By on November 9, 2015

2016 Kia Sorento Limited Exterior

2016 Kia Sorento Limited V6

3.3L DOHC V6, CVVT (290 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm; 252 lbs-ft @ 5,300)

6-speed Automatic

17 city/23 highway/19 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

19.2 (Observed, MPG)

Base Price: $25,795*

As Tested: $46,790*

* Prices include $895 destination charge.

Kia gained a well-deserved reputation in the ’90s for cheap and nasty transportation, but lately they are the greatest social climber since Cinderella. “2016 Kia” and “1996 Kia” are totally different from one another. Even “2006 Kia” seems like a distant memory.

Unusual for a car company, Kia doesn’t shy away from its troubled beginnings in America, which can be seen both in its marketing toward the press and in its product portfolio.

The 2016 Sorento is a perfect example. While the model we were lent for a week is a solid contender to the Ford Edge, Toyota Highlander and even the Acura MDX, Kia also sells a model priced at $24,900, just above the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Ford Escape.

Does this make the Sorento conflicted? Or is the Korean born, German designed and American built crossover the “just right” CUV?

Before we go further, let’s talk about the elephants in the room: the Hyundai Santa Fe twins.

Obviously, with Kia and Hyundai joined at the financial and technical hip, the Sorento is related to the 3-row Santa Fe and the 2-row Santa Fe Sport. However, instead of creating Kia copies of those models (like GM would do), the engineers split the difference and gave us a CUV between the Hyundai pair in size, available as either a 2-row or a 3-row crossover.

Kia has long been accused of copying styles and jamming discordant cues into one product. The pinnacle of this was the unloved Kia Amanti, mercy killed a number of years ago. That model had Mercedes E-Class headlamps, a Jaguar-meets-Chrysler grille, Lincoln tail lamps and a decidedly Town Car profile. This is a different kind of Kia building a different kind of car.

2016 Kia Sorento Limited Exterior-014

The Korean marque’s latest modus operandi also includes updating products heavily and frequently, and so is the case with the Sorento.

Back in 2010 when Kia launched the new Sorento, it was the first Kia built in the United States and the first Sorento that didn’t look like an awkward copy of a first generation Lexus LX. For 2014, massive changes were made that turned the Sorento into a strong value alternative to the Edge, but with restrained exterior styling. For 2016, Kia brings yet another Sorento with massive mechanical changes and a much more stylish and dramatic exterior. While I still see a little Volkswagen-meets-Audi styling in the Sorento’s tail lamps, this kind of homage is more flattery than imitation — or maybe heritage considering Hyundai-Kia’s current head of group design. The front end is dominated by Kia’s distinctive three-dimensional “tiger nose” grille that uses protruding plastic “fingers” instead of slats or bars like most other crossovers.

Although the 2016 model receives a three-inch stretch over the 2014 Sorento, this is still a “tweener” crossover at 187.4 inches long. The Sorento is just about the same size as a 2-row Ford Edge despite the availability of a third row. That means the 7-seat Sorento is 4- to 5-inches shorter than the likes of the Toyota Highlander or Dodge Journey, but 8-10 inches longer than the average compact crossover, such as the RAV4.

2016 Kia Sorento Limited Interior-002

Many vehicles with broad competitive sets like the Sorento start with building blocks suited to their base price and add features as you climb up the ladder. You can see this in vehicles like the Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit where you’ll find stitched leather goodness sitting immediately next to hard injection-molded plastics. With the 2016 Sorento, Kia charted a different course. The engineers started with an interior well suited to our $46,495 fully loaded model and cut deep to get down to $24,900. This means base models ditch seat-back storage pockets, floor mats, auto-up/down windows, power seats, automatic climate control, USB charging ports, roof rails, leather wrapped anythings and even A-pillars get stripped of their fabric coverings. (The good news is that much of this returns in the $26,200 LX model.)

