If you liked the 2014 Kia Sorento, you’ll like the 2015 Kia Sorento. And if you passed up the 2014 Kia Sorento, the 2015 Kia Sorento with its subtle upgrades and changes might be the model that convinces you it’s time to check out this midsize crossover.
The changes to the 2015 Kia Sorento start at the grille and front end, as well as slight variations to the LED front lamps, projector headlamps, and available fog lamps. The welcome upgrades continue on the inside, with the cheaper-feeling plastics replaced by better, soft-touch materials and spare metal trim. Also, buyers can now opt for a navigation options and can look forward to an even more economical 4-cylinder engine.
The 2015 Kia Sorento compares to the Ford Edge, Dodge Journey, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, and Honda Pilot in terms of size and performance, but Kia easily beats them in price, starting at $24,995 and hitting $42,600 for the SX Limited specialty trim, decked in Nappa leather.
It may sound like a lot for a Kia, but keep in mind, many of those same features in a car by any other manufacturer would run you several thousands of dollars more. Also, because of this low price point, the Kia Sorento’s V6, 290-horsepower model is the better bargain, offering higher performance and comparable efficiency for nearly the same cost.
Once again, the Kia Sorento is packed with features to make any driver happy, starting with the fobless key and ignition system, power locks, windows, and mirrors; air conditioning; cruise control; 17-inch wheels; Bluetooth; tilt/telescoping steering; steering-wheel audio controls; and a sound system with AM/FM/XM/CD, auxiliary and USB ports, all as standard equipment.
If you decide to upgrade, you can look forward to automatic climate control, a rearview camera, UVO, a large 7-inch LCD screen; 18-inch wheels; fog lamps; a leather-wrapped steering wheel; a 115-volt power outlet; a power driver seat and heating for both front seats, a panoramic sunroof, a power passenger seat, ventilation for both front seats, 19-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, Infinity audio, ventilated front seats, a power tailgate, 19-inch chrome wheels, red-painted brake calipers, Nappa leather seats, a wood-trimmed and heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, blind-spot monitors, and reverse parking sensors. Kia covers a lot of bases with the 2015 Sorento.
The 2015 Kia Sorento comes with a third-row, 7-seat option, but truth be told, it’s not feasible unless you regularly children or small adults. Even then, you’ll be squeezed for cargo room when every seat is occupied. At least in the second row, both headroom and legroom are comfortable, and passengers get their own cup holders. The situation for third-row occupants isn’t quite as promising.
The driver and front-seat passenger will appreciate their slots in the 2015 Kia Sorento. Good bolstering and wide cushions cradle the front-row occupants, and plenty of adjustments are available to hit that sweet spot. The higher-grade Sorento models offer power adjustment, heating, and ventilation, which are far from common in economy brands such as Kia.
Like other family cars, the 2015 Kia Sorento boasts strong safety ratings, including five stars from NHTSA and mostly “good” ratings from IIHS. It also comes with all the usual airbags, along with a driver knee airbag. However, the third-row seat isn’t covered by curtain airbags. Backing up all the airbags, the Kia Sorento can be outfitted with a rearview camera, blind-spot monitors, and parking sensors.
As a base, the 2015 Kia Sorento comes with a direct-injection four-cylinder engine coupled to a six-speed automatic and available with front- or all-wheel drive to produce 191 hp and 181 pound-feet of torque — on the weak side for a vehicle of this size. Step up to the V-6 for 290 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque, which is much better suited for this family vehicle, even at full capacity. Better yet, it sacrifices little gas mileage in the trade-off, so load it up for all your errands and carpools.
Regarding fuel efficiency, the Sorento posts respectable, though not stellar numbers. The four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive model will cover 20 mpg/city, 26 highway, and 22 combined. The six-cylinder drops those figures to 18/25 mpg or 21 mpg combined.
Kia continues to hit the sweet spot of price, performance, and style with its vehicles, and the upgrade path grows more and more sophisticated every year. The 2015 Kia Sorento won’t jump out at you, but it will impress with its subtle touches, strong values, and steely performance for your family’s daily needs.
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Written by Jane Emery