Those looking forward to a refreshed 2018 Kia Sorento can finally have the last laugh. The new-look model features a range of upgrades that are most likely to cause a stir in a segment thronged by an innumerable number of ever-increasing rivals.
The new model was released during the 2017 Frankfurt International Motor Show.
So what’s new for 2018? To start off with, the new model is all-new inside and out. The new design language is as daring as it is refreshing. Inside, Kia says the new Sorento is bound to impress the savvy buyers more as it comes laden with the up-to-the-minute safety and in-car connectivity technologies. And as if those aren’t enough for 2018, Kia has also offered the Sorento lineup with a new GT variant.
According to Michael Cole, Kia Motor’s Chief Operating Officer for Europe, the new model provides an intricate balance between design, practicality, in-car technology, and performance. Needless to say, these are all crucial elements for buyers shopping in the five-passenger midsize crossover SUV segment.
In order to cater for various family sizes, the new model is available in five- and seven-passenger configurations. But other than that, it further distinguishes itself by being less cumbersome and less expensive than some big boys within the segment. And it manages to do this without compromising on feature content, and interior quality.
And that’s not all. Carrying Kia DNA also means you get a ten-year powertrain and an overall five year limited warranties.
Be that as it may, the 2018 Kia Sorento isn’t one without shortcomings. For one, the four-cylinders offered for the base models is underpowered and lacks a thrilling performance. Secondly, the third-row is modest in space and can only be reserved for kids. And lastly, the cargo space is somehow limited for a car in its class.
Exterior Color Options
The new 2018 Kia Sorento nine eight colors to choose from – Sangria, Ebony Black, Polished Walnut, Blaze Blue, Snow White Pearl, Titanium Silver, Sparkling Silver, Remington Red, and Platinum Graphite.
Interior & Trim Levels
For the most part, the interior is thoughtfully designed, faltering mainly in access and space on the third row. The material quality is exemplary even for the base model. The infotainment system is both functional and attractive.
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What will probably grasp the attention of any curious enthusiast is the eight-inch touchscreen interface on the Sorento SX trim. It is intuitive, modern, and features the latest convenience, entertainment, and telematics system.
Ingress and egress is not as easy though. This is especially so for the third-row access, as the step-through passage is disappointingly narrow. First and second-row access, on the bright side, is easily accessible thanks to wide opening doors and a low step-in height.
In terms of quality, the materials are top-of-the-range both in look and quality. Some panels are available with simulated stitching while others are available with soft-touch surfaces.
Technology wise, the latest 2018 Kia Sorento comes with an easy-to-use seven- or eight-inch Uvo3 units that include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Additionally, driver aids are available both in standard and optional form.
For 2018, the new model is available in a whopping five variants – Sorento L, Sorento LX, Sorento EX, Sorento SX, and Sorento SX Limited.
Kia Sorento L
Standard features available on the base model include a height-adjustable driver seat, selectable driving modes, seventeen-inch alloy wheels, and a rearview camera. Entertainment features include a CD player, six-speaker sound system, and Bluetooth connectivity. One USB port is included.
Kia Sorento LX
It builds on the basic features offered on the Sorento L by adding two extra USB ports, roof rails, and a noise-reducing windshield. Moreover, it is offered with a dizzying list of options bundled into three packages. The first package is the Convenience package. Inside the package are features like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and a crips seven-inch Uvo interface.
The second is the Cool and Connected package is almost similar and only adds the Uvo system and climate control. Finally, the Advanced Technology package adds lane-departure warning, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and electronic parking brake.
Kia Sorento EX
Stepping higher gets you the Sorento EX. With it you get features such as power-folding mirrors, eighteen-inch wheels, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat, keyless ignition and entry, second-row retractable sunshades, foglights, and noise-reducing front side windows.
Options include LED interior lighting, a 110-v household style outlet, and a panoramic sunroof.
Kia Sorento SX
The Sorento SX gets you a 10-way power driver seat, nineteen-inch wheels, a navigation system, a 10-way power driver seat, an eight-inch touchscreen interface, LED running lights, upgraded steering, a 10-speaker Infiniti sound system, automatic wipers, and an upgraded exterior trim.
It is also offered with the Advanced Technology package that, unlike the one on the LX V6, gets a heated steering wheel, xenon headlights, and ventilated front seats.
Kia Sorento Limited
Finally, at the top of the food chain is the top-of-the-range Sorento SX Limited. Offered with it are features such as a wood-trim steering wheel, nineteen-inch chrome clad wheels, second-row heated seats, and an upgraded leather upholstery.
After comparing all the trim models, we find the seven-seat Sorento EX to have the most value. For instance, it gives you abundant features for a reasonable price point. Furthermore, you can still include optional features and still undercut the price of other bigger well-equipped three-row crossover SUVs.
Interior colors include Stone Beige, Satin Black, Light Gray, Black, and Black Metallic.
2018 Kia Sorento Engine Specs & Performance
Beneath the hood are three engines offered. The base Sorento L and LX come equipped with a 2.4L four-cylinder engine rated at 185 horsepower and 178 lbs. ft. of torque. The Sorento EX takes performance levels to a different level with the 2.0L four-cylinder engine rated at 240 horsepower and 260 pounds feet of torque. Finally, a 3.3L V6 is standard on the Sorento SX and Sorento SX Limited models and optionally available for the LX and EX.
According to Kia, the Sorento SX should be able to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 7.6 seconds.
Accordind to the EPA, the fuel consumption rating range from a low of 19 mpg in combined city and highway cruising to a high of 24 mpg.
2018 Kia Sorento Price & Release Date
The prices for the range are as follows: Sorento SX Limited – MSRP starting from $46,200, Sorento LX - $29,500, Sorento EX - $33,000, Sorento SX - $39,100, and Sorento L - $25,800.
On pricing and features alone, the new Kia Sorento 2018 finds itself in a rather uncompromising situation against some of the segment’s best – the Mazda CX-9 and the Toyota Highlander. Anyone shopping for a three-row family SUV has probably come across the well-rounded Highlander. It’s a top choice for many buyers thanks to its weirdly-quiet cabin, strong V6 engine, right combo of interior and exterior size, and plenty of standard high-tech safety features. Pricing for the Highlander starts at around $31,625.
The Mazda CX-9 on the other hand is yet another impressive offering in this segment devoid of stinkers and should be on your must-drive list. This is because it is attractive inside and out, is laden with top-quality features, and is genuinely pleasurable to drive. Pricing starts from an MSRP of $45,255.