Base model front seats lack power adjustment or adjustable lumbar support. LX trims can option up to a 10-way driver’s seat with 2-way lumbar support that’s standard on EX. SX and Limited trims get a 14-way seat with a power-extending thigh cushion and 4-way lumbar. Base seats are as comfortable as most entry compact crossovers, mid level seats are as comfortable as you find in the Jeep Grand Cherokee or Edge, and the top-end seats beat the Lexus RX and Acura MDX when it comes to comfort and adjustability.

2016 Kia Sorento Limited Interior-009

The Sorento’s second row features thickly padded seats in every version with a practical 40/20/40 split-folding design. While the seats themselves are among the most comfortable in every class the Sorento competes, and headroom is generous, the crossover’s compact dimensions mean legroom is tighter than options such as the Edge, Highlander and Grand Cherokee, not to mention the full-sized options like the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder. This means with the front seat adjusted for my 6-foot frame, I had about two inches of legroom in the middle row — adequate for sure, but not expansive like the larger crossovers where you will find several more inches of room. The reason for the less expansive midsection is that Kia reserves a surprisingly generous amount of legroom for the way-back.

Our tester’s third row actually sported more legroom than that found in the Toyota Highlander and only a hair less than found in the Acura MDX. This is the prime reason we find less room in the second row, but it does strike me as an unusual choice since the Sorento doesn’t gain any room in the second row if you delete the third. Although the third row bench is practically on the floor, Kia compensates with one of the plusher third row benches available. In top end models, they also grant the third row the same perforated nappa leather covering as the rest.

2016 Kia Sorento Limited Interior-007

Infotainment and Gadgets
As you’d expect with a low starting price, base L models get basic infotainment with a CD player, iPod interface and Bluetooth standard. The next step up is UVO with eServices, which adds a four-inch color LCD along with 911 assistance, Pandora integration, vehicle diagnostics and other SYNC/OnStar like services delivered via your paired cell phone.

Our model had the top-of-the-line 8-inch UVO navigation system paired with an Infinity surround sound speaker system. UVO still lacks the voice command functionality of your media library that you’ll find in most of the mass-market competition, but this is the only serious omission in this software. The UVO interface is snappy, supports scrolling/drag motions with your fingers, and the voice recognition software is intuitive. The display is large and easy to read in strong daylight and the user interface is sleek and modern. Although Kia has not released an official statement to this effect, it was implied that 2016 Sorentos will likely have an upgrade path to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto when I was at the Optima launch event a few weeks ago.

The new Sorento is available with all of Kia’s latest gadgets and gizmos brought down from their flagship sedan, including a 360-degree camera system a la Infiniti, full speed range adaptive radar cruise control, a 7-inch partial LCD instrument cluster, forward collision warning and auto brake hold. Coupled with the heated/ventilated seats, heated rear seats and heated steering wheel, the Sorento had arguably more luxury features than the Acura MDX I’m driving right now.

Under the hood you’ll find one of three direct-injection engines mated to a Hyundai/Kia 6-speed automatic. The L model, with a 2.4L naturally aspirated four cylinder, cranks out 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. LX keeps the same engine but allows you to add all-wheel drive for $1,800. The next stop, and perhaps the most popular engine, is the familiar 3.3-liter V-6 from the Cadenza. In the Sorento, that engine makes 293 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 252 lb-ft of torque at a lofty 5,200 rpm. The 2-row versions of the EX and Limited come with a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo rated at 240 horsepower when it spins up to 6,000 rpm. This is less powerful than their old 2.0-liter turbo because the new design favors low-end torque (260 lb-ft from 1,450 RPM) over high-revving horsepower, meaning 0-60 times are slower but you’ll experience less downshifting while hill climbing with the new turbo mill. It is worth noting that Kia tunes their turbo to run on regular unleaded while Ford’s published power numbers in the Ecoboosted Edge require 93 octane.

The engine bay is another area where the “tweener” status of the Sorento is obvious. The Nissan Murano, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Edge don’t feature naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines. On the flip side, the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and other compact crossovers don’t offer turbo or V-6 options. Towing capacity ranges from 2,000 pounds in the base model to 5,000 pounds if you add the V-6 and all-wheel drive, putting the Sorento on essentially the same footing as most 3-row CUVs. Unlike most of the other crossovers, Kia includes a “lock” button that can lock the center clutch pack at low speeds. Although the differentials remain open units, engaging this mode makes the Sorento’s all-wheel drive system behave more like the always-on Subaru systems below speeds of 20 mph.

