Attractive styling has drawn lots of new shoppers to the Kia lineup, and the Sorento was one of the first vehicles of the new generation to wear the themes penned by head designer Peter Schreyer. Lower, longer, and more balanced than the first-generation SUV, this latest Sorento wears Schreyer's signature front end, with a wide arc of headlamps and grille integrated tightly into a deeply wedged nose. From the side, the Sorento can look aeronautic. It's all tied together well with a tall greenhouse and a blunt tail that does a great job summing up the new look and its minimal use of detail.
Inside, the Sorento's cabin greets drivers with a large dash punctuated by three big oval gauges, marked in clear, large type. The center stack is topped by a big LCD screen, which is itself flanked by large air vents and sits atop knobby climate controls--the big, round kind that are easy to operate without staring at the controls instead of the road. The simple look only is dulled by lots of hard plastic. Most of it looks good, even the woodgrain trim that bisects the dash horizontally, but there's very little of the soft-touch plastic we've grown more used to, even in less expensive vehicles.