- Carryover for 2015 after getting a large update last year
- Optional third-row expands seating capacity to seven passengers
- Improved steering and ride comfort
The 2015 Kia Sorento rolls into the new model year fresh off of a slew of updates last year that gave the crossover new styling and a few new tricks under the skin as well.
It all started with a new chassis (shared with Hyundai’s Santa Fe) that debuted in 2014, which is stiffer and improves the Sorento’s ride and handling. Like the Santa Fe, the Sorento isn’t quite a compact crossover or a midsize; it floats in the middle attracting those who want a little bit more space without the added girth. Seating for five passengers across two rows is standard, with a 50/50-split third row optional. If the third row is raised, don’t expect to fit much in the back, with only 9.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, but fold it down to free up an expansive 36.9 cubic feet.
Under the hood, there are two engine options. LX and EX models come standard with a 191-hp, direct-injected 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Optional on those two trims, but standard on the SX and top-of-the-line Limited is a 290-hp, direct-injected 3.3-liter V-6. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission option. The available all-wheel drive system utilizes torque vectoring, which shifts power to certain wheels during cornering to improve handling and traction.
Last year’s updates brought new exterior styling to the Sorento, including a revised grille that matches the noses of Kia’s other vehicles, and new headlight clusters with LED accents. Attractive vertical foglights flank the front bumper, and the side mirrors are heated and have built in signal indicators. 17-inch wheels come standard, with 18- and 19-inch alloys optional.
Like the outside, the inside of the Sorento also got a slew of newly available features and a redesigned dash. The center console’s centerpiece is an optional 8-inch touch-screen LCD that houses the controls for the available UVO infotainment and navigation systems. Last year the Sorento added a panoramic sunroof, second-row sunshades, cooled front seats, and a driver-selectable steering system which has Comfort, Normal, and Sport modes. Standard features include satellite radio, USB input, Bluetooth connectivity, power windows and locks, and remote keyless entry.
Six airbags come standard in the 2015 Sorento, along with all-disc antilock brakes and an electronic stability system. For its performance in crash testing, the Sorento earned a full five-star overall rating from the NHTSA. A blind sport warning system and rearview camera are optional.