2016 Kia Sorento Limited Exterior-015

So it looks good and is packed with all the latest. How does it drive? Just like a near-luxury crossover actually. The Sorento’s power steering is well weighted (albeit numb) in all versions, lacking the overboosted feeling of the Escape and Edge I tested back-to-back. The tiller lacks the precision and feedback you get in the Mazda CX-5, but then again the Kia is larger and heavier so that’s not unexpected. What was unexpected was how much the Sorento reminded me of the MDX all the way around. Both vehicles have 60/40 weight balances and the MDX does get a mechanical torque vectoring rear axle rather than the less expensive brake-based system we see in the Sorento. However, on my favorite mountain highway, the hot-shot MDX driver in front of me couldn’t shake the plucky Kia.

That bodes well for the Sorento in the mass market segment because Toyota’s latest Highlander is no slouch. Toyota shoes their mid-sized pony with 245 width tires even in the base four-cylinder model and no Highlander is marshmallowy soft anymore. Following form, Kia puts 235 width tires on all Sorento models (the Kia compensates by being several hundred pounds lighter), which is a big differentiator between it and the RAV4 crowd.

2016 Kia Sorento Limited Interior-001

Even with the 235/55 tires and 19-inch wheels our model wore, the ride was well composed and didn’t feel upset until pressed hard in corners on broken pavement. Although the rear became momentarily upset in these situations, it was predictable, required effort to achieve and quickly settled down when I was done. The composed theme is furthered by the hushed cabin. As with other items on the Sorento, the sound deadening is another cost cutting measure on lower end models; LX-and-below trims lack the acoustic glass found in our tester. Looking on this another way, however, Sorento models over $31,000 (which is incidentally where the V-6 Highlander starts) will have sound blocking windows. This is something you normally don’t get until you step up to the likes of the Lexus RX and Acura MDX.

When it comes to the numbers, the Sorento scored exceptionally well in our braking tests, stopping from 60 mph in 118 feet with minimal fade in the second panic stop. The one significant thing that changes from the lower- to upper-end models: Kia swaps out the Kumho tires for some quieter and slightly grippier Michelins which help handling and braking distances. The one thing the tires can’t fix is the decidedly average 6.92 second 0-60 run or the disappointing 19.1 miles per gallon I averaged during my week. Admittedly the Sorento beat the V-6 Highlander to 60 and yielded exactly the same fuel economy average Kia claims, but the heavier Highlander and Pilot both manage to be slightly more thrifty with the gas card. Of course, Kia does have the more efficient turbo engine that gives up 2/10ths on the 0-60 run and the third row in exchange for a 22-percent improvement in fuel economy.

And that’s the rub with the engine selection: you can’t get the mother-in-law row with the boosted four, only the V-6 and rare 2.4-liter LX model with a $1,200 option box checked.

2016 Kia Sorento Limited Exterior-008

The Sorento’s biggest advantage is, as expected, the value proposition. At the high-end it is nearly $10,000 less than an Acura MDX despite having a longer powertrain warranty. In the midline trims, you get more features than a Highlander for the same price and, again, a longer warranty. Even at the bottom of the Sorento food chain, where it’s a step up from the Escape and RAV in terms of price, the Sorento compensates with a bigger cargo area, optional third row, and, you guessed it, a longer warranty. This is the biggest change for Kia over the last 10 years. They went from justifying their cheap interiors and me-too styling with “we’re cheaper!” taglines to giving you an ostensibly better product than the competition for the same dollar. That is perhaps the truest version of value.

