- Right niche, right time
- V-6’s brisk pace and fuel economy
- Good passenger and cargo space
- Optional flat-folding third-row seat
- USB, Sirius, and Bluetooth are standard
- Dash plastics not premium-grade
- Handling on the soft side
- Four-cylinder not so fast, not so frugal
- Third-row seat is kids-only
The 2011 Kia Sorento takes a right turn in its transition from off-roader to all-weather wagon: It’s sized right, timed right, and packaged right.
If you’ve gazed at a CR-V, RAV4, or Edge with lust in your heart, you may want to back away from those flirtations and take a look at the 2011 Kia Sorento.
You probably know the Sorento as a truck-based SUV with frame rails and some real off-road capability—but all that’s changed. The new Sorento leaves the trails behind for a new mission that’s all about toting families in carlike comfort. It’s now built off the same architecture as the Hyundai Santa Fe, which means carlike construction and carlike handling.
Offered in LX, EX, and EX V-6 versions, the 2011 Sorento just might be the perfect vehicle for today’s downsized budgets and value-conscious shoppers. It splits the niche of crossovers in the middle, delivering the space and performance of some bigger names with the fuel economy of some smaller entries, with the addition of a third-row seat, a choice of engines, and a class-leading warranty. Suddenly, the dull-ish Sorento is all things to a much bigger group of potential buyers looking at a Honda, a Toyota, or even a Ford Edge.
We’re giving the 2011 Sorento an overall rating of 8.0 out of 10, with high scores in the safety and features and green categories. It falls a bit behind some compact utes on performance, but the styling is spot-on, and gas mileage is near the top of the class—as are standard features like USB for your music player and satellite radio. Can you rock with that? We think you can.