2017 Kia Sorento EX AWD

Susan Frissell

The 2017 Kia Sedona is a vehicle that has improved quite a bit over the last few years. A good size SUV, the Sedona has a responsive 2.0T engine, tighter feel, quieter ride and several features.

Our 2017 Kia Sorento test car was equipped with Kia’s turbocharged 2.0-liter, inline 4-cylinder, with 240 horse and 260 lb. ft. torque. The 2.4-liter inline 4, with 185-horsepower, is standard, and a 3.3-liter, V-6 engine with 290 hp. Is also available. All three powertrains include a 6-speed automatic transmission and can be equipped with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Our test Sorento came with the All-wheel-drive, which proved to be a blessing during the Chicago winter week of test-driving.kia_sorento_2016_5xyphda16gg010333_32155_173605786

Sorento received a full redesign for 2016, including new sheet metal, new body structure and the addition of the available turbo inline 4 engine. Gains were also made in interior room, as well as a much more comfortable and accommodating cabin. Ride quality also took a large leap forward, making this a nice road vehicle.

Even with a new design, the Sorento didn’t look that different, but minor updates have made this a handsome SUV, and just the right size. Available for 2017 are several trim levels: LX, EX, SX and SXL. Our test EX version (and only the second trim level) with AWD came at what we thought was a pretty steep price, including many options that may or may not be necessary to the average SUV shopper.

All has changed for the 2017 Kia Sorento. With more stylish looks, all the trim and sheet metal have been updated. The redesign is noticeable, with ties to its other stablemates; whether you like the new look, or not, it’s keeping up with design cues out there. The interior is a noticeable upgrade; classier and very comfortable. A squarer look and design than the Santa Fe, the Sorento offers a third-row seat.

The 2017 Sorento has added about three inches to its length and wheelbase, making for a smoother ride. Competing more with the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, than the 2015 model, the new Sorento responds more powerfully and responsively. The suspension is firm, but not rough or harsh, noise level is improved, with a lighter feel.

The Sorento is available in the LX and EX models, most of the market. The EX can be ordered with the turbocharged inline 4-cylinder or V-6 engine. The SX and SXL trim levels are offered only with the V-6. The entry level Sorento L is the base 2.4-liter engine and front-wheel-drive model. Still keeping with Kia’s wish to offer an affordable SUV.

The SX and SXL models come equipped with the Infinity 10-speaker audio system, and upper level trim models getting a full nav system with live traffic. Most trim levels come with the full lineup of UVO eServices capability, Yelp and Pandora apps.

We drove the Sorento and 2017 Santa Fe Sport Ultimate 2.0T back-to-back, equipped with the same engine and similar amenities. Both great SUV’s, although the Santa Fe has the better looks. We could be happy with either over the long haul. Similarly equipped, we would probably opt for the Santa Fe; comparing the two exact vehicles we drove in the fleet. The styling appeals more.

Were there some dislikes in the 2017 Sorento? The back bench seats felt short for those with long legs. The active-safety features are not widely available, and if one thinks of the Kia as a lesser vehicle to the Santa Fe stablemate, perhaps that explains it. Ford/Mercury? Apparently, consumers aren’t able to pair a third-row seat Sorento with the turbo engine, either.

Seats have been upgraded to better accommodate tall and short drivers, alike. Leather seat trim is standard on the EX AWD; front seats are heated, power adjusted driver seat with power lumbar support, power passenger seat, tilt and telescopic steering column, steering wheel controls and paddle shifters are standard. The second row windows came equipped with shades, as with our Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate trim level. kiasorentoint

Our test Sorento had several options including a Cargo mat ($95), carpeted floor mats ($130), cargo net ($50), cargo cover ($150), Auto dimming mirror with HomeLink, Compass ($350), interior lighting ($450), illuminated scuff plates ($250), side step bars ($495), tow hitch ($395), EX Advanced Touring Package (chrome roof rails, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning system, advanced smart cruise control, electronic parking brake, LED interior lighting, Panoramic sunroof with power sunshade, $2,500); EX Premium Package (power folding side mirrors, passenger auto up/down safety windows, 4.2-in. color TFT LCD meter cluster, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, 110 volt inverter, Smart Hands Free power liftgate, $1,600).
A lot of options and we thought, at premium pricing. So much for a lot for your money.

MSRP: $33,300; total vehicle price $39,765; destination $895
Engine: 2.0-liter, Turbo Gas Direct Injection, 4-cylinder, 185 hp., 178 lb.ft. torque
Transmission: six-speed automatic, with Sportmatic, AWD (test car)
Wheelbase: 109.4 in.
Height: 66.3 in.
Width: 64.3 in.
Length: 187.4 in.
Curb weight: 3,704 lbs.
Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.8 gal.
EPA Fuel Economy: 19/25/22 mpg.
Tires: P235/65HR17
Wheels: aluminum, 17×7
Warranty: 10 yr/100,000-mile limited powertrain; 6 yr/60,000-mile limited basic; 5 yr/60,000-mile roadside assistance

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