Complete Kia Sorento lineup, specs, economy, dimensions

2020 Kia Sorento IV - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2020 Kia Sorento SUVSorento IV15 Trims 191 to 281 Hp 2018 Kia Sorento III (facelift 2018) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2018 - 2020 Kia Sorento SUVSorento III (facelift 2018)19 Trims 185 to 290 Hp 2015 Kia Sorento III - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2014 - 2018 Kia Sorento SUVSorento III5 Trims 188 to 200 Hp 2012 Kia Sorento II (facelift 2012) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2012 - 2014 Kia Sorento SUVSorento II (facelift 2012)5 Trims 150 to 197 Hp 2010 Kia Sorento II - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2009 - 2012 Kia Sorento SUVSorento II10 Trims 140 to 276 Hp 2006 Kia Sorento I (facelift 2006) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2006 - 2009 Kia Sorento SUVSorento I (facelift 2006)6 Trims 170 to 262 Hp 2002 Kia Sorento I - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2002 - 2006 Kia Sorento SUVSorento I4 Trims 139 to 195 Hp

The Kia Sorento is a mid-size crossover manufactured and marketed by the South Korean car manufacturer Kia Motors since 2002. Kia has been making waves in the world of SUVs with their mid-sized Sorento since 2002. It made a significant leap forward when it changed from body-on-frame to crossover style back in 2009 and continues to be an excellent choice for drivers who need space but don't want bulk. The Sorento pulls into 2023 without any major changes to its massive lineup.

History of the Kia Sorento

First Generation Kia Sorento (BL; 2002–2009)

Kia stepped up its game and entered the mid-size SUV market with the Sorento in 2002, a vehicle sold worldwide under the same nameplate. The Korean carmaker was not new to the world of body-on-frame 4x4 vehicles. It already had the first generation of the Sportage. In its history, several other vehicles followed the same construction. However, after its marriage with Hyundai in 1997, the company was upgraded, and the results followed. The Sorento was one of the most important vehicles in the carmaker's lineup and showed the world that it could produce good quality, affordable SUVs. Born in the middle of the new-edge design trend, the Sorento sported a front fascia dominated by curved lines and sharp angles, especially on the headlights. Inside, the high seating position was appropriate for an SUV. Even though the materials used were average, the layout was clean and logical. Kia installed a front independent suspension on the Sorento that enhanced comfort, while the back was supported by a live axle. Power went to the rear or in all corners via a two-speed transfer case activated by a rotary knob on the dashboard. Depending on the market, the carmaker installed a 2.5L turbo-diesel engine or a choice of two gasoline-fed powerplants.

Upgrade (2006–2009)

Kia unveiled the facelift for the Sorento's first generation in 2006, four years after the model's introduction. The Korean carmaker already had some experience in building 4x4 vehicles, and it tried to get a more significant share of the market with the introduction of the Sorento lineup in 2002. It was built on a body-on-frame system, and it was Kia's first attempt to enter the mid-size SUV market. The result was more than satisfactory since the carmaker offered the vehicle at a price well below its competitors. At the front, the main difference between the facelift and the non-facelift version was on the headlights. The carmaker moved the turn signals on their lower outer side in a colored horizontal strip. Inside, the carmaker offered more airbags than before, and that brought the car into the five-star crash-test rating performed by the NHTSA in a frontal and side impact. The most significant upgrade was under the hood. For the U.S. market, the Sorento replaced the older 3.5L engine with two new ones of 3.3L and 3.8L displacement. For specific markets, the Korean carmaker installed a 2.5L turbo-diesel.

Second Generation Kia Sorento (XM; 2009–2014)

The second generation of the Sorento SUV was first previewed at the New York Auto Show in March 2009. This new generation uses a unistructure body and is Kia's first model built in the United States. Aerodynamics were improved from a not-so-great 0.43 Cx to a more acceptable 0.38 and the SUV safety development earned the car a 5-star rating from Euro NCAP. Visual-like the SUV looks more appealing than its previous cousin, displaying a bit of that American styling. Inside the car feels more uptown, with a newly designed center console and dashboard. The SUV can be ordered with a panoramic glass roof, keyless entry, and a rearview camera.

Third Generation Kia Sorento (UM; 2014–2020)

Kia Motors revealed the third-generation Sorento in South Korea on August 28, 2014. The vehicle later made its European debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. The third-generation Sorento shares a platform with the third-generation Kia Carnival, and is available in either 5-seater or 7-seater, depending on the configuration. It is 95mm longer than the previous generation, but lower for better handling. Kia claims a rigidity strengthening of 14% on its high tensile steel and the Sorento scored good evaluation in the small overlap crash test by IIHS. In the US, the Sorento continues to be produced at the West Point, Georgia assembly plant.

Facelift (2017–2020)

The Kia Sorento received updates for 2018 or 2019 depending on market location, these included a new front grille, bumper covers, and exterior lighting with similar design cues derived from the 2019 Kia Forte and the 2018 Kia Cadenza for the 2019 model year. The L, LX, EX, and SX trim levels received refreshed projector-beam headlamps with LED positioning lights. The SXL trim received new LED headlamps with LED daytime running lights, LED amber turn signal and positioning lights, and LED tail lamps.

