2022 Kia Sorento offers premium luxury at an economy price
Midsize SUVs are all about family use, and the Kia Sorento is a great example. This three-row SUV can be configured for six or seven passengers, and it's available in strictly economy configuration starting at $29,590 for the base LX trim, or in several trim levels leading up to the top SX-Prestige trim that we tested.
Any of the Sorento trim levels can be a great choice depending on your budget and your needs, but at the top end of the spectrum, the SX-Prestige can compete with the premium brands at a substantial discount off the premium price.
The base Sorento trims come with a good four-cylinder engine rated at 181 horsepower, but the upper trims add a turbocharger that boosts output to 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and optional all-wheel-drive with a locking center differential. Kia gives you several drive modes that pre-program the driveline for any conditions, including a snow mode. That's a great package for winter in the Pacific Northwest, and will get you confidently through the next six months.
Inside the Sorento SX-Prestige, you'll find a well-designed and comfortable interior. If you add the optional X-Line package, you'll sit on soft perforated leather upholstery, with both heating and ventilation on the front seats, and heated second-row seats. At the SX-Prestige trim level, the second row features individual captain's chairs rather than a bench seat. That means the top trims seat six people instead of seven, but if you don't have seven people to carry, the individual seats are more comfortable and convenient.
Behind the seats, the Sorento offers 12.6 cubic feet of cargo space. If you fold down the third row, that becomes 45 cubic feet, and with both rear rows folded down, you can carry 75.5 cubic feet of stuff. That's enough for a heavy-duty trip to the big box store or a weekend of top-tier car camping.
Family SUVs have to be safe, and the Sorento brings the tech to keep you protected. The Kia Drivewise package includes the usual forward collision avoidance, and active blind spot collision avoidance, along with safe exit assistance and highway driving assistance. You also get smart navigation and adaptive cruise control, plus lane following assistance and parking assistance.
It gets even better with the X-Line option package. This adds a 360-degree surround-view camera system and blind spot view monitor. The blind spot cameras put a live view of the Sorento's blind spot on the dashboard when you actuate the turn signals.
The X-line package also upgrades the dashboard infotainment to a 12.3-inch ultra-wide touchscreen and gets you a nice Bose audio system. There's more to X-Line yet, with a list of features too long to include here. Suffice it to say that you want to check the X-Line box.
On the road, the Sorento is smooth, comfortable, and easy to use. The engine and driveline are well-matched, so you don't feel underpowered, but it's also not overpowered like some larger SUVs.
With a price tag right around $45,000, the Kia Sorento is offering the same kind of features that much more expensive European SUVs have, and if you're considering buying premium this year, you should drive the Sorento before you make your purchasing decision.
2022 Kia Sorento X-Line SX-Prestige AWD
Base price: $43,090
Price as tested: $45,120
Type: Midsize crossover SUV
Engine: 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (281 hp, 311 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 22/27
Overall length: 189 inches
Curb weight: 4,120 pounds
Final assembly: West Point, Georgia
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