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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Five stars overall
"Good" in all tests except a small-overlap "poor"
The Sorento is the first Kia to offer blind-spot detection, a sonar-based system that alerts the driver with audible and visual warnings of other vehicles lurking in the hard-to-see rear quarters.
Car and Driver
It's both stronger and lighter than before thanks to the increased use of high-strength steel. Kia expects this to help the crossover achieve a five-star crash-test rating (versus the current four stars)
Unlike most three-row competitors, the Sorento's side curtain airbags do not extend to the third row.
The 2014 Kia Sorento has been put through the crash-test paces, and it's aced them.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives it five stars overall, with only a single four-star rollover-resistance rating keeping it from perfection.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) dubbed the Sorento a Top Safety Pick for 2013, before it scored poorly on the new small-overlap test. The designation should be out of reach now, but the IIHS hasn't updated the Sorento's rating for the 2015 calendar year yet.
Along with the usual stability and airbags--though its third-row seat isn't covered by its curtain airbags--the Sorento also has a driver knee airbag and Bluetooth as standard equipment, while a rearview camera is an option on the Sorento LX and EX.
New on the Sorento's options list are blind-spot monitors, which alert the driver if vehicles are approaching in out-of-sight places. It's a useful feature that's an option on the LX and EX, and standard on the Sorento SX. Parking sensors, another handy feature for close quarters, are an option on the LX and standard on all other trim levels.
Aside from those features, visibility is good from the driver's seat. The rearmost headrests mostly line up with the Sorento's rear pillars, preserving most of the view to the rear quarters.
Safety is one of the Sorento's best features; both the IIHS and the NHTSA put it near the top of the rankings.