2017 KIA Sorento SXL AWD Review & Road Test

KIA makes great cars. They have one of the best warranties in the business – 10 year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warrant, 5 year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty and 5 year/60,000 roadside assistance. They come with almost every available option. And they aren’t very expensive, all things considered. I had the 2015 KIA Sedona minivan and absolutely loved it. I’m trying to convince my brother to buy one. I would have bought one, but I just traded my old minivan in for the Roadfly Black Bear Jeep. So when the 2017 Kia Sorento SXL AWD showed up in my driveway dressed in a stunning Platinum Graphite exterior with a coordinating Black Metallic Nappa Leather clad interior, I knew I would love it. And not just because I knew it would be great, because all KIA’s are great. And not just because my neighbor has one. But because I talked my wife into leasing a gorgeous Snow White Pearl one with an Ivory Nappa Leather clad interior about three months ago. She loves it so much that I don’t get to drive it. Which is fine; I don’t let her drive the Roadfly Black Bear Jeep either (of course she doesn’t like it and won’t ride in it let alone drive it, but anyway . . . ). So we had a black KIA Sorento SXL AWD and a white KIA Sorento SXL AWD in the driveway at the same time (I instantly thought of Spy v.s. Spy from Mad Magazine – most of you won’t get that reference). I took my Platinum Graphite Sorrento, leaving my wife’s behind, and got to know it a little better.

KIA prices its cars by trim package, so if you want every option they offer in the Sorento, you get the SXL AWD. You don’t have to choose any options, because it has all of them, and at a sticker price of $45,700, it’s a very loaded SUV. The Sorento is a mid-sized crossover SUV with a small third row that seats two children relatively comfortably (if they aren’t huge teenagers). You can squeeze an adult back there for short trips; I’ve ridden back there and its nice to be away from the kids and not to have to drive, but for long trips an adult would be pretty uncomfortable with two adults being really tight. The middle row seats three on a bench seat so total seating is seven. My wife preferred the Sorento over some of the other SUV’s we looked at because it’s a little bit smaller and feels and drives a little more like a car then a truck. Its smaller in size then the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, and the Nissan Murano, but still has plenty of space inside for people and cargo (with more maximum cargo space inside then the Murano).

As I pointed out earlier, options abound in the 2017 KIA Sorento SXL. New for 2017 is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the Advanced Touring Package and the Advanced Technology Package as well as Autonomous Emergency Braking and Dynamic Bending Lights. My wife has an iPhone, an iPad, and a MacBook Air – so of course she wanted Apple CarPlay. So she waited a few extra weeks to get the 2017. The Surround View Monitor was a must for her and not available on a few other SUV’s she looked at, which immediately took those out of the running. Surround View if you haven’t used it is pretty neat. Half of the UVO 8-inch infotainment screen shows the rear of the vehicle and the other half of the screen shows what appears to be a 360 degree aerial view of the car, which is generated by four cameras, one located under each side mirror and one each on the front and rear of the vehicle. Of course the backup camera combined with the Surround View Monitor didn’t prevent my wife from almost backing into me when backing out of the garage – the horn on my Platinum Graphite KIA Sorento did. I asked her if she knew I was behind her. She said theoretically she did. I wasn’t sure what that meant so I left it at that. What I did know was that pointing out to her that no matter how awesome KIA’s Surround View Monitor is, you still have to look at it for it to work, wasn’t going to be a good idea.

The KIA Sorento comes in 5 trim packages ranging from a base price of $ 25,400 for the L to $45,7100 for the SXL AWD . The breakdown is as follows with each successor trim package building off of its predecessor:

KIA Sorento L FWD- $25,400

  • 2.4L GDi I4 engine with 190 hp
  • 6-speed automatic transmission
  • FWD only
  • 6 speaker AM/FM/Sat radio with single cd
  • Cloth seats
  • Bluetooth
  • Keyless entry

KIA Sorento V6 LX – $28,990 FWD $30,790 AWD

  • 3L Lambda V6 engine with 290 hp (or 2.4L GDi I4 engine with 190 hp)
  • 6-speed automatic transmission
  • FWD or AWD
  • 3-inch Color Touch-Screen Audio Display
  • Rear Camera Display
  • Heated front seats
  • Sunroof
  • Front fog lamps

KIA Sorento V6 EX – $33,100 FWD $34,900 AWD

  • 3L Lambda V6 engine with 290 hp (or 2.0L turbocharged I4 with 240 hp)
  • Leather seats
  • Third –row seating available
  • EX Premium Package ($1,200) adds:
    • Infinity sound system
    • Nav
    • HD radio
    • Smart power liftgate
    • Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert
    • 7 inch infotainment screen
    • 110-volt power inverter
  • EX Advanced Touring Package ($2,500) adds:
    • Panoramic Sunroof w/ Power Sunshade
    • Autonomous Emergency Braking
    • Forward Collision Warning System
    • Lane Departure Warning System
    • Advanced Smart Cruise Control
    • Electronic Parking Brake with Auto-Hold

KIA Sorento V6 SX – $38,600 FWD $40,400 AWD

  • 3L Lambda V6 engine with 290 hp
  • Navigation
  • UVO eServices w/8-inch Touch-Screen, SiriusXM Traffic and HD Radio
  • Infinity 10 Speaker audio system

KIA Sorento V6 SXL $43,900 FWD $45,700 AWD

  • 3L Lambda V6 engine with 290 hp
  • Heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats
  • Surround View Monitor
  • Nappa leather
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • 14-way power adjusted driver’s seat

Safety tech for the 2017 KIA Sorento SXL AWD includes Autonomous Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Dynamic Bending Lights.

I found the KIA Sorento to be one of, if not the best, mid-sized crossover SUV’s with an available third row seat in the market. Which of course is why a Snow White Pearl one lives in my garage. KIA really understands what a crossover SUV should be by combining the best parts of a car with the best parts of an SUV. The size is perfect. The interior layout and space is near perfect (the third row is a bit cramped for two people, but I would suggest it is impossible to size a third row correctly if you want to keep the overall size of the vehicle small). The options packages are perfect with every feature you could ever want available at the right trim level. And the exterior styling is attractive. If you are looking for the perfect mid-sized crossover SUV, take the 2017 KIA Sorento SXL AWD for a drive. Let me know if you find something better at the same price point. We couldn’t. And we spent a lot of time looking.


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