For 2019, the Kia Sorento offers 3-row seating across all trim levels. In addition, Kia has given their Sorento SUV a subtle facelift updating certain style elements, upgrading lighting and wheels, adding convenience features and refreshing the interior with more premium materials.
They have also given it more and better performance by enhancing the V6 with a new 8-speed automatic transmission, revising the 6-speed mated to the I4 engine and a new Smart Shift & Drive system.
The 2019 Kia Sorento, offering six trim levels: L, LX, LX V6, EX V6, SX V6 and SX-Limited (SXL) V6 – FWD and AWD – is priced from $25,590 to $46,490.
The facelift includes a newly sculpted bumper design topped by a detailed radiator grille and new headlamps with full-LED lighting on upper trims. The signature ice cube-style foglamps feature projection bulbs or LED lamps on higher trim levels.
Other facelift features include a new rear bumper design, sleeker taillamps with LED bulbs for higher trims, new Smart handsfree liftgate and newly design 17-, 18- or 19-inch wheels depending on trim level.
Subtle enhancements are also found on the interior of the 2019 Sorento. Included are upgraded surface materials, a new, more tactile steering wheel, new shifter knob and a revised instrument cluster with improved graphics, revised air vents styling and center console design, stainless steel pedals – and more.
Other interior features of note include a panoramic sunroof with second-row sunshade, dual-zone HVA with rear AC controls and heat ducts.
Sorento SXL AWD As Tested
Kia sent us the fully top-trim 2019 Kia Sorento SX-Limited (SXL) AWD V6 for a weeklong test drive over Christmas week.
The MSRP for the fully loaded test Sorento SXL AWD was $46,490. Featuring the optional Snow White Pearl Paint, Terra Cotta Nappa Leather seating, dynamic interior illumination and puddle lighting – our SX-Limited delivered price was $48,765.
The upgraded interior immediately caught our attention with its generous spaces and comfortable seating first and second rows. Trimmed in the new Terra Cotta leather, the front seating was heated and ventilated (3-settings) with the outboard second row seats heated as well. Up front, seat adjustment was all power – 14-way driver, 8-way passenger with 4-way headrest and 2-way lumbar adjustment as well.
We especially noted and appreciated the adjustable thigh pad on the driver seat that eases fatigue on long drives for the taller or larger drivers among us.
Once settled in and hitting the road, we were very impressed with the performance and refined road manners – around town and on the road – of the new Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD.
Power is provided by their proven 3.3L Gasoline Direct Injection V6 engine producing 290 horsepower and 252 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to new 8-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission specifically tuned for this power plant.
The former Drive Mode Select is replaced with a new Smart Shift & Drive system with ECO, SPORT and SMART drive modes. When in SMART, the new system automatically assesses and then selects the appropriate mode for the road conditions and driver’s style. And, of course, the driver can preselect the mode and lock it in if they wish.
The Sorento SXL V6 AWD system – through its torque on demand feature – automatically routes power to the wheel with the most traction. When