Kia’s new direction for the Sorento kicks off with attractive styling. The Sorento sits lower now, and it’s taken on some of the cues from Kia’s passenger cars, like the “Schreyer line” named for the chief designer Peter Schreyer and which splits headlamps from its grille. The headlamps and grille form a wide arc across the somewhat high nose and wrap into a fairly deep wedge that defines the sideview. Kia dubs the sideview a “flying wing,” and the vertical pillar at the tailgate does give it an aeronautic look—as well as a passing resemblance to the Acura NSX, if we’re allowed to go there.
The passenger space is defined by a somewhat imposing dash; drivers face three big oval gauges with clearly marked faces, as well as a center stack with a large LCD screen flanked by big vents and footed by three big, round, useful climate-control knobs. It’s a simple, clean look that’s dulled only by some drab, open-grained plastic across the dash and the tops of the doors—and unconvincing fake-wood trim on certain versions.
Universally, Kia’s assembly quality has moved to global standards, and the Georgia-built Sorento is no exception. For its price, the hard plastic on the dash and doors is understandable, and it’s all pieced together with above-average fit and finish.