Kia Sorento

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For the Philippine Basketball Association team, see Kia Sorento (PBA team).
Kia Sorento
2012 Kia Sorento LX -- NHTSA 2.jpg
Manufacturer Kia
Production 2003–present
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size SUV (2002–2009)
Mid-size crossover SUV (2011–present)
Body style 4-door SUV

The Kia Sorento is a mid-size crossover SUV produced since 2002 by the South Korean automaker Kia.

First generation (2003–2010)[edit]


First generation (BL)
03-06 Kia Sorento EX.jpg
Also called Naza Sorento (Malaysia)
Production 2003–2010
2007–2011[1] (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
Related Hyundai Santa Fe

2.4 L I4
3.3 L Lambda V6 (2005–2009)
3.5 L Sigma V6 (2002–2006)
3.8 L Lambda V6 (2007–2009)

2.5 L Diesel I4

4-speed automatic (2002–2005)
5-speed manual (2002–2007)

5-speed automatic (2005–2009)
Wheelbase 2,710 mm (106.7 in)

2002–2006:4,570 mm (179.9 in)

2006–2009:4,590 mm (180.7 in)

1,865 mm (73.4 in)

1,885 mm (74.2 in)

1,435 mm (56.5 in)

1,515 mm (59.6 in)

Debuting in 2002, the first generation Sorento was a traditional truck-based body-on-frame SUV. It was offered in two trim levels: LX and EX. All American Sorentos also came with dual front airbags and dual side-curtain airbags in the front and rear. An optional four-wheel drive system with low range received praise for adding to the vehicle's off-road ability.

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). First generation 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 (ABS), and a 21.1-gallon (79.9 litres) fuel tank.


2007–2008 Kia Sorento LX (US)

The 2007 Sorento received upgrades, such as the transition from the 3.5L Sigma to the 3.8L Lambda boosting horsepower from 192 to 262 and doubling towing capacity to 5000lbs. Projector beam head lamps were added, along with new tail lamps. The 5-speed manual transmission was no longer available; the 5-speed Sportmatic tip-tronic automatic transmission was made standard for all vehicles. The 2007 Kia Sorento earned a five-star crash safety rating, the highest rating possible, for all seating positions in frontal and side impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).[2]


2009 Kia Sorento LX (Canada)

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 (2010–2015)[edit]

Second generation (XM)
2011 Kia Sorento EX -- 06-30-2010.jpg
Also called Kia Sorento R (South Korea & China)
Production 2010–2015
Model years 2011–2015
Assembly Hwasung Plant, Hwasung, South Korea
West Point, Georgia, USA
Kaliningrad, Russia (Avtotor)
Oskemen, Kazakhstan[3]
Designer Peter Schreyer
Body and chassis
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Related Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Veracruz/ix55
Engine 2.4L Theta II I4 petrol
2.7L Mu V6 LPG
3.3L Lamba II GDI V6 petrol
3.5L Lambda II V6 petrol
2.2L CRDI R-Line I4 diesel
Transmission 5-speed manual
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic
6-speed automatic
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. 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.[4] 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.[5] The new Kia Sorento went on sale as a 2010 model, and is the first to have Kia UVO.[6] 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".[7] The Kia Sorento EX V6 model earned an “Excellent” overall score by American magazine Consumer Reports’ July 2010 issue.[8]

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 5/5 stars safety rating from the crash safety experts, European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) [9] and Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).[10] The XM Sorento awarded 'Top Safety Pick' from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States.[11]

Kia updated the Sorento in 2012, although this was delayed until the 2014 model year in the US. However, given that this so-called new model was really just a facelift of the existing model. many motoring journalists do not recognize this vehicle as a new model at all.

Changes include:

  • 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[12]

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.[13]


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 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, and on television.[14][15]

Third generation (2016–present)[edit]

Third generation (UM)
Kia Sorento in Salon International de l’auto de Montréal 2015.jpg
Production 2015–present
Model years 2016–present
Body and chassis
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Related Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
Kia Carnival/Sedona
Transmission 5-speed manual
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic
6-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,780 mm (109 in)
Length 4,780 mm (188 in)
Width 1,890 mm (74 in)
Height 1,685 mm (66 in)

Kia Motors revealed the new Sorento in South Korea in August 28, 2014. It has made a European debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

This model shares a platform with the 2015 Kia Carnival/Sedona, and shares the same basic interior design, seating five or seven passengers, depending on configuration. The length of the vehicle is now stressed by 95mm longer than the previous generation but had made lower for better handling than its predecessor. KIA also claimed a rigidity strengthen by 14% on its high tensile steel and the Sorento scored good evaluation in small overlap crash test by IIHS.

