Both the five- and seven-seat Kia Sorento crossovers come with a generous list of standard equipment, bumped up a little more for the 2013 model year.
Kia sells the Sorento in three trim levels--base LX, EX and SX. In LX trim, the Sorento offers standard power windows, locks and mirrors; air conditioning; cruise control; an AM/FM/CD player with satellite radio and steering-wheel audio controls; a USB port; Bluetooth; and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Base prices still range in the low-$20,000s, though the Sorento's no longer the sub-$20k bargain it was when it was new in the 2011 model year. The V-6 engine is optional on this trim level, and when it's ordered, the third-row seat comes with it.
The Sorento EX adds on pushbutton start; automatic headlamps and fog lights; a power driver seat; rear parking sensors; and a rear spoiler. EX V-6 models, along with the third-row seat, get a rear air conditioner. The Sorento SX, meanwhile, has its own body kit and sporty wheels; it also gets a standard navigation system with voice commands, as well as a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and Infinity speakers.
A good value in base form, the Sorento can swell in price to more than $37,000 with options. We'd opt for the rearview camera, but as an option on LX and EX models, it's bundled with a navigation system that's a considerable uptick, given the Sorento's low base price. Infinity audio brings better sound quality, but navigating the Sorento's sound system has some foibles that will take a few clicks and taps to get used to. Leather seats and a panoramic sunroof are also offered.
The Sorento also gets a choice of newly styled wheels; a power passenger seat; a ventilated driver seat; power-folding side mirrors; and upping the tech ante, UVO. The UVO system isversion of the same Microsoft code that underwrites Ford's SYNC system. It uses Bluetooth connections to drive some vehicle functions by voice, for hands-free operation of the phone and audio controls. It's not quite as sophisticated as SYNC, but it's a smart first step into less distracted driving.