With the pricing announcement on the new 2014 Sorento SUV, Kia is showing it's not afraid to charge premium prices for what it considers a premium product. Kia has long had a reputation as a value brand, with models that started at thousands less than competitors' prices. But its days as the rock-bottom price leader are over.

The entry-level 2014 Kia Sorento LX with front-wheel drive and the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder starts at $24,950, including $850 in destination, while the top-of-the-line Sorento SX-L AWD with the 3.3-liter V-6 tops out at $40,550 including destination.

On the lower trim levels, the price increase is not significant over its predecessor's, but pricing for the new SX-L model tops the previous top-line Sorento, the SX V-6 AWD, by $4900. However, when factoring in the optional 2013 SX Premium package, the gap narrows to $3400.

Specific trim configurations have also changed on the 2014 models. The 2013 Sorento EX was available with either the four-cylinder or V-6 engine, while all 2014 EX models are V-6 only. Only the base LX trim on the 2014 model is available with the four-cylinder.

For comparison, the 2013 Toyota Highlander, one of the Sorento's key rivals, starts at $29,815 including $795 destination, and tops out at $40,195 for a non-hybrid V-6 Limited 4WD model. The Highlander Hybrid Limited 4WD comes in at $47,165 including destination. The Sorento does not offer a hybrid drivetrain.

Source: Kia

2014 Kia Sorento Pricing
Model Configuration 2014 MSRP 2013 MSRP Difference
LX FWD 2.4L I-4, 6 A/T $24,950 $23,950 $1000
LX AWD 2.4L I-4, 6 A/T $26,650 $26,150 $500
LX FWD 3.3L V-6, 6 A/T $26,550 $25,750 $800
EX FWD 3.3L V-6, 6 A/T $30,850 $28,750 $2100
SX FWD 3.3L V-6, 6 A/T $35,850 $32,500 $3350
LX AWD 3.3L V-6, 6 A/T $28,250 $28,200 $50
EX AWD 3.3L V-6, 6 A/T $32,550 $28,200 $4350
SX AWD 3.3L V-6, 6 A/T $37,550 $34,200 $3350
SX-L AWD 3.3L V-6, 6 A/T $40,550 N/A N/A
2013 Destination Charge: $800, 2014 Destination Charge: $850