Short-term value was Kia’s hallmark last decade with low starting prices and below average reliability. However, this seems to be a different Kia. The Korean company’s predicted reliability metrics are now at traditional Japanese levels with even Consumer Reports projecting a happy ownership experience. For the less badge conscious, the Sorento is a screaming deal. For folks like me watching from the peanut gallery, I’m wondering how long it will be before Kia starts pricing their wares like the frankly impressive cars they are today. If Kia keeps this up, they won’t have a problem jumping the last hurdle: convincing Toyota/Honda shoppers to visit a Kia dealer.

Kia provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.7 Seconds

0-60: 6.92 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 15.25 Seconds @ 92 MPH

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65 Comments on “2016 Kia Sorento Limited V6 Review – Not Your Father’s Kia [Video]...”

  • avatar

    //”2016 Kia” and “1996 Kia” are totally indistinguishable from one another.

    Maybe “unrelated to” rather than “indistinguishable from”?

  • avatar

    Isn’t all this who copied who stuff just standard whining? There’s only so much you can actually do with car design, and if you deviate TOO much from standard templates people whine about that instead.

    • 0 avatar

      You can but then you would be called Nissan. Sometimes it works most times it doesn’t.

    • 0 avatar

      Too much is made of the quad-round headlights of the W210 E Class.

      It’s not like having quad-round headlights belongs to Mercedes, much less having been originated by them.

      Numerous other automakers have used it as well – from Bentley to Jaguar to GM/Buick to Toyota/Lexus, etc. – and it used to be pretty much the standard form for an earlier generation of cars.

  • avatar

    Now that IS just a fat station wagon. Not even a lifted one.

    Edmunds says three color choices, two silvers (“Sparkling Silver” here) and a black.

    For 47K.

    • 0 avatar

      But notice that price spread from base to fully loaded!

      It’s like Kia is trying to be Plymouth and DeSoto at the same time, just check the right option boxes.

    • 0 avatar

      3 Colors on “L”
      8 on “LX”, LX V-6
      9 Colors on “EX” and “EX V-6”
      5 on “SX”
      4 on Limited

      No idea why they’re limiting color choices on the SXL models…..a Remington Red on the SXL would look pretty nice.

    • 0 avatar

      I would be interested to see the FICO scores trending these days at KIA.

      • 0 avatar

        So would I because I don’t think FICO scores and glitzy car buying necessarily accompany each other. I would expect quite the opposite from the bling-addicted hoi polloi we’ve grown.

        My best bud and I are both over 840. He just replaced his ’09 Corolla with a ’15. I have a 5 yr-old base CRV with no firm plans to switch.

      • 0 avatar

        My friend who bought the loaded with everything Sorento has about an 830. Traded in a loaded Optima Limited on it. That was 3.5 years old with 9K miles on it.

        His only gripe is that at the time he couldn’t get a loaded one without the 3rd row, which as a single guy he has zero use for. I am assuming that 2-row turbo SX-L was a late intro, as that was NOT an option when he bought his.

        • 0 avatar

          We bought a loaded Santa Fe last year with only 1 kid. the 3rd row truly is a mother-in-law row, I think we’ve had the back seats up maybe 1% of the time we’ve owned the car. Look at them as people carrying insurance, with the added benefit of a massive cargo area when they’re down for those home depot runs.

    • 0 avatar

      Has more of a CUV look to it.

      The new Pilot, otoh, truly looks like a fat station wagon.

  • avatar

    Alex – any thoughts / perspectives on the V-6 fuel economy numbers? For the version you tested (and the SX, too), it’s 17/23. Based on your test, that seems accurate. Move to a lower trim level however, say LX or EX, but with the same V-6 and AWD, and fuel economy somehow increases to 18/26. Oddly enough, no such difference exists across FWD models and the V-6.
    Any sense for what could be responsible for this difference and if it’s reasonable to expect ~10% better fuel economy with a lower trim?

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      I don’t think it changes much, I certainly didn’t notice a difference at the launch event however the top end models are heavier and have different tires that are grippier so that may account for some of this.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s surprising how much difference wheels and tires can make. A friend has a ’15 Fusion Titanium, came with 19″ or 20″ wagon wheels from the factory. He just bought a set of narrower 17″ snow tires on aftermarket alloys, and has seen a 2+mpg jump in fuel economy. He does a 400+ mile round trip to his weekend place every couple weeks, so has a very consistent baseline. First trip surprised him. And of course, it rides more smoothly on the softer taller tires. He’s kind of an old fart…

        • 0 avatar
          Waftable Torque

          This month’s Consumer Reports tire test came out, and snow tires generally ride better according to their testing.

