Caraganza First Drive Review 2019 Kia Sorento: The middle child



If you are the middle child of the family, you know how difficult your childhood was. You always got the hand-me-downs and had to take care of everything since you too were expected to hand it down to your sibling.

You also never got the same attention as the rest of the kids.  You were almost invisible, blending in with the crowd into near oblivion.

The automotive market can be like that. In a crowded field of SUVs, crossovers and minivans, some can become almost invisible.

The Kia Sorento is that middle child.  In the crowded SUV family, the Sorento is nearly invisible, quietly doing its thing without much fanfare.

Kia introduced the third-generation Sorento three years after its debut in 2016. The 2019 gets revised styling at the front and rear and some interior appearance tweaks, but the bigger changes come underneath. The standard 2.4-liter inline-four and available 3.3-liter V-6 engines are still there, but the four-cylinder’s six-speed automatic has been updated and the V-6 gains two additional gears with a new eight-speed automatic.

Kia sent me a Sorrento for a recent week. And it neither impressed or disappointed, it just was.

The 2019 Sorrento has five trim levels: L, LX, EX, SX and SX Limited (SXL). There are also three engines available. The L and LX come standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (185 horsepower, 178 pound-feet of torque). Only the EX comes standard with the 2.0T turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (240 hp, 260 lb-ft). A 3.3-liter V6 (290 hp, 252 lb-ft) is optional on the LX and EX, and it comes standard on the SX and SXL.



I had the SXL with the new eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.

The cabin is neither spacious nor confining but is attractive with plenty of nice appointments including soft nappa leather upholstery in the SXL. One area that the Sorrento does seem to stand out in is tech Kia put inside, tech that includes nearly every active-safety feature available today, and some of which such as lane-keeping assist are new additions for 2019.

On the road the 3.3-liter V-6 with 290 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque seemed adequate for everyday use such as carrying the kids to soccer practice. 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds isn’t exactly thrilling, but this is the middle child after all so don’t expect a sports car (or SUV) experience.

The Kia Sorrento will perform as advertised. It has a lot of tech, decent looks, enough room and with the newest update, will keep up with the times. The top of the line SXL I had for my week topped out with an MSRP of $48,785 which might raise a few eyebrows when the word “Kia” is mentioned. But a good deal on one of the lower trims could make the Sorrento a good value.  As long you can find it among its brothers and sisters.

The 2019 Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD
MSRP: $48,785
Engine: 3.3L V6, 290 hp @ 6,400 rpm, 252 lb.-ft. torque @ 5,200 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed shiftable automatic
Fuel Mileage (EPA): 19 city, 26 highway, 22 combined
Fuel Mileage (as tested, mixed conditions): 24 mpg
Base Curb Weight (lbs) 3810

Interior Dimensions
Front Leg Room (in) 44.1
Second Shoulder Room (in) 58
Third Hip Room (in) 41.4
Passenger Volume (ft³) 154.2
Second Head Room (in) 39.3
Third Leg Room (in) 31.7
Front Shoulder Room (in) 59.1
Second Hip Room (in) 56.4
Front Head Room (in) 39.5
Second Leg Room (in) 39.4
Third Shoulder Room (in) 52.8
Passenger Capacity 7
Front Hip Room (in) 56.7
Third Head Room (in) 36.3

Exterior Dimensions
Height, Overall (in) 66.3
Length, Overall (in) 189
Min Ground Clearance (in) 7.3
Track Width, Front (in) 64.3
Width, Max w/o mirrors (in) 74.4
Wheelbase (in) 109.4
Track Width, Rear (in) 64.7
Cargo Area Dimensions
Cargo Volume to Seat 2 (ft³) 38
Cargo Volume to Seat 3 (ft³) 11.3
Cargo Volume to Seat 1 (ft³) 73

Basic Miles/km 60,000
Basic Years 5
Corrosion Miles/km 100,000
Corrosion Years 5
Drivetrain Miles/km 100,000
Drivetrain Years 10
Roadside Assistance Miles/km 60,000
Roadside Assistance Years 5

Greg Engle