San Francisco: Kia
is one of those car companies that is under appreciated. Whenever
someone thinks Kia, they envision inexpensive cars for the income
limited or cost conscious. Too bad, because Kia builds some darn fine
A case in point is the
Sorento, Kia’s “truck” based SUV. The Sorento can be directly compared
to the very few other vehicles. Most of the SUVs in this class are based
on a front-wheel-drive platform.
The Sorento is a
front-engine, rear-wheel-drive based platform, with a two-speed Hi / Lo
Range transfer case with part-time 4WD available. For 2007 the engine
was increased to a DOHC, 3.8-liter, 262 hp V6 and is mated to a 5-speed
automatic transmission. A 5-speed manual was offered in previous years
but it did not garner enough buyers to warrant its inclusion in 2007.
The Sorento is a
5-passenger vehicle that has ample cargo space for those five. It is
180.7” long and has 31.7 cubic feet of storage with the rear seat in
use. Fold the rear seat down and you are ready for some serious
hauling. But one area that the Sorento does fall short of is in third
row rear seating.
Many SUVs of this size
now have a third row of seats; the Sorento does not. Never mind that for
many the third row seating is near useless because of the difficulty
getting in or out of it, but a third row seat is a prominent sales
feature in this class.
What the Sorento has in
spades though is safety. The Sorento earned the highest possible safety
rating from the Federal Government, a 5-star rating for all seating
positions in frontal and side impacts. If safety is a big concern for
you, and it should be, you need to take the safety ratings seriously.
But remember, the most important safety device on any vehicle is you,
the safer driver.
The Sorento comes in
three versions, Base, LX, and EX. The Base is available only in two
(rear)-wheel-drive; the LX and EX are both available either as 2WD or
4WD. The Base 2WD version is fairly well outfitted. It comes with alloy
wheels, premium sound system, power locks, ABS, electronic stability
control, traction control, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
If you are used to the
top versions being priced in the stratosphere you will be pleasantly
surprised with the Sorento; the 4WD EX is just $6,200 more than a Base
model. So what do you get for $26,895? There’s a whole raft of standard
equipment on an EX that builds on the Base and LX; 8-way power driver’s
seat, fog lights, cargo net, body color heated outside mirrors, leather
wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, and a trip computer
The easiest way to
determine what a Sorento outfitted your way might cost is to go to
www.kia.com and “build” your own.
None of this tells you
how it drives. The first thing you notice when you get into the Sorento
is that it is smaller than it looks. By this I don’t mean that it feels
cramped inside, it is really roomy. What I mean is that it is very
maneuverable, it fits in spots you wouldn’t believe possible. The
Sorento has “presence” on the road; it looks muscular, and hefty.
It is hefty, weighing
in at a maximum of 4,646 pounds, which is a blessing and a bane. The
heft means gusts of wind or trucks passing don’t buffet it around, but
it also hurts fuel economy and performance. The mileage ratings are
17/22 for the 4WD and 17/23 for the 2WD. I came close on my mixed
commute, which is primarily highway, averaging about 18-mpg.
The engine is smooth
and willing, and the transmission worked fine. I wish there was a manual
transmission option but I don’t always get my wishes. I drive each
vehicle for about a week. There was no downside to the Sorento. It was
comfortable, easy to drive, stable, everything you want in a SUV. I wish
I had needed to test its off-road or its towing capabilities, but like
most SUV buyers all I did was commute, just me, the Sorento, and the
The EX Sorento I drove
was well equipped, well laid out, and comfortable. This is a vehicle
that is made for real-sized people, which is something I appreciate.
Speaking of towing, the
Sorento will tow up to 5,000 lbs., which is a decent sized trailer, plus
it has a load capacity of a half-ton. Meaning you and your he-man
buddies can go on that fishing trip and still pull the boat along too.
Kia has one of the best
warranties in the business, the powertrain is now warranted for 10-years
/ 100,000-miles and the entire vehicle is covered for 5-years /
60,000-miles, and that includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The
warranty alone is a great reason to consider buying a Kia in today’s
world. By Bruce Hotchkiss © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Kia Home Page
content provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: A modern SUV that’s easy to own & operate
Topic: The 2007 Kia Sorento 4x4
Word Count: 897
Photo Caption: The 2007 Kia Sorento 4x4
Photo Credits: Kia Sorento Internet Media
Series #: 2007 -
the Microsoft Word version here:
2007 Kia Sorento 4x4
Download the Original Image File here:
2007 Kia Sorento 4x4