The Kia Sorento's big news for 2007 is a larger 3.8L V6. Power increases from 192 horsepower to an enthusiastic 262, and fuel mileage is improved as well. Select the 4x2 and the EPA says the Sorento will get 17/23 mpg city/highway. The Sorento 4x4 is expected to return 17/22 mpg.
The five-speed automatic with Sportmatic shifting selects fourth gear when you shift to manual mode at highway speeds, making passing easier. A five-speed manual transmission is also available.
The amount of equipment that comes standard makes the Sorento seems luxurious compared to some of its four-cylinder competitors. We've grown to expect power windows, door locks, and mirrors, but the Sorento also has anti-lock brakes and heated outside mirrors.
Road warriors will enjoy having four 12-volt power outlets. The eight-way adjustable driver's seat used manual controls, and was very comfortable once we dialed in our preferences. Overhead the console housed map lights, a garage door opener pocket, and a sunglasses holder, just like the up-market SUVs. The 41.4 cubic feet of cargo space could be supplemented by folding down the 60/40 split rear seat to yield a spacious 66.4 cubic feet of storage. Safety equipment includes not only front air bags, but also front and rear side curtain bags.
The LX adds a roof rack, cruise control, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, and a rear cargo cover. It is available with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, as is the EX.
The $1,200 Sport Package seems to be a real bargain: useful side step bars are added, as is handsome metallic interior trim, an upgraded AM/FM/CD stereo with ten speakers and a cassette player, blacked out headlights, a spoiler, a leather shift knob, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Step up to the EX and you get alloy wheels, fog lamps, a power driver's seat, audio controls mounted on the steering wheel, a trip computer, and an electrochromic rearview mirror. If you add the EX Luxury package the Delphi stereo gets 280-watts of power, a six-disc in-dash CD changer, automatic climate control and headlights, and heated leather seats.
In order to lure buyers into their showroom, Kia continues to offer one of the longest warranties in the business. The limited powertrain warranty is for ten years or 100,000 miles, five years or 60,000 miles are the terms of the basic warranty, and five years of 24-hour roadside assistance are included with each vehicle.
The Kia Sorento gets a makeover for 2007, with the big news lying under the hood. Thanks to a new 3.8L V6, output jumps from 192 horsepower to 262. The front end and interior have been revised, and towing capacity increases from 3,500 to 5,000 pounds. There are also new 16- and 17-inch wheels to go along with a retuned suspension.