2014 Kia Sorento Review

Now with 80 percent new parts, we think

2014 Kia Sorento Review

If you are looking for a mid-size SUV with premium features that doesn’t have a premium nameplate attached to it (or the price tag), then the Kia Sorento has been a decent choice for many over the last decade, especially if you have the need to transport seven people at a time.


1. Two new engines are available, a 191 hp 2.4L 4-cylinder and a 290 hp 3.3L V6.

2. Four-cylinder models are rated at a best of 20/26 mpg (city/highway) and V6 models at 18/24 mpg, though slightly less for models with AWD.

3. Starting at 24,950 the Limited trim tops out at a pricey $38,850.

4. New for 2014 is a Flex Steer system with three settings for Comfort, Normal and Sport.

But the market in which the Sorento roams is getting more and more crowded. Nissan has launched a new seven-passenger Pathfinder, and Kia’s corporate cousin Hyundai also has a new, longer wheelbase version of the Santa Fe hitting the market.


To keep itself competitive, Kia is launching a new Sorento for the 2014 model year. Sort of. It’s not an all-new model though Kia says it would be unfair to call it a facelift because 80% is all new.

From a component perspective it might not have brought with it much, but philosophically it does carry over many traits of its predecessor, both good and bad.

Let’s start with the styling. Yes, it shares almost no body panels with the outgoing model, but it sure doesn’t look that way. At the launch event in Scottsdale, AZ, Kia brought along a 2013 model to showcase the differences. It didn’t help much.

While the styling of this 2014 Sorento won’t offend anyone, it certainly won’t get people excited either.


5167 1 2

It is the same story when you step inside. Kia has made quite a few improvements to the interior, but nothing will strike out at you as original. While there are more soft touch materials along with slightly improved ergonomics, the initial feelings are that of familiarity. Anyone with a current Sorento will feel right at home in the new model.

An area of improvement worth noting is that there is now 1.2-inches more legroom for the second row plus more for the third as well, however as we found out, getting in and out of the third row is tricky and would require one to contort like a Cirque du Soleil gymnast.

If you use it as a five-passenger vehicle, it works much better, since by folding the third-row seats, you gain plenty of extra cargo space, expanding from 37 cu-ft to 72.5 cu-ft. And with the availability of a power tailgate, getting into the cargo area is just a press of a button away.

5149 1 2For a family of five, the 2014 Sorento offers lots of comfort. There are heated seats available for both the front seats and the rear bench (though not needed during out drive in the desert), plus now both the driver and front seat passenger can opt for a ventilated cooled seat (previously, only the driver got a heated/cooled seat). You can also opt for a heated steering wheel, which also did not get tested in Arizona.

What we did test is the new UVO entertainment system, which has been given many new apps. In short, it has become more of a built in tablet. It has grown in size too with an eight-inch screen, and all the icons are fairly large, so navigating the touch screen system is quite easy.

The only problem we faced with the UVO system was caused by the new, even larger panoramic sunroof, which allows too much light in and washes out the screen. However, press a button and a cover comes forward to block the giant sunroof.



More changes can be found under the hood. As before, there are two engines available, though both are new. The new base motor is a 2.4-liter, inline-four cylinder unit which now features Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI). This replaces the old motor that while was the same size, but featured Multi Port Injection (MPI). The 2.4 GDI motor produces 191-hp and 181-lb-ft of torque.

The upgrade motor, as fitted to our tester, is the new 3.3-liter, V6, which also features GDI. This replaces the old 3.5-liter, V6 motor, but while the new engine is smaller, it produces more power at 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque, a gain of 14 hp and 4 lb-ft.

Regardless of the engine, or choosing a front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) model, the only transmission on offer is a six-speed automatic with manual-override. This is a smooth gearbox, but certainly one that doesn’t enjoy being rushed.

5144 1 2Leaving it in “D” it seems to make brief pauses every time it gears up. This might have been done deliberately to maximize fuel economy, but it certainly makes the vehicle feel slow out on the road. This is not an exciting vehicle to drive.

Neither is the V6 in the Sorento as efficient as the turbo four-cylinder in the Santa Fe. Kia estimates 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. On our mostly highway test, we managed just 20 mpg, and considering this route had very little in the way of traffic or elevation changes – not very impressive.

Kia says that the reason they went for a V6 motor over a forced-induction four-cylinder is because they believe that most of the people who buy such a vehicle have boats and ATVs to tow around, and the V6 motor is going to be more reliable in the long run for such duty. They also said, that while the 3,500 lb towing capacity is similar to the Santa Fe, this is limited by the platform (which these two Korean SUVs share). This engine in a stronger chassis can apparently pull more.



One of the strong points for the Sorento has always been its ride and handling. The 2014 model is no different. Thanks to enhanced suspension geometry, this new model simply glides over bumps. As for handling, the new Sorento also benefits from their Flex Steer system, which allows you to choose between Comfort, Normal and Sport settings for the steering. While the system lacks overall feel, many would like its Comfort setting while driving around town, as it makes the vehicle feel very light and agile.

While most people in most parts of the country will be just fine year-round with a FWD model, there are advantages for having an AWD system. Kia uses a Dynamax AWD setup with torque vectoring, sending power to whichever wheel can best use it, really adding an extra degree of safety when cornering at high speeds or when having to make an abrasive maneuver to avoid an obstacle.

Speaking of safety, you now also get a blind-spot monitoring system, which will hopefully keep you from playing bumper cars in the real world, and if there is an unfortunate crash, there are six-airbags on board to keep you safe.



Priced competitively, a base 4-cylinder FWD model can be yours from $24,950 with V6 models from $26,550. Step up to the SX or Limited models from $35,850 and $38,850 respectively, and AWD can be added as an option to all trim levels for an extra $1,700.

All in, the 2014 Sorento is a decent SUV. Though undeniably improved, it doesn’t look it, and that could be its biggest drawback. Continuing to be a strong value package with checkmarks in both the plus and minus columns, in a sea of attractive new offerings the Sorento fails to deliver any wows.

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked