Reviews First Drive: 2019 Kia Sorento

20:51  12 june  2018
20:51  12 june  2018 Source:   driving.ca

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The Kia Sorento received a complete overhaul just a few years ago. So while these 2019 model year updates don't amount to an all-new product, they keep the Sorento competitive. With available all-wheel drive , the Sorento is ready for the snow. Kia .

– Crested Butte, Colorado. With a nip here, and a tuck there, the Kia Sorento gains a moderate update for the 2019 model year. At first glance, you might not even notice that the Sorento has been updated at all. But compare it side-by-side with the outgoing model, and it’s apparent that designers

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MINETT, Ont. — Sorry, couch potatoes and indoor slackers. Need a mid-sized crossover to get to and from work? Thinking maybe a nice, new Kia Sorento might look good in your garage? Nope, according to Ted Lancaster, Kia Canada’s chief operating officer and vice-president, his latest product is not for you. “This vehicle is fun, it’s outdoorsy. It’s a vehicle for people to get off their asses and get out and enjoy life.”

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2019 kia sorento
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Admittedly, some version of this marketing gambit is used by just about every automaker out there to push their crossovers and SUVs into the arms of the buying public, especially suburban families. And the 2019 Sorento, the subject of a significant mid-cycle refresh, doesn’t look particularly adventurous itself despite a tasteful facelift that includes a revised grille design, a new front fascia, redesigned LED fog lights and LED tail lights, and a resculpted rear bumper. No, unless you’re a card-carrying member of Kia Nation, the refreshed Sorento doesn’t immediately stand out from the multitude of like-sized and priced crossovers.

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The 2019 Kia Sorento doesn’t try to change the game, it just plays it really well. It offers the generous array of features that’s become typical of Kia , reasonably competent driving dynamics, and a handsome, albeit understated, design.

The 2019 Kia Sorento arrives at a unique time in the history of the Korean brand. No longer a hungry challenger to the established automotive order thanks to years of providing consistently excellent options across a wide swathe of vehicle segments

With that said, the changes under the hood and underneath and to features in the cabin certainly make it a far more pleasant — possibly entertaining — vehicle to drive, even if your sense of adventure is limited to braving the wilds of the shopping mall parking lot. The biggest change in the engine department is Kia dropping the 2.0-litre turbo-four from the lineup. In its place, possibly, is a new diesel engine, though the final decision on its inclusion won’t be made until later this year.

For now, that leaves the base 185-horsepower, 2.4L four-cylinder and the 290-horsepower, 3.3L V6 — both carryovers. However, V6 models now come with a very smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic, a replacement for last year’s six-speed — which is still used with the base four-cylinder. So equipped, towing capacity is 5,000 pounds.

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There are four primary trim levels (LX, EX, SX, SXL) in the 2019 crossover’s portfolio, beginning with the front-wheel-drive LX 2.4L FWD at $27,995, which has proven particularly popular in Quebec. All other trims are all-wheel drive. And, while the two lowest LX 2.4L trims are five-passenger models, Kia has added a three-row, seven-passenger EX 2.4L AWD version into the mix. All V6-powered trims are seven-seaters; V6 models account for about 60 per cent of Sorento’s sales, the EX V6 AWD trim ($38,365) being the most popular.

The model taken for a drive from Toronto up to the Muskoka cottage country was the $44,865 SX V6 AWD, one step down from the topline SXL V6 Limited. The drive route mixed four- and two-lane highway with concession roads, city driving and cottage backroads. In all situations, the Sorento gave an excellent accounting of itself, the V6 delivering power in a linear fashion without any drops between shifts. Yet, it was hard to perceive any appreciable difference in three of the four available drive modes — Comfort, Eco, Sport and new for 2018, Smart; Sport being the exception by providing what seemed to be a little crisper response.

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Car Reviews Kia 2019 Kia Sorento Review and First Drive . ALSO SEE: 2018 Chevrolet Traverse vs Kia Sorento . I also played with the drive mode or “Smart Shift & Drive” system, which Kia has labeled its replacement.

Not that Kia admits to any changes to the crossover’s handling, but the Sorento proved very adept on some of the patched cottage roads snaking around the region’s bountiful lakes and without any loss of comfort. Grip was tenacious even at more “elevated” speeds and body roll was minimal. The steering — which has the electric motor mounted directly on the steering rack — has a nice weight to it while also enhancing response.

A quick glance at the Sorento’s cabin sees tweaks and improvements to the steering wheel, instrumentation graphics, centre console, gearshift lever and seat accent trims, the most notable being a new standard seven-inch touchscreen — eight-inch for the higher-priced SX and SXL models — with a rear-view camera, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Still, the overall impression of the SX’s interior layout is that it is fully functional and user friendly, but not overly luxurious. The big thing is that the assorted buttons and controls are well marked and laid out in logical, easy-to-find order, as are the graphics on the touchscreen. Better yet is what hasn’t changed — actual buttons on the dash (heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, audio volume control, radio station settings, HVAC, etc.) that are simple to see and use.

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MINETT, Ont. — Sorry, couch potatoes and indoor slackers. Need a mid-sized crossover to get to and from work? Thinking maybe a nice, new Kia Sorento might look good in your garage? Nope, according to Ted Lancaster, Kia Canada’s chief operating officer and vice-president

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Kia makes much of the crossover’s available UVO Intelligence telematics, which connect drivers to a world of support services. These include the ability to stop/start the vehicle and set the climate control remotely from a smartphone, automatic collision notification that automatically sends out an emergency call in case of an accident, the ability to monitor the vehicle’s status with maintenance alerts and on-demand diagnostics, and location-based services.

As with most mid-sized crossovers, third-row occupation is best left to the kidlets. And cargo capacity with the third row in place is on the skimpy side — just 11.3 cubic feet, or 320 litres. If you want to stash anything of consequence there, those 50/50 seats have to be flipped down — fortunately, this can easily be achieved from the back bumper — which up the haulage capacity to 38 cu.-ft., or 1,077 litres. For the outdoorsy types with their requisite active-lifestyle equipment, a roomy 73 cu.-ft. (2,066 litres) is available when both the second- and third-row seats are folded.

Personally, I’ve always liked the third-generation Sorento, it being one of the more pleasant and user-friendly crossovers I’ve driven, and one that counts solid engineering and a lot of common sense as its pluses. Do the mid-cycle improvements deliver a knockout blow, something to propel it to the top of the sales charts? No. But they further cement the Sorento’s standing as a key player in the mid-sized crossover segment. And it should continue to reign as the Kia Canada’s best-selling model, a position it has held since 2011.

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