Fourth Generation Kia Sorento (MQ4; 2020–Present)

The fourth generation Sorento was officially unveiled through a series of images on February 17, 2020. The unveiling of the production version had originally been planned for the later-canceled Geneva Motor Show. On September 22, 2020, the fourth-generation Kia Sorento made its debut in North America. It is offered in several different trim levels: LX, S, EX, SX, SX Prestige, and SX Prestige X-Line. LX and S models are powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.5L 4-cylinder Smartstream gasoline engine producing 191 hp (142 kW), while EX, SX, SX Prestige, and SX Prestige X-Line models use a 2.5L turbocharged Smartstream 4-cylinder gasoline engine producing 281 hp (210 kW).


For the 2023 model year, Kia retails the 2023 Kia Sorento with a starting MSRP of $31,415 for the base LX trim, rising to $51,315 for the top-of-the-line SX-Prestige PHEV variant.

  • LX - $31,415
  • S - $33,915
  • X-Line S - $35,915
  • EX - $37,315
  • EX Hybrid - $38,015
  • SX - $40,215
  • X-Line EX - $41,015
  • SX-Prestige Hybrid - $43,815
  • SX Prestige - $44,815
  • X-Line SX Prestige - $45,015
  • SX-Prestige PHEV - $51,315

Features of the Kia Sorento

Exterior Features

The Sorento was designed with the future in mind, so it has stylish good looks that won't fade easily. Despite sharing so many similarities with the larger Telluride, the Sorento is far from being a chunky three-row SUV. Instead, it leans more into its sedan heritage as a crossover. The grille on the front fascia is large but not overbearing. It's wide and incorporates the LED multi-reflector headlight clusters, with LED daytime running lights added on upper trims. Full LED headlights are standard from SX trims onwards. The base Kia is equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, which grow to 18s or 20s depending on model and trim. A rear roof spoiler gives it a slight air of sportiness that its larger sibling lacks, while all models except the LX can be fitted with a panoramic sunroof. Many of the trims are available with X-Line styling, which includes bespoke bumpers, wheels, and badging. Matte exterior trimming and a slightly higher ride height complete the image.

Interior Features

Kia excels at creating innovative and comfortable spaces inside its cars. Thus, it should shock no one to see how well laid out the interior of the Sorento is. The lower trims may use cheaper materials, but it never feels that way. The leather reserved for the upper trims makes the cabin feel almost premium, though. Only the entry model retains the smaller eight-inch touchscreen, while all the rest gain the larger 10.25-inch unit which adds to the high-tech and upscale feel. A panoramic sunroof can be optioned to make the cabin feel more spacious, which might help those in the third row feel less claustrophobic. The base LX trim of the Sorento is pretty well-equipped for the price. The standard powertrain is a 2.5L inline-4 engine rated at 191 horsepower. It’s linked to an 8-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive is standard. The base Sorento has standard 3-row seating for up to seven with one-touch slide-and-fold second-row seats allowing easy access to the third row. Standard Kia Drive Wise safety tech features include automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane-following assist, and rear occupant alert. The standard infotainment system is an 8-inch screen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Specs and Performance of the Kia Sorento

  • 2.5 L Smartstream G2.5 MPi I4
  • 2.5 L Smartstream G2.5 GDi I4
  • 2.5 L Smartstream G2.5 T-GDi I4
  • 3.5 L Smartstream G3.5 MPi V6
  • 1.6 L Smartstream G1.6 T-GDi I4
  • 2.2 L Smartstream D2.2 CRDi I4

There are two engines available in the Kia Sorento. The base engine in the LX and S models is a 2.5L inline-4 producing 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. The EX, SX, and SX Prestige models employ a more potent 2.5L turbocharged inline-4 with a significant performance upgrade at 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. Despite the big performance boost, the gap in fuel economy is almost negligible between the two engines. For that reason, the turbo engine is a worthwhile upgrade if your budget allows it. The combined fuel economy rating for the base engine is 26 mpg with FWD and 24 mpg with AWD. Those numbers for the turbo engine are 25 mpg with FWD and 24 mpg with AWD. Both engines use an 8-speed automatic transmission, but they’re different transmissions. The base engine is linked to a traditional automatic, but the turbo engine uses a dual-clutch transmission that delivers quicker shifts. The Sorento has a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds with the base engine and 3,500 pounds with the turbo engine. Additionally, there are hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants of the Kia Sorento, which we review separately. Kia Sorento accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (0–97 kph) in 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 122 mph (196 kph). Dimension-wise, the Kia Sorento sedan measures 4,810 mm (189.4 in) long, 1,900 mm (74.8 in) wide, and 1,695–1,700 mm (66.7–66.9 in) high. Its wheelbase measures 2,815 mm (110.8 in) and has a curb weight of 3,715–4,628 lbs (1,685–2,099 kg).

Release Date

Kia has been providing drivers with dependable and stylish Sorento since 2002.