Last December, I had a 2013 Kia Sorento SX V6 in for review. This was an odd time to review it since the month before at the LA Auto Show, Kia introduced the 2014 Sorento which brought forth a number of changes and improvements. At the time of my review, I said to hold off on getting 2013 model and wait to see how the 2014 model fares.
Well it has been almost a year since that review and I had the 2014 Kia Sorento, this time in the new SX Limited trim. Let's find out if I made the right call or not.
At first, you might be wondering what exactly did Kia do to the 2014 Sorento since it mostly looks like the outgoing 2013 model. Well there are some changes, some more apparent than others. First off, the overall shape of the 2014 model has been sharpened a bit, giving it a bit more of a European look to it. The front end sees the majority of changes with a revised grille, new headlights and foglights. The back gets a new tailgate and a set of reshaped taillights.
On the technology front, the 2014 Sorento SX Limited gets a new small color display inside the speedometer to show key information such as trip computer, what you're currently listening to, and navigation. The center stack features Kia's UVO infotainment system and eServices. Much like my experience in the Cadenza back in the summer, I found the system to be user-friendly and quick to respond.
Comfort and space hasn't really changed from the 2013 to the 2014 model and that is a good and bad thing. The good is that front and second row passengers will be fairly comfortable with a decent amount of head and legroom. The bad news is that the third row is still only comfortable for small kids or being folded into the floor. Now the third row is an option and if you decide to skip it, you have an extra $1,000 in your pocket. I would skip it.
Thoughts on the powertrain and handling are on the next page.
Under the hood of the Sorento SX Limited is a new 3.3L GDI V6 with 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive system. Much like the Kia Cadenza that I drove earlier this year, the V6 in the Sorento is very punchy and has no problem of getting the vehicle up to speed. Other traits about the V6 that I like is how smoothly the V6 delivers the power and how refined it is. As for the six-speed automatic, it was quick to up or downshift. As for fuel economy, the 2014 Sorento SX Limited is rated at 18 City/24 Highway/20 Combined. My average for the week was 22.1 MPG, a noticeable improvement over the 20.5 MPG from the last Sorento I drove.
As for the steering, it is what you expect in the crossover class; over-boosted and not that much feel. The SX Limited comes with the driver selectable steering which varies the weight from really light (comfort) to really heavy (sport). As I have written previously on other Hyundai and Kia models with this system, I'm not a big fan of the system. I left the system in normal as I found the other two on the extremes. I like the idea of this system, it just needs some finessing.
There is one concern with the Sorento SX Limited I have and that is the pricetag. As tested, this model rings out to $41,600. Ouch. If you drop the third-row seat option, you're looking at $40,600. What do you get for that price? Well pretty much everything from Kia's UVO service, Nappa leather, nineteen-inch alloy wheels, heated seats for the second-row, the list goes on. For some people who want everything, the SX Limited is perfect. For myself, I would be very happy with SX which comes with most of the features of the Limited and an extra $2,000 in my pocket.
But as a whole, the 2014 Kia Sorento is much better than the model it replaces. The major problems and faults have been rectified by Kia, making the Sorento a very compelling model in the midsize crossover class. Just be warned you might have to spend some cash to get it.
Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Sorento SX Limited, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
Trim: SX Limited
Engine: 3.3L DOHC GDI CVVT V6
Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,400
Torque @ RPM: 252 @ 5,200
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/24/20
Curb Weight: 5,468 lbs
Location of Manufacture: West Point, Georgia
Base Price: $39,700.00
As Tested Price: $41,600.00 (Includes $850.00 Destination Charge)
3rd Row Seat & AC - $1,000.00
Cargo Net - $50.00