Kia Sorento Gets a Pretty New Face for Its Hollywood Debut

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Officially unveiled at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show, the 2019 Kia Sorento has received a number of visual and feature enhancements.

The refreshed SUV’s new front and rear fascias give the Sorento an overall more sophisticated appearance, while the interior is more upscale with newly-added tech. The model also now pairs its available 3.3-liter V6 with a new eight-speed automatic transmission, providing a smoother and more seamless driving experience.

On the exterior, the Sorento’s revised front end gets an updated radiator grille flanked by a new headlights that offer full-LED lighting on the SX and SXL upper trim levels. The foglamps have also been redesigned with projection bulbs for EX and SX models, while the SXL gets more distinctive LEDs. In the rear, there’s a new bumper design and sleeker tail lights, with LED bulbs offered on the EX trim and higher. The liftgate has also been revised, along with a sportier exhaust tip. There are three newly-designed wheels, ranging from 17 to 19 inches, depending on trim level.

Inside the cabin, the Sorento gets a new, more tactile steering wheel, new shifter knob, and a revised instrument cluster with improved graphics. The air vents and center console have also been tweaked.

2017 LA Auto Show Full Coverage

The three-row crossover continues to provide plenty of versatility, with standard 40/20/40 second-row folding seats and 50/50 third-row folding seats, which are now standard on all trims. Additional luxury can be had with available heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, 14-way power driver and eight-way power passenger seats, driver’s seat thigh extension, and a four-way headrest with one-button adjustment. For the 2019 model, the Sorento now offers two-way powered lumbar support for the front passenger on SX and SXL trims.

In terms of technology, there’s an upgraded AVN 5.0 navigation system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay available on higher trim levels. The standard L trim features a seven-inch user interface, also equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There is now an available wireless charging tray for compatible Android devices, as well as the Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

Two powerplants will be available, including a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a more powerful 3.3-liter V6. Gone from the lineup however is the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, although a new diesel engine will be introduced at a later date. The carryover 2.4-liter engine has 185 horsepower, while the V6 provides 290 hp. The model will be available with front- or all-wheel drive.

Pricing for the 2019 Kia Sorento will be announced at a later date.

“In the highly-competitive crossover category, the Sorento is a clear example of how world-class design and craftsmanship are executed,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, KMA. “Our popular utility now ups its game even further with enhancements in styling, packaging and content, making it even more attractive to shoppers seeking a premium level 3-row SUV.”

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Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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