The 2013 Kia Sorento is a good looking, compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV) and it just keeps getting better; it’s reasonably priced, has good power and fuel efficiency, and comes with an expanded roster of standard comfort, convenience and safety features.
Sorento is offered in three trim levels — LX, EX and SX — and there are three engine options — an advanced 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder that develops 191 hp and 181 pounds-feet of torque and 32 mpg/highway; a 3.5-liter V-6 that gets 276 hp and 248 pounds-feet of torque, and a 2.4-liter Multi-Port Injected (MPI) fourcylinder engine producing 175 hp and 169 pounds-feet of torque.
All are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Kia’s Sportmatic shifting control. There is a choice of front- or allwheel- drive, the latter with a locking center differential that evenly distributes power to all wheels while operating at low speeds during severe weather. Sorento uses a compact, light MacPherson strut front suspension and a fully independent multi-link rear suspension for a better ride.
Sorento has a deceptively compact exterior and a spacious interior that comfortably seats up to seven passengers. The front end is defined by the signature grille and wraparound headlights found on all newer Kia models. The overall design is aggressive and sleek, with a swept-back profile, an angled window line, prominent fog lights and a rounded nose. The rear is rounded and the taillights are set into the rear lift gate.
Sorento comes equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels and body-color, heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signal indicators. The EX trim has 18-inch, five-spoke hyper finish wheels, fog lamps, roof rails and a rear spoiler. EX also offers an optional panoramic sunroof (V-6 models only). The more upscale SX adds mirrorfinish 10-spoke 18 inch alloy wheels, chrome-tip exhaust pipes, body-color wheelwell molding, stainless steel underbumper trim accents and step pad, sleeker body-color front and rear bumpers and LED taillights.
Sorento is spacious in both five- and seven-passenger seating configurations, yielding 142.5 cubic feet of space in the five-seat arrangement and 149.4 cubic feet in the seven-seat version.
For 2013, Sorento has added standard leather seating for the mid-level EX trim and a third-row seat for the LX V-6 trim. The base LX trim now offers the optional UVO powered by Microsoft voice-activated infotainment system based on the Windows Embedded Automotive platform.
Sorento also has an impressive slate of standard technology features, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SiriusXM Satellite Radio, auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting personal MP3 players, and Bluetooth wireless technology connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls.
The Kia Sorento starts at $22,695.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com