In the U.S., the Sorento continues to be produced at the West Point, Georgia, assembly plant.

Engines are a 3.3L Lambda V6 that will make 290 horsepower, the existing 2.4L Gasoline direct injection I4 that will make the same 190 horsepower as the outgoing engine, and the new 2.0 Turbocharged I4 that will make 240 horsepower. On the Diesel side, It came with 2.2L CRDi engine with variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) .

Transmissions are expected to be a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic transmission. Drivetrains are front wheel drive or all wheel drive, the latter only being available with the automatic transmission.


In the United States, the all-new 2016 Kia Sorento is offered in five models:

The L is a new model, and base model, for 2016. It offers a 2.4L GDi I4 engine that makes 190 HP with a six-speed automatic transmission, and is only available with front-wheel-drive. Standard features include an A/M-F/M radio with single-disc CD player and six speakers, and input jacks for an auxiliary audio device, as well as an iPod or other USB device, and can be controlled from the Sorento's radio, and SIRIUS Satellite Radio is also standard, as is Bluetooth and A2DP stereo audio streaming. Also included are alloy wheels, cloth seating surfaces, keyless entry, and more.

The LX was previously the base model, and is now an upgrade from the base model for 2016. It builds off of the L model, and also offers a 3.3L Lambda V6 engine that makes 290 HP, and is available with front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. A Popular Package is offered that adds a touch screen Kia Uvo radio, heated front seats, a sunroof, and front fog lamps.

The EX is the midlevel model, and offers a standard 2.0L turbocharged I4 engine that makes 240 HP (the V6 engine is also available). The UVO radio comes standard, and there are leather seats as standard equipment. Third-row seating is also available. Alloy wheels with black-finished inserts are standard equipment, as are fog lamps and heated seats. An EX Premium Package adds such features as an Infinity sound system, navigation system, HD Radio, and more. A sunroof also comes standard.

The SX is the next to top-of-the-line model, and offers the V6 engine as standard.[16] The navigation system comes standard, as does HD Radio and the Infinity sound system. Push-button start with a smartkey comes standard.

The Limited, previously known as the SX Limited, is the top-of-the-line model. It offers the same I4 engine as standard and the V6 engine as optional in the EX and SX models. Nappa leather seating surfaces are standard equipment, as are heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. A panoramic sunroof is also standard, as are chrome alloy wheels.


In November 2014, Kia Motors collaborated with 20th Century Fox to create a Wolverine-themed Sorento to promote the home media release of X-Men: Days of Future Past. The car was unveiled at the 2014 Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show, with Hugh Jackman and Jang Dong-gun also attend the launch. The custom Sorento made its debut at the 2015 Australian Open, with a series of videos featuring Rafael Nadal teaming up with the X-Men to save the tennis event from the Sentinels.[17]

In January 2015, Kia Motors released their Sorento Super Bowl XLIX commercial featuring Pierce Brosnan.[18]


  1. ^ "Izhevsk Car Factory Stopped Production of Kia". 2011-09-19. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Ao"Азия Авто"". Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  4. ^ Korzeniewski, Jeremy (2009-03-18). ""More 2010 Kia Sorento shots hit the web" From (March 18, 2009)". Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  5. ^ Kia Sticks with Sorento Name for All-New Crossover Sep 25, 2009. CBS Interactive
  6. ^ "2011 Kia Sorento – First Drive Review – Car & Driver". Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  7. ^ Kia Sorento R picks up first global award – in NZ Fri, 4 Dec 2009. Allied Press Ltd
  8. ^ Kia Sorento Tops Tests Of Small and Midsized SUVs 06/01/2010. Consumer Reports
  9. ^ New Kia Sorento achieves 5-star safety performance August 26, 2009,
  10. ^ Kia Sorento crash test result ANCAP
  11. ^ Kia Sorento Awarded 'Top Safety Pick' by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety June 2, 2010 /PRNewswire/
  12. ^ Kia launching Uvo 2.0 in 2014 Sorento
  13. ^ New-look 2014 Kia Sorento takes the stage in Los Angeles
  14. ^ Kia previews its Super Bowl baby commercial, far cry from Adriana Lima
  15. ^ Behold, Kia's Space Babies Super Bowl commercial
  16. ^
  17. ^ Joseph, Noah (2014-11-24). "Kia Sorento bares its claws for X-Men Special Edition". Retrieved 2014-11-25. 
  18. ^ De Guzman, Marcus (2015-01-29). "Watch: Pierce Brosnan Makes an Unexpected Getaway with Kia". The Clipping Point. Retrieved 2015-01-30. 

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