|Body and chassis|
|Class||Mid-size SUV (2002–09)
Mid-size crossover SUV (2011–)
|Body style||4-door SUV|
First generation (2002–2009)
|Also called||Naza Sorento (Malaysia)|
2007–2011 (Russia assembly by Izh Auto)
|Assembly||Hwasung Plant, Hwasung, South Korea
Izhevsk, Udmurtia, Russia
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
|Engine||2.4 L I4
3.3 L Lambda V6
3.5 L Sigma V6
3.8 L Lambda V6
2.5 L Diesel I4
|Transmission||4-speed automatic (2002–2005)
5-speed manual (2002–2007)
5-speed automatic (2005–2009)
|Wheelbase||2,710 mm (106.7 in)|
|Length||2002–2006:4,570 mm (179.9 in)
2006–2009:4,590 mm (180.7 in)
|Width||1,865 mm (73.4 in)
1,885 mm (74.2 in)
|Height||1,435 mm (56.5 in)
1,515 mm (59.6 in)
The first generation Kia Sorento was a traditional truck-based (body-on-frame) SUV. It was very capable off-road, with an automatic four-wheel drive system featuring low range gearing. A sport package was available for the LX base model which added a 5-speed manual transmission, fog lamps, alloy wheels, step bars, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a roof rack and remote keyless entry. All American Sorentos also came with dual front airbags and dual side-curtain airbags in the front and rear. The 4x4 system was a shift-on-the-fly knob located usually on the lower panel to the left of the steering column. Three modes were available: Two-Wheel Drive, Four-High, and Four-Low. On-dash indicators show when the Four Wheel Drive System is active.
It had two transmission options: a 5-speed manual or 4/5-speed automatic transmission (pre-2005 models have a 4-speed automatic, whilst 2005 Sorentos come with a 5-speed tip-tronic style automatic transmission). Sorentos are equipped with a Hyundai-manufactured 3.5L 24-valve DOHC V6 producing 192 hp (143 kW) at 5500 rpm, and 217 lb·ft (294 N·m) of torque @ 3,000 rpm. Common features of the Sorento family are 4-wheel disc brakes (standard on all models) Optional anti-lock braking system, and a 21.1-gallon (79.9 litres) fuel tank. Also standard is a battery saving feature which prevents wearing out the battery by leaving your headlights turned on (a shutoff engages when the key is removed from the ignition, even if the lights were left turned on). The chassis of the vehicle is also based on a ladder frame design which is more often used in building trucks. This lends a rigidity to the Sorento that other vehicles in its class lack, even at the same price point. (See Also: unibody)
The 2007 Sorento received upgrades, such as the transition from the 3.5L Sigma to the 3.8L Lambda that will almost double the Sorento's towing ability and boost horsepower from 192 to 262. Projector beams were added in the head lamps, along with new tail lamps. The 5-speed manual transmission is no longer available; the 5-speed Sportmatic tip-tronic automatic transmission is standard for all trims. The 2007 Kia Sorento earned a five-star crash safety rating, the highest rating possible, for all seating positions in the latest frontal and side impact crash tests conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The Kia Sorento received another grille facelift, and went on sale in August 2008 in Canada. The facelifted 2009 model did not begin American sales until April 2009.
Second generation (2009–2013)
|Also called||Kia Sorento R (South Korea)|
|Model years||2010-present (North America)|
|Assembly||Hwasung Plant, Hwasung, South Korea
West Point, Georgia, USA
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
|Related||Hyundai Santa Fe
|Engine||2.4L Theta II I4 petrol
2.7L Mu V6 LPG
3.5L Lambda II V6 petrol
2.2L CRDI R-Line I4 diesel
|Wheelbase||2,700 mm (106.3 in)|
|Length||4,685 mm (184.4 in)|
|Width||1,885 mm (74.2 in)|
|Height||1,710 mm (67.3 in)|
A redesigned crossover (car-based) Sorento (codename XMA) was launched in South Korea in 2009. It is Kia's first model to be manufactured in the United States, in KIA's new US$1 billion West Point, Georgia, factory (which also builds the sister vehicle to the Sorento, the Hyundai Santa Fe). The Sorento uses Kia's new corporate grille, known as the Tiger Nose, as designed by Kia's design . The all-new for 2010 Kia Sorento was introduced in late 2009 as a 2010 model. No longer based on a truck frame, the 2010 Sorento was of unibody construction.
The four-cylinder model returned to the lineup for North American models after being absent between 2007 and 2010. A preview was featured at New York Auto Show in March 2009. It uses a unibody instead of the old-style frame. The engine is transverse, and the suspension is all-independent. The change in body construction as well as the loss of a low-ratio transfer case means it weighs 475 pounds less than the old one model for model, to gain in performance and economy. The vice president of marketing for Kia Motors America said in an interview that Kia considered changing the name because the Sorento replacement is a car-truck crossover while the older model is a straight-up SUV. The new Kia Sorento went on sale as a 2010 model, and is the first to have Kia UVO. The XM Sorento has been awarded New Zealand Autocar magazine SUV of the Year, "great looker, does absolutely everything as it should. Engine is world class". The Kia Sorento EX V6 model earned an “Excellent” overall score by American magazine Consumer Reports’ July 2010 issue.