          I have a performance all-season and a winter tire that they tested, and I can verify that the difference between Very Good and Excellent ride quality and rolling resistance is perceptible.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do like the Sorento, having owned one, a 2004 model with the leather, sunroof etc. It was however made in Korea fitted with the Hyundai built Mitsubishi V6……..and it was heavy for it’s size and very thirsty.

    It was a relatively capable off roader with a full chassis, hi/lo range, etc.

    It never once gave me an issue for the 10 years I had it on the roads, other than oil changes. So I do tend to disagree with the comment regarding Kia’s reliability, maybe in the very early times.

    Here the Sorento comes with a German designed 2.2R turbo diesel, which is a fine engine with oddles of torque.

    It seems the engine’s character isn’t much different than the old V6es with not much torque down low and an engine that likes to spin. The engine in my Sorento reminded me of a 3.8 Buick V6 as compared to the in line 4 litre 6 I had in my Cherokee.

    This should be a nice vehicle to own in lieu of the Japanese competition.

  • avatar

    I too also don’t understand why people feel KIA and Hyundai are not up to par quality wise to others… I have read on other boards that mechanics pull in more KIA / Hyundai vehicles than other brands, etc etc.

    I tend to look at it this way…what KIA and Hyundai have done in the past 30 years is admirable. Being introduced to North America in the 80’s, their product offerings have improved by leaps and bounds in a relatively short period of time, especially when you put into perspective how long other automotive giants have taken to reach similar feats like Ford, GM, Toyota and Honda.

  • avatar

    Hey, this has analog gauges… wait… it has temperature gauge. Nice

  • avatar

    Forgive me as I long more for the days of 1996 Kia. Sure, theyve grown and evolved and I still like them slightly more than Hyundais, but in 1996 their honest-to-goodness basic sedan and SUV were Mazda-based and yes, crude. I had a 1994 Sephia LS automatic.

    But there was potential. I stopped really being a Kia fan when the first gen Sephia was replaced and totally stopped caring when the Sportage morphed into a Tuscon.

    I wish Kia had been able to stick to truck-based SUVs, and let Hyundai build crossovers. This thing looks like their minivan with the wrong rear doors. I very rarely agree with Ride Height, but hes right. Fat, bloated station wagon. A pig that doesnt even have lipstick to hide behind.

    I would love for the Sportage to have evolved into a Wrangler fighter, a true off-roader. The Sorento a 5 passemger BOF SUV rivaling 4Runner and picking up Xterra customers that were turned off by Toyota prices. And the Mojave (Borrego) taking on Tahoe and Expedition. The Sorento and Mojave shouldve spawned pickup versions.

    Kia cars should be Ford-and-Chevy everyday cars. Doesnt mean they cant have a fun one (GT4 Stinger in Turbo and N/A form as well as a roadster version to battle GT86, Miata). Forget the stupid K9 and concentrate on making the best everyday vehicles you can. Basically, be a BETTER alternative to Nissan (value pricing).

    • 0 avatar

      And yet you’d probably be the first one to criticize them for not “keeping up with the times”, like with what Ford has done with the Explorer. The “truck” Sorentos and Sportages were utter garbage, the further they can distance themselves from 1996 the better.

      KIA knew at the time that getting into the BOF game that late wasn’t going to get them anywhere, the Borrego proved that point and they yanked it pretty quickly. But a BOF pickup truck version?? Even big ole Nissan barely makes a business case for the Titan.

      • 0 avatar

        Oddly enough, the Borrego aka Mohave is still sticking around due to popularity in other markets.

        • 0 avatar


          Yes it is, and thanks for spelling it correctly, unlike me lol. I knew I did something wrong but was in too big of a hurry to double check.

          I liked the Borrego, I like the first gen Sorento once I found out it wasnt front wheel drive. Its just kinda feminine looking to me. Not handsome the way the Sportage was after the 98 refresh. If it looked more like the Mohave, that wouldve been better.

      • 0 avatar


        Not at all. I am not a fan of the crossover Explorer. I like Ford, the Explorer is the best seller in an important segment and Im happy for Ford that is the case. That’s it. Ill recomend it over Traverse, but would not consider one personally.

        I have chided (sp? Lol) Ford in the past over not providing a decent BOF SUV (smaller than Expedition).

        I hope the Bronco is smaller, a Wrangler compeditor would be perfect. Id love to see that and would consider such a vehicle (make mine with the Transit’s I-5 PowerStroke, please!).

        You obviously dont know me very well if you think Id “be the first” take issue with an automaker for *not* building crossovers, and building true SUVs instead.

        • 0 avatar

          By the way, your ignorance about the first gen Sportage is astounding. You must the type that reads source material from one or two places and then declares yourself an expert on the matter. Ignorance is bliss, unless youre talking to someone who knows better. What they lacked in refinement, they more than made up for toughness and ruggedness. This includes the BOF Sorento.

          If you are here to tell me that today’s Sorento and Sportage are worthy replacements to anyone who needs more than a fat station wagon that’s somehow “cooler” than a minivan, youre sadly mistaken.

          • 0 avatar

            Both Hyundai & Kia currently make vehicles that are more reliable AND durable, across the board, than Ford or GM, sadly.

            As J Baruth succinctly and accurately noted during his 2015 Hyundai Sonata review, “Hyundai’s long past having to worry about fighting General Motors.”

            Clearly, the same holds true for Hyundai regarding Ford, sadly.

          • 0 avatar

            Just caught this—

            But no I’m not ignorant as you claim. My sister had a 2009 model (EX V6 3.8) and a co worker of mine had an earlier version with the V-6 and 5 speed. I’ve spent plenty of miles behind the wheel and in the passenger seats.

            Both were severely outclassed at best. No one running to the mall and grocery store need “toughness”; it’s the same theory that people NEED a Wrangler to do commute to work because it snows a few times during the winter. If your theory even held remotely true we would still see a solid axle Grand Cherokee or even the new Cherokee.

            You should stick to praising your Taurus instead.

  • avatar

    I really don’t pay much attention to Kia, but I think that visually this is a very attractive car for the segment. It has a slightly aggressive edge to it.

    It also seems like a good car in general, but let’s be honest a lot of people don’t want the Kia name in their garage.

  • avatar

    I am just not a fan of the Hyundai/Kia conglomerate. Everyone I know that had one (and I’m not talking about 90’s models either) complained of how poorly the cars wear over time. Forget about that “America’s best warranty” line, the company fights you tooth and nail over any problems.

    • 0 avatar

      Unless it’s dealership related items, we haven’t had any trouble with them on a few warranty items. At 45K miles the backup camera became fuzzy; dealer agreed and a new camera was installed a week later—-I know of no other manufacturer that would replace a camera at almost 50K miles under factory warranty.

      No warranty items on the Honda yet; although just over 1K miles I don’t expect anything yet.

    • 0 avatar

      The only good thing I can say about my daughter’s 2007 Rio is that when the tranny grenaded at 40K miles the dealer replaced it quickly, no hassles. OK, the interior was pretty nice for a cheap car.

    • 0 avatar

      Right, b/c anecdotal “evidence” is sooooo reliable…

      If it was as bad as you claim, Hyundai and Kia wouldn’t have among the highest loyalty rates in the industry.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree. I mean, we’re to see how Hyundai/Kia have improved for the long haul. But there where pieces of evidence that their cars were not as well built. I remember checking Sonata closely and I found plenty of evidence of “cheap” in it, about 5 years ago. But I was impressed by latest Kia Soul. Anyway, I see them putting plastic backing to front seats. I see only BMW does that too. Mazda/Honda/Toyota wouldn’t do it. I mean, seriously, $56KI BMW 5xx and plastic backing??? Then again, I had 98 Protege and it went for 16.5 years in my hands with no recalls, and most original parts, including CV Boots, clutch, etc.
      One time I decided to check. I looked how many high-mileage Mazda vs Kia/Hyundai were for sale. I didn’t want to compare high-sales company to low sales one. Ok, so Mazda sold less cars than Kia/hyundai but when you took for sale listings of cars over 150K miles, there was more Mazda for sale than Kia/hyundai. This should tell the longevity story fairly accurately.

