With a shape that’s somewhat rugged looking but also rounded and soft to the eyes, the 2009 Kia Sorento isn’t likely to be very polarizing. And its appearance seems to have become outdated sooner than the competition. The interior is one of the least styled of any vehicles in its class—more useful than it is handsome.
The basic shape is rather plain to TheCarConnection.com’s editors, and it looks fairly thick from some angles
A number of reviewers try to compare the Sorento’s styling to that of other utility vehicles—an indication that its styling might be a bit derivative. Automobile comments on the 2009 Kia Sorento's similarity to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, oddly enough, saying it shares the same proportions as the Chrysler-built SUV. According to Cars.com, the 2009 Kia Sorento bears a strong family resemblance to its little brother, the Sportage, sharing that vehicle's "multi-slat grille, narrow air dam and larger headlights with orange borders.”
Comments from other reviewers are positive as well. Car and Driver likes the Sorento’s "stylish bobbed tail," and Jalopnik admires its “stunning curves”—ironically, it turns out. Buyers who choose to upgrade to the 2009 Kia Sorento's EX trim will get their vehicle outfitted with fog lights and chrome door handles.
Inside the Sorento, most reviewers consider the design simple and unremarkable, if a bit derivative. Automobile Magazine comments that the "interior accommodations are also similar" to those of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The interior has been upgraded since the Sorento was introduced in 2003, and Motor Trend notes the "new center fascia, gauge cluster, and floor console as well as new, upscale wood and metal trim materials" and describes the interior as "refined." Edmunds praises the "upscale ambiance to this modestly priced SUV" and says that "the ergonomics are sound," though they note that the "styling of the interior has begun to look dated." TheCarConnection.com editors agree with the refined appearance, from a distance, but up close the materials don’t fare as well.