As of January 2011 the KIA Sorento is available in 3 models, the LX, EX and top of the line SX models. The SX is only available with the 3.5L 276 hp (206 kW) V6. The LX comes standard with the 2.4L straight-4 175 hp (130 kW) and EX has the GDI version of the same engine which is rated 191 hp. The V6 is available as an upgrade for both the LX and EX.
The 2011 Sorento has been awarded the maximum safety rating from the crash safety experts, European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP)  and Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP). The XM Sorento awarded 'Top Safety Pick' from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States.
On August 26, 2012 a 2011 Sorento in the USA had a 'stuck accelerator', forcing a driver to manoeuvre it at high speeds of up to 118 mph for 35 minutes. Two police vehicles escorted the car for much of that time. Because the vehicle was equipped with an optional push button start, the driver was unable to turn off the engine or reduce speed.
Third generation (2012–present)
Kia updated the Sorento in 2012, although this was delayed until the 2014 model year in the US.
- Introduction of 3.3-liter GDI V6 engine (SX Model)
- 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder engine becomes standard in the LX and EX, replacing the previously-standard 2.4-liter MPI 4-cylinder
- 6 speed automatic transmission with sport shift
- Electric Motor Driven Power Steering replaces the hydraulic unit
- FlexSteer offers drivers a choice of three steering modes: Comfort, Normal and Sport
- all-new chassis that increases torsional rigidity by 18-percent
- optional strut-tower brace increases chassis stiffness
- new independent front suspension that incorporates a stiffer H-shaped sub-frame cradle
- redesigned front and rear fascias
- redesigned instrument panel
- optional programmable power liftgate
- led headlight accent lighting
- optional power folding side view mirrors (SX model)
- interior led accent lighting (choice of blue,red,green)
- redesigned panoramic sunroof with a one piece power-operated shade
- integrated 2nd row sliding sunshades
- available dual ventilated air-cooled front seats
- a 115-volt power inverter
- illuminated door handle pockets
- blind spot detection system
- UVO eServices Infotainment System with Voice Command Navigation
Sorento SX Limited (based on Sorento SX) include:
- Choice of Ebony Black, Snow White Pearl and Titanium Silver body colours
- self-leveling Xenon HID head lights
- exclusive 19-inch chrome wheels
- red painted brake calipers
- Nappa leather trimmed seats
- wood-trimmed, heated steering wheel
- heated rear seats
- exclusive soft-touch head liner and pillar accents
The vehicle was unveiled in 2012 Los Angeles International Auto Show, and was set to go on sale in first quarter of 2013. Early models include choice of 2.4-liter GDI (LX, EX) and 3.3-liter GDI V6 (optional in LX, EX; standard in SX and SX Limited) engines.
As part of 2014 Sorento market launch in the US, a campaign titled "It has an answer for everything™" created by David&Goliath was started during Super Bowl XLVII. "Space Babies" (directed by Jake Scott) commercial was premiered in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVII, featuring the existence of a faraway planet known as "Babylandia" and follows infant boys, girls, dogs, pandas and more on their journey to Earth to join their new families. After taking it all in, the curious child begins to offer an alternative theory passed on by a friend but his quick-thinking father calls upon UVO's voice-activated jukebox feature to hurriedly change the subject and survive another day in the adventures of parenthood. A special expanded version of "Space Babies" became be viewable at YouTube.com/Kia leading up to Super Bowl XLVII. After the Super Bowl premiere, "Space Babies" would air on more than 33,000 screens nationwide beginning on February 1 as part of ScreenVision and National CineMedia's FirstLook. "Tight Space" (directed by Peter Darley Miller and Colin Jeffery) ad showed two of the CUV's available features – power-folding mirrors and power liftgate – help a determined father make the slimmest parking garage space manageable while his skeptical wife and children look on. "Tight Space" was premiered on YouTube.com/Kia, and on television.
- "Izhevsk Car Factory Stopped Production of Kia". Wroom.ru. 2011-09-19. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
- "Ao"Азия Авто"". Aziaavto.kz. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
- Korzeniewski, Jeremy (2009-03-18). ""More 2010 Kia Sorento shots hit the web" From Autoblog.com (March 18, 2009)". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- Kia Sticks with Sorento Name for All-New Crossover Sep 25, 2009. CBS Interactive
- "2011 Kia Sorento – First Drive Review – Car & Driver". Caranddriver.com. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- Kia Sorento R picks up first global award – in NZ Fri, 4 Dec 2009. Allied Press Ltd
- Kia Sorento Tops Tests Of Small and Midsized SUVs 06/01/2010. Consumer Reports
- New Kia Sorento achieves 5-star safety performance August 26, 2009, ContractHireAndLeasing.com
- Kia Sorento crash test result ANCAP
- Kia Sorento Awarded 'Top Safety Pick' by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety June 2, 2010 /PRNewswire/
- Kia launching Uvo 2.0 in 2014 Sorento
- New-look 2014 Kia Sorento takes the stage in Los Angeles
- Kia previews its Super Bowl baby commercial, far cry from Adriana Lima
- Behold, Kia's Space Babies Super Bowl commercial
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