2011 Kia Sorento Photo
Quick Take
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. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web

When it comes to Kia's recent design direction, sharp, geometric shapes and creases are the name of the game, especially noticeable in the case of the Sorento as the eye is drawn to the vehicle's deeply chiseled window sills and rocker panels.

Autoblog »

Though vaguely reminiscent of the Mitsubishi Outlander, it's nonetheless a creased, well-proportioned and confident step away from the anonymity of the outgoing Sorento.

Inside Line »

The Sorento’s cabin has a nice mix of textures and a handsome, logical design.

Car and Driver »

Inside, the Sorento's dashboard is simple but sleek, and the subtle faux-wood trim piece that bisects it is a welcome upscale touch. The plastics are all hard, but they look good and are certainly class-competitive.

Edmunds »

Although the materials are on par with competitors, Kia hasn't perfected the finer details of texture, graining, and finishes. There's an abundance of matte black plastic where other automakers would inject a touch of style.

Automobile »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$21,195 $34,095
2WD 4-Door I4 Base
Gas Mileage 20 mpg City/27 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas I4, 2.4L
EPA Class 2WD Sport Utility Vehicle
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 5
Passenger Doors 4
Body Style Sport Utility
See Detailed Specs »
8.0 out of 10
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The Basics:

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.



  • 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
Next: Interior / Exterior »
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TCC Rating
Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
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