    • 0 avatar

      amancuso, that hasn’t been my experience at all with the Hyundai that I own.

      I have a 2007 Santa Fe that has been very solid and reliable, and it has held up well (despite some hard usage from my wife and the kids we’ve hauled around in it, plus using it as our mountain car here in Colorado). Hyundai has stood behind their product on the few issues we’ve had (mostly recalls) and our local dealer has been very good.

      For all the hard use, the interior on our Santa Fe is actually holding up better than my Honda Accord from the same vintage (which has leather deterioration problems, and lots of squeaks and rattles).

      All around, it has been a great car and a very good ownership experience. And I am picky.

  • avatar

    Crap that is a lot of cash but I think this looks better than the new caddy ct5 aka SRX and I do not like white cars, wonder do they hold their value in 2 or 3 years?

  • avatar

    Really like the Sorento – all around better than the Santa Fe Sport or Santa Fe and one of the best looking crossovers on the market today including luxury brands (of the larger crossovers – the X5, XC90 and the Sorento are the best looking in my eyes; the new CX-9 would be a candidate based on the teasers).

    Would easily take a loaded Sorento SX-L over say, an MDX or an RX.

    Another Alex (Alex on Autos) quite liked the Sorento as well – and he too did a breakdown on how Kia cleverly positions the lower trim Sorento to take on the compact CUVs, the mid-level to take on the likes of the Highlander and the duo Santa Fes and the top trim to take on the likes of the MDX while undercutting it on price.

    One thing Kia needs to work on is the steering feedback – still has some of that old dead-feel from Hyundai.

  • avatar

    This car makes no sense at $46,000. When you load up a Kia to top spec like this, you may as well get something else that’ll have better resale value and a non-discount badge.

    • 0 avatar

      Like a top of the line 4Runner for instance.

      Then you have rock hard resale and a vehicle that won’t go out of vogue with the next generation.

      • 0 avatar

        A good example! Though no 7 seats.

        • 0 avatar

          Corey, what do you think… should this be my Legend?

          On the one hand, it has the best price/condition ratio of any car I’ve encountered thus far, and the owner swears up and down it’s never had a cooling issue. On the other hand, it’s an L rather than a LS/GS (no auto climate control)… it does have a lot of miles… and it’s in freaking Sandpoint, which is a six-hour drive across two mountain ranges and the unqualified middle of nowhere.

          • 0 avatar

            “new front tires”

            Who changes (or is allowed to) just two tires nowadays and why would only the fronts need changing?

          • 0 avatar

            @RH Silly man, the fronts wear out faster than the back on FWD vehicles. My new car had two new front tires in 2010 before it was parked, dunno how much older the rears are.

          • 0 avatar


            So a few things come to me mind here on this Legend:

            -It’s got Ohio plates which is a worry. Why has it got Ohio plates, and how long did it live in salt climate?

            -Pics are cleverly cutting out the cup holder stuck to the passenger door, which could have ruined some trim behind it depending on how it’s attached – or the weather strip there. I hate those.

            -That’s a LOT of miles for $3,000.

            -The garage is full of lots of sh!t, which makes me question the seller’s Integra-ty and general cleanliness.

            I’m getting sketch vibes here, mostly from the Ohio plate. And that’s a long drive! I think I’d keep lookin.

          • 0 avatar

            That’s an Idaho plate, although it looks a bit like Ohio.


            I talked to the seller and I don’t have sketch vibes at all. The real issue for me is the miles and the drive to/from Sandpoint in horrible November weather.

          • 0 avatar

            Ahh, never seen an Idaho plate in person. Did see a Maine one the other day for the first time. It looked a bit poncy with their big “A NATURAL TREASURE” wording on it. I’m like okay, calm down Maine.

            I would pass on those high miles and risky drive. You live in a no salt climate, so they’re gonna have to come up more often for you over there.

            Also this is relevant in this moment.

          • 0 avatar

            Thought this was RWD. Don’t know Acura. But how ’bout rotating tires, don’t he never do that?

          • 0 avatar

            Thats funny, I can get to Sandpoint in about 6 hrs. Been through it quite a few times.

          • 0 avatar

            Dave, I think Sandpoint is probably the halfway point on the best route from Calgary to Seattle. Still in the middle of nowhere. Absolutely beautiful setting, but the people are creepily white. My brown-haired, brown-eyed, but very white wife was the darkest person in sight last time we went through, a couple summers ago. With my red hair and blue eyes I looked average.

          • 0 avatar


            That Maine plate was an extra cost “Support Conservation” plate, and pretty rare. Extra $40/yr that goes to conservation efforts. Has a Loon on it. Regular Maine plates have a Chickadee and pine cone and tassle (state bird and flower) and say Vacationland across the bottom.

            Like a lot of states, we have a lot of weird extra cost plates for various causes. And my favorite, the “combination” plate, which is a commercial plate for a passenger car. Free for the asking, lets you park in loading zones and double the time at meters and posted spaces! Those say Combination where the regular plates say Vacationland.

            Personally I miss the old cooked lobster plates we used to have.

            Way more than you probably cared to know!

          • 0 avatar

            I think some people view tire rotation as “optional.” Sort of like alignments, transmission fluid, and differential fluid (Subaru etc.).

          • 0 avatar


            Somehow, I knew you would be along to explain that plate! I would have taken a pic if I knew it was so rare.

          • 0 avatar

            Seller said there is a gigantic pile of service receipts spanning the entire history of the car. I think I’m going to make the trek over — when I compare this with the other Legends I’ve been seeing under $3000 (and I will pay under $3000) the condition is just no contest. Dude is losing money from being in Sandpoint, both because no one can get to his car and because it has a buttload of miles because if you live in Sandpoint every time you drive anywhere you end up driving 120 miles.

            If the cooling system is in good shape I’m not too worried about the miles in any case. If there is no head gasket issue, the C32A and MPYA combination can go 300,000 miles without breaking a sweat. This was well before Honda screwed up any transmissions. The car I drove today (not this one) had all kinds of auxiliary issues, but at 201,000 miles the engine and transmission felt incredibly tight.

          • 0 avatar

            The receipts help. They tell you the prior owner at least -bothered-. How did this guy come about the car? Did you ask that part?

            $2500-2600 would be a nice target price if all’s well when you get there. He should be thrilled someone took the time to go out and see it.

        • 0 avatar

          You can get a 3rd row in the 4Runner but from personal experience, you’d have to chop off my head for my spine to sit straight up.

          To say it’s kids only is an understatement, it makes the Tahoe 3rd row look like a first class place to sit.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually – the top 2 specs of the Sorento sell well not only in the US but in the UK (and in Australia, the top spec Santa Fe Highlander sells very well).

      Buyers these days want not only all the convenience features, but all the added safety tech.

      Many buyers would rather do that these days than get a lower-trim luxury badged vehicle w/o most of the modern day conveniences and tech.

  • avatar

    I saw one of these for 49 large. I’m sorry but that is insane money for any Kia crossover with average performance, fuel economy and steering. The 32-35K versions make a lot more sense. For 50 large I would much rather have the new XT5 or even the MDX with far more luxury pedigree and superior more powerful engines.

    • 0 avatar

      Once you get into that price range the MDX SH-AWD is sort of the nuclear weapon of the crossover segment. It makes a lot of other vehicles look kind of silly, between the SH-AWD, the reasonable-for-kids third row, and the high feature content and build quality.

      Acura’s product planning is a bit lost on sedans right now, but they are absolutely nailing crossovers.

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