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- Upscale feel
- Cabin is solid, quiet
- Turbo-4’s responsive tune
- Well-controlled ride
- Second-row seats need more support
- Turbo-4? No third row
- Third-row seat has slim space
The 2018 Kia Sorento ticks all the crossover-SUV boxes, especially in turbo-4 form.
The Kia Sorento made major gains in its latest redesign. Two model years later, it’s still to be commended for its nicely damped ride, its substantial and upscale feel, and its plethora of configurations.
We’ll do the commending right here, while we give the Sorento a rating of 7.3 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
No matter which 2018 Kia Sorento you choose–L, LX, EX, SX, or SXL–Kia’s biggest crossover has a generically handsome silhouette that weaves itself right into the big tapestry of modern utility-vehicle design. It’s smooth, not jagged; well-detailed, but not too blingy. It’s outfitted with a soft-touch cabin organized in neat, easily parsed regions. We’d let the same crew redecorate our house, which is either high praise or a cry for help, or both.
Power comes from a lowly 4-cylinder in base models. We prefer the 240-horsepower turbo-4 new to this generation, but it can’t be ordered with a third-row seat. The big V-6 comes off less eager than the turbo-4, yet it’s 50 hp stronger, without much of a drain on fuel. All come with a well-tuned 6-speed automatic, and the turbo-4 and V-6 can combine with all-wheel drive, with a locking center differential.
Inside the cabin, the Sorento makes its best impressions. It acts more like a plush luxury SUV, with soft-touch plastics, handsome leathers, and supple front seats. The second-row bench needs more work than the available third row: its low bench cushions don’t have the right support or shape. The cargo area’s more usefully shaped and larger than before, but still not vast unless the third-row seat is absent or folded.
Crash-test scores are very good, and the Sorento offers the latest safety technology on most models. Other features include touchscreen infotainment, big chrome wheels, and higher-end audio, as well as surround-view cameras.