbers and given a half-inch suspension lowering. The DFD shocks are specially tuned for the fully independent suspension and help maintain responsive handling while softening the impacts from imperfect roads.

Powering the SX model is the 3.5-liter V-6 with 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to the six-speed automatic transmission and can be ordered with front- or all-wheel drive.

A release date and pricing has not been released for the Sorento SX but the loaded EX V-6 with front-wheel drive is available from $28,190. The all-wheel-driven EX V-6 is priced from $29,890.

The 2011 Sorento went on sale in January and comfortably leads all Kia vehicle sales this year. Through February, Kia has sold 8207 Sorento CUVs, not including 159 from other model years. The closest in-brand competitor is the Forte at 4333 units.

All prices include a $795 destination and handling charge.