When first launched, the Kia Sorento featured a traditional, body-on-frame design that provides an unusual level of roughness in a midsize SUV. With above-average towing and off-road capabilities, the first generation Sorento is praised for its practical nature. It also brings an impressive value, with dimensions of a midsize SUV at compact-crossover price ranges.
But today, most consumers want a better handling and efficiency that carlike (unibody) architecture provides. KIA gave it right with the second and third generation Sorento models. This is one of the best options for small or midsize crossover SUVs thanks to a spacious interior, available third-row seats, a choice of four-cylinder or V6 engine and extensive warranty coverage.
The 2018 Kia Sorento is a five and seven-passenger midsize SUV that sold in five trim levels: L, LX, EX, SX and SX Limited.
Standard on the 2018 Kia Sorento L and LX trim levels is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. The EX trim comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine good for 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Optional on the LX and EX, and standard on the SX and SX Limited is a 3.3-liter V6 producing 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque.
Front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard on every 2018 Kia Sorento. All-wheel drive available as an option on all except the base L trim.
In track testing, the 2018 Kia Sorento EX AWD went to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds, a lazy performance given those healthy output numbers. The SX AWD hit 60 mph in 7.6 seconds, a fair time for crossover in this class.
EPA fuel economy for the 2.4-liter engine returns 24 mpg combined (21 mpg city/28 mpg highway) and 22 mpg combined (21/25) with AWD. The EX rated at 23 mpg combined (20/27) with FWD and 22 mpg combined (19/25) with AWD. The V6 stand at 20 mpg combined (18/25) with FWD and 19 mpg combined (17/23) with AWD.
With front-wheel drive, the 2018 Kia Sorento can tow up to 3,500 pounds and 5,000 pounds with all-wheel drive.