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2016 Kia Sorento Windy City Review By Larry Nutson

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2016 Kia Sorento
Bigger and Better

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

Kia debuted the all-new 2016 Sorento CUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show back in November 2014. At that time I had just completed a drive with the then-current 2015 model. Now here I am having spent a week with Kia’s all-new seven-passenger family hauler.

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The 2016 Kia Sorento is not something you’ll have to wait for. It went on sale in January and is in Kia showrooms nationwide right now. Kia’s February sales were up 6.8 percent and the new 2016 Sorento is selling at a pace ahead of the same period last year.

The new Sorento has been completely redesigned inside and out. It’s larger than the previous generation and offers up to three rows of seating.It can be had in five-seat or seven-seat configuration and is available in five trim levels - L, LX, EX, SX and SX-Limited.

This midsize crossover is nicely priced, starting at $24,900 for the Sorento L. The top of the line SX-Limited V6 with AWD is priced at $43,100.

Buyers have their choice of three engines, including a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder, a 3.3-liter V6 and an improved 2.4-liter normally aspirated inline-4. Drive is through the front wheels with full-time all-wheel-drive (AWD) available.

We are moving in to Spring and gasoline prices have been rising for 38 straight days. Careful thought will allow you to select the right engine for your driving needs. The 185 HP 2.4-liter engine with new Electronic Intake Continuously Variable Valve Timing (E-CVVT) is EPA test fuel economy rated at 21 city mpg and 29 highway.

On the other end of the engine range, a Sorento with the 290 HP V6 is now able to tow up to 5,000 lbs when equipped with AWD. The V6 has EPA test fuel economy ratings of 17 city mpg and 23 highway mpg.

In the middle, the new turbocharged 240 HP I-4 provides a best-of-both-worlds scenario, providing good power while also delivering commendable fuel efficiency. EPA test ratings are 18 city mpg and 26 highway mpg. All three engines drive through an electronically controlled six-speed automatic gearbox featuring Sportmatic shifting.

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A look at the EPA test fuel economy ratings should give you an idea of what you may see in the real world from the three engine choices. The best bet here is to test drive all three. Driving heavily loaded with lots of passengers and cargo in the rear, especially in hilly country, may demand the V6 over the 240 HP 4-cylinder. The 240 HP turbo-four might work well in flatter parts of the country. If you need seven seat capacity Kia says you’ll have to get the V6, and visa-versa.

New vehicles today can be had with lots and lots of safety equipment. Some of it is passive and comes in to play only in a crash situation. Active safety features on all Sorentos include Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control System, Brake Assist System, Hill-start Assist Control, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Antilock Braking System.

Additional technologies such as Roll Over Mitigation and Cornering Brake Control on AWD models also were added as standard equipment for improved dynamic control and safety.

New available driver aid technology, including Vehicle Stability Management, Forward Collision Warning System, Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Surround View Monitor, help make driving safer an easier all the time.

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I found the 2016 Sorento very roomy and comfortable. The interior is very nicely done with controls easy to find and reach. A cold weather favorite of mine is a heated steering wheel.
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I also favor to have a power-fold feature for the outside mirrors that is great on narrow city street parking or tight parking garages.

My drive was in the V6 powered SX-Limited AWD model. The 290 horses and plenty of torque moved the Sorento quite well, acknowledging here that the terrain around Chicago is fairly flat and I was driving lightly loaded with just me or occasionally one other. I didn’t notice any disturbing engine noise and the same was true for tire and wind noise. SUV tires may tend to be more noisy than a passenger car’s especially if they have a knobby, aggressive tread pattern.

The new Sorento has a much-improved overall structure along with refinements to suspension and steering. The end result is more comfort, a more confident feeling behind the wheel, and an overall more refined vehicle.

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The 2016 Kia Sorento offers a wide array of models, engines and optional equipment. (See them all at the bottom of my review). If you need even more info, option packages, colors and additional specifications and all the standard features as well as options on the entire 2016 Kia Sorento model line just a mouse click away at

If you would like to compare the 2016 Kia Sorento to all other SUVs, you can do that right here on The Auto Channel's Kia Buyers Guide

By now you’ve probably seen Pierce Brosnan making the “Perfect Getaway” in Kia’s Sorento TV spot that first aired during the Super Bowl in late January. Now it might just be your turn to getaway and visit your local Kia dealer to check out the all-new 2016 Kia Sorento CUV.

The Sorento is built at the brand’s U.S. manufacturing plant– Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia – in West Point, Georgia.

2015 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy