The Kia Sorento SUV is halfway through its lifecycle and as customary, it has received a mid-cycle upgrade for the 2019 model year. The refreshed 2019 Kia Sorento was displayed at the concluded 2017 LA Motor Show. The model has received slight tweaks here and there to enhance its value as well as performance. The refresh includes a new engine as well as new technologies in the cabin.
2019 Kia Sorento Exterior
The 2019 Kia Sorento will still be availed in five trim levels; they are the base L and LX, mid EX and the top SX and SXL trims. The dimensions of the model are unchanged; there are however new design cues both at the front and rear fascias. The front has a new grille as well as revised fog lights. For 2019, the SX and SXL trims will feature full LED lighting. All models will also feature a new front bumper.
At the rear, the 2019 Kia Sorento features a new bumper design and new taillights. EX, SX and SXL trims get LED taillights. All trims, however, get a redesigned tailgate as well as a new exhaust outlet. The flanks look unchanged compared to the outgoing model. Buyers will choose between three wheel sizes i.e. 17-inch, 18-inch or 19-inch aluminum wheels.
Kia has added a new steering wheel and gear shifter, refreshed instrumentation and slightly redesigned the center console and air vents. Front seats for SX and SXL trims get lumbar support. For 2019, all Kia trims will comes standard with a third-row seat enabling the SUV to haul 7 passengers. Leather upholstery can be had on all trims; the top SX and SXL trims, however, get an option for Terracotta and Mahogany leather colors.
Kia has also upgraded the Sorento’s infotainment system; the system supports Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto on all trims. A 7.0-inch touch-screen is standard but top trims get an 8.0-inch unit. There is also a wireless Smartphone charging pad.
Audiophiles will enjoy the 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system that packs 630 watts and also features QuantumLogic surround sound and an 11-channel amplifier.
EX and higher trims get the Driver Assistance package as standard. For 2018, the package adds a driver awareness monitoring system and lane-keep assist with steering assist; front collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, cornering braking control and rollover mitigation carry over from the outgoing Sorento.
Engine and performance
There are significant changes under the Sorento’s hood. First, Kia has discontinued the 2.0 L, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. However, the 2.4 L, 4-cylinder mill that produces 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque carries over. The engine uses a modified 6-speed automatic gearbox that Kia says is more efficient. The 3.3 L, V-6 is also available; it produces 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque; unlike the 4-cylinder mill, the V-6 uses an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Kia has also said that a diesel power-plant is on the works and will be introduced to the lineup later on. Either of the mills can be had in FWD or AWD. Models powered by the 3.3 L, V-6 when properly equipped can tow as much as 500 lbs.
For both engines, Kia has replaced the Drive Mode Select system with a Smart Shift &Drive system that adjusts the cars driving modes Eco, Sport as well as Smart depending on a driver’s driving style. The driver can, however, set the mode he/she prefers to use.
Price and release date
Kia did not release pricing information for the new Sorento during its showcase at the LA Auto Show. Expect this information close to the Sorento’s on-sale debut sometimes next year. For comparison, the current Kia Sorento base L trim has an MSRP of $26,740 while the range-topping SX Limited trim fetches $47,140.