To say the Sorento’s transformation from rugged body-on-frame SUV to car-based softroader has been a sales success is putting it mildly. In the first 27 months of production Kia shifted more Sorentos than they did the 8 years prior. Sales numbers like that catapulted the Korean krossover (couldn’t help it) from CX-9/Xtera/Murano competition to 7th place in the midsized battlefield. Three model years later, Kia is spicing things up with a refresh. I know what you’re thinking: why bother looking at a refresh? Because 2014 brings enough changes to call the 2014 Sorento a redesign.
So the Halloween Hooptiefest 24 Hours of LeMons at New Hampshire Motors Speedway went well, with the Rust In The Wind Saab-powered Nissan 300ZX taking a very improbable overall win, and we of the LeMons HQ crew were packing up the gear on Sunday afternoon and getting ready to head home… when we heard that all of our flights out of Logan— in fact, all flights out of the northeastern United States— were canceled due to ZOMG THE END OF THE WORLD IS COMING PANIC YALL!!!1! The plan had been to drive our rental Kia Sorento 70 miles or so to an airport hotel, spend the night there, and grab our flights early Monday morning. We got to the hotel in Burlington, Massachusetts, where we convened an emergency meeting of the very exhausted LeMons brain trust. (Read More…)
With Kia’s first US plant pumping out hot-selling new Sorentos, the Korean brand has been desperate to stake its claim to the transplant patriotism that has helped the Japanese automakers rise to dominance in the US market. In this latest ad for the new Sorento, Kia leaves the viewer with no room to doubt where the Sorento is made… and it’s already the second ad to feature Kia’s new West Point, GA factory. So, how does this all play back home in Korea? Hit the jump for the answer…
Do you buy the base four-cylinder, or upgrade to a V6? For most car-purchasing decisions, this is an important question to think through. And usually the trade-offs are simple: you can pay more for more power and less efficiency with the V6, or save money and gas with the four-potter. And with fuel prices staying volatile, four-cylinder engines are becoming all the more popular: for example, Hyundai’s new Sonata has been engineered to be four-cylinder only. But according to Consumer Reports, the differences between the V6 and the four-cylinder option aren’t always as clear as you might expect.
Within my first mile in the original Kia Sorento I couldn’t help but wonder, “Is that a live rear axle I feel?” I stopped the vehicle, peered beneath it and, sure enough, there it was. The Sorento looked like a car-based crossover, but body-on-frame construction, a two-speed transfer case, and a live rear axle dwelled beneath the Mercedes-inspired sheetmetal. The upshot: superior off-road capability, but subpar fuel economy and ride quality. Well, the Sorento has been redesigned, and as with the Sportage before it the trucky bits have been tossed in favor of a Hyundai car-based foundation. Specifically, the 2011 Kia Sorento is now a Hyundai Santa Fe beneath the surface. Now that it’s much like all of the others, why buy the Kia?