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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Five stars overall; five stars frontal and side impact; four stars rollover
'Good,' frontal and side impact; 'good,' roof strength; 'good,' rear (seats/restraints); 'poor,' small overlap
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.
Family vehicles need to ace all the safety ratings. And rest assured, the 2015 Kia Sorento has done exactly that.
In tests from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), it's earned nearly all top scores. In federal NHTSA testing, it earns five stars overall, with only a single four-star rollover-resistance rating keeping it from perfection. And as for the IIHS, the Sorento gets mostly 'good' ratings from that agency. The one thing that keeps it from doing any better than the '8' we've given it is its bottom-of-the-heap 'poor' rating in the IIHS small overlap frontal impact test.
The 2015 Sorento includes all the expected airbags, as well as an electronic stability system. It also has a driver knee airbag and Bluetooth as standard equipment, while a rearview camera is an option on the Sorento LX and EX. Although there's a caution for those who are holding specs up against some of the rival crossover models: Its third-row seat isn't covered by its curtain airbags.
But there are plenty of safety features that will help keep you out of trouble, and visibility is quite good from the driver's seat. Blind-spot monitors, which alert the driver if vehicles are approaching in out-of-sight places, are available on the LX and EX and standard on the Sorento SX. And parking sensors, another handy feature for close quarters, are an option on the LX and standard on all other trim levels.
The 2015 Kia Sorento remains one of the best-rated models in its class for occupant safety.