The Sorento is a midsize crossover SUV from Kia. The model was unveiled in 2002 and it is already in its third generation which was unveiled for the 2016 model year. As such, the upcoming model won’t have extensive changes since it still looks fresh. The 2018 Kia Sorento crossover comes with only minor upgrades that are not easily noticeable. The crossover SUV is offered in five trim levels i.e. the base L and LX models, mid-EX and SX as well as to SXL models.
2018 Kia Sorento Exterior
Taking a casual glance at the 2018 Kia Sorento does not reveal any differences with the outgoing model. However, a closer scrutiny reveals that even the grille has somewhat been revised. Kia has hooked up the Kia with the latest interpretation of the familiar “Tiger Nose” grille. The new grille inserts have a scale-like shape unlike those of the current model which have a diamond-like look. The headlights flanking the revised grille have also been slightly revised and are now offered in full-LED lighting. On the other hand, the bumper features a wider front intake to aid cooling of the engine. The “ice-cube” shaped LED fog lights have also been slightly modified.
The sides look completely unchanged except for a new design of the Sorento’s alloy wheels.
There are slight changes at the rear; they include a new LED design for the taillights. The reflectors have also been separated from the rear black plastic cladding as is the case with the current model. The model’s twin-exhaust tips which have adopted a square-shape on the 2018 Kia Sorento have also been exposed unlike on the outgoing model where they were kind of hidden.
The cabin bears most of the new upgrades as the automaker intends to make the cabin look more premium. First on the list is a new infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The center console, on the other hand, features an upgraded shifter similar to units found in Audi cars. The steering wheel is also new; it’s a 4-spoke design.
Base trims feature stain-resistant cloth upholstery while top trims feature leather upholstery with quilted leather on seat bolsters. In addition, top trims feature heated front seats. Base models also feature Bluetooth connectivity, USB ports, a cruise control system, and a rearview camera. The LX trims add a sound-deadening windshield as well as traction control and stability control systems. The EX trim then adds the UVO infotainment system, a dual-zone climate control system as well as 2nd-row window shades. The SX Limited trim, on the other hand, adds a panoramic sunroof, blind-spot monitoring, Nappa leather front seats with ventilation and heating, an 8.0-inch touch-screen, a power liftgate and an Infinity audio system. The trim also features more advanced safety features including smart cruise control, automatic braking as well as lane-keep assist.
Further safety systems include pedestrian detection, driver fatigue monitoring, forward collision warning, a 360-degree camera network, autonomous emergency braking, and lane departure warning.
Engine and performance
Kia offers three different mills for the Sorento; the base engine is a 2.4 L, in line-4. This engine produces 185 horses and 178 lb-ft of torque. The engine comes standard on L as well as LX trims. In terms of transfer of power to the wheels, the engine uses a 6-speed gearbox that send power to the front wheels but the automaker’s torque-vectoring AWD system is available as an option but not on the base L trims. When it comes to fuel economy, the engine is rated at 22 mpg and 28 mpg in city and highway drives respectively for FWD models and 21 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway for AWD models.
The second engine is a turbocharged 2.0 L, inline-4 that produces 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque; it is also mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission that channels the “juice” to front wheels or all wheels. On FWD models, the engine returns 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on highway drives While AWD models are EPA rated at 19 mpg in city and 25 mpg on highway roads. This mill is used on the EX and Limited trims. In addition, it is availed only on models with 2-row seating arrangement.
EX, Limited trims with three rows and the top-of-the-range Kia Sorento models (SX and SXL) are fitted with a 3.3 L, turbocharged V6 that delivers 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. The mill is also an option for AWD LX and EX trims. On the lower trims, the engine is EPA rated at 18 mpg and 25 mpg on city and highway drives respectively while on the top trims it is rated at 17 mpg and 23 mpg on city and highway drives respectively. The mills will make use of a new 8-speed automatic gearbox in place of the current model’s 6-speed automatic gearbox.
When properly equipped, the most powerful Sorento can tow 5,000 pounds.
Price and release date
The base L trim has an MSRP of around $27,000 inclusive of an $895 destination fees but on the other hand, the LX costs around $28,000. The V6 LX, on the other hand, costs $30,500 while a turbocharged EX attracts a price tag of around $34,000. The Limited trim, on the other hand, is priced at around $47,000.