2016 Kia Sorento SXL Turbo

This full-featured midsize crossover is ready for the mountains or the mall.

  • Likes
  • Design
  • versatility and acceleration
  • Dislikes
  • Expensive options

Redesigned for 2015 as a 2016 model, Kia's midsize crossover CUV now comes with more solid construction, more room and more connectivity. A newly available turbocharged 4-cylinder engine boosts fuel economy, while a more sophisticated all-wheel-drive system lends the Sorento some dirt road and winter practicality. We've been impressed with Kia's design under Peter Shreyer's direction, and the 2016 Sorento is subjectively more compelling to look at than the model it replaces. Gone are the awkward flat side panels, replaced with a more sinuously curved flank that melds better with the front and rear fenders. The high beltline and low roof give the Sorento a mild chop-top look, not unlike the Range Rover Evoque. Trapezoidal enclosures surround a cluster of square LEDs, following today's headlight fashion.

The interior of the SXL Turbo model we tested came well equipped with Kia's UVO telematics system featuring Google search and Google play apps, a suite of cameras and monitors, and a 630-watt Infinity stereo with a system called Clari-Fi, an industry first feature designed to restore quality to digitally compressed audio files. Materials and build quality are generally impressive throughout, with seats and armrests appointed in optional Nappa leather like that found in Kia's high-end K900 luxury sedan. Such opulence does come at a price, however. The SX Limited Turbo starts nearly $10,000 higher than an EX AWD model with the same engine and drivetrain.

Like the Kia Sedona minivan, the Sorento has more driving chops than its market placement would suggest. While many crossover vehicles tout their "active lifestyle" pretensions, the 2016 Sorento goes the extra mile and offers an actual locking 4x4 mode and a torque vectoring differential as part of its Dynamax all-wheel drive system. The rack-mounted electric power steering adds precision and feel, eliminating much of the vagueness common with electrically-assisted steering. It adds up to a surprisingly pleasant and refined driving experience. NVH (noise, vibration and harshness, in product planner lingo) are markedly reduced compared to previous Sorento models, and now rest at luxury sedan levels. The Kia Sorento with the 2.0-liter turbo engine should also prove relatively economical, with an estimated 27 mpg overall. As an added bonus, there is now up to 74 cubic feet of cargo volume available, in addition to a 3,500 lb tow rating when equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo engine. So whether you're adventuring to the high Sierras for a long weekend or mounting an expedition to the local Galleria, the 2016 Kia Sorento is a stylish and value-packed way to get there.

Warranty/Service: 5-year/60,000 mile basic warranty, 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, 5-year/100,000 mile anti-perforation warranty, 5-year/60,000 mile roadside assistance

Visit the Kia website

Specs

Base Price: $41,700

As Tested: $41,700

  • 240 hp
  • Horsepower
  • Engine: 2.0-liter 4 turbo
  • Horsepower: 240 hp
  • Torque: 260
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • Curb Weight: 4,004 lbs
  • Wheelbase: 109.4 in
  • Length: 187.4 in
  • Width: 74.4 in
  • Height: 66.3 in
  • Turning circle: 36.4 ft
  • Brakes: Ventilated Front disc and solid rear disc with ABS
  • Suspension: Front macpherson strut and rear multilink
  • Traction: Traction and Stability control standard, cornering brake control and torque vectoring available
  • Combined MPG: 27 mpg
  • Seating Capacity: 5
  • Safety: not yet tested

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