Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

2016 Kia Sorento First Drive - Multiple Personalities

A Bigger, More Premium, and More Modern Sorento

Sue Mead
May 20, 2015
The redesigned ’16 Kia Sorento is more capable and classy than ever, with increased towing capacity, more room for passengers and gear, and a new turbocharged engine. Also notable are upgraded materials and features, a stronger body structure, NVH reduction, and added driving confidence to support the active-adventurer lifestyle CUV owners covet. Sorento buyers have their choice of three engines, including a new 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder and two returning engines: a 3.3L V-6 and an improved 2.4L inline-four. It comes with two or three rows of seats, in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and in L, LX, EX, SX, and SX-L trims. Kia is targeting the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Highlander in particular as its competitors, and the company says the Sorento is the first CUV to offer Harman’s Clari-Fi digital music reconstruction technology.
The ’16 model is a departure from the first-generation Sorento that was a traditional truck-based, body-on-frame SUV and arrived in 2002 as a capable off-roader with an automatic four-wheel-drive system featured low range gearing. After updates in ’07 and ’08, the second-generation ’10 Sorento came to market in 2009 with unibody construction; it was Kia’s first model to be built in America. Like its predecessor, the ’16 model is constructed at Kia’s West Point, Georgia’s assembly plant.
Photo 2/4   |   2016 Kia Sorento Rear Three Quarter
The Sorento’s more aggressive and aerodynamic profile is enhanced by a large, upright grille, a sloping hood, brawny shoulders, a 3.1-inch longer wheelbase and 0.2-inch wider body that improves interior roominess. The narrower headlight design bears a family resemblance to the all-new, highly praised Sedona and is an evolution of the upper fascia seen on the Cross GT concept shown at the Chicago Auto Show, in 2013.
Under the hood, the base 2.4L GDI engine makes 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque, the 3.3L GDI achieves 290 hp and 252 pounds of twist, and the 2.0L turbocharged inline-four produces 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. All are mated to an electronically controlled six-speed automatic featuring Sportmatic shifting. Sorento’s advanced AWD system automatically routes power to the wheel with the most traction. A 4WD Lock Mode is onboard to split engine power evenly between the front and rear driveshafts when needed during more aggressive traction situations. The system also bundles the stability of Torque Vector Cornering Control when yaw and steering sensors detect unwanted understeer.
Photo 3/4   |   The ’16 Sorento marks the 2.0L turbocharged I-4’s first appearance in a Kia crossover.
Up front, the Sorento’s revised suspension geometry and steering system result in a quick and agile behind-the-wheel feel. Rack-Mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) features direct mounting of the electric motor on the steering rack, enhancing steering response and improving handling, as well.
Notable attributes from our day-long drive in the ’16 Sorento include great turbo response that comes on quickly, a quiet, upscale cabin, and a lighter, more nimble feel to motoring, thanks in part to the combination of its stronger body structure, longer wheelbase, modified platform, and upgraded suspension and steering.
The ’16 Sorento is more diverse than ever, with enough options to make almost anyone happy. Overall, it’s one seriously well-rounded crossover and sure to be huge hit in its competitive set.
Photo 4/4   |   The ‘16 Kia Sorrento’s interior utilizes the kind of premium materials that you used to find only in luxury cars. The fit and finish is superb, and NVH has been improved.
2016 Kia Sorento SX-L
Price as Tested: $40,795
Vehicle Type: 5 or 7-passenger SUV
Engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo
Power: 240 hp
Torque: 260 lb-ft
Sportmatic trans: 6 speed auto
Curb Weight: 3,878 lbs
Overall Length: 187.4 in
Fuel Capacity: 18.8 gal

POPULAR TRUCKS

Subscribe Today and Save up to 83%!

Subscribe Truck Trend Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truck Trend
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Diesel Power Magazine

Subscribe to:

Diesel Power
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Truckin Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truckin
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
SUBSCRIBE TO A MAGAZINE
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW Kia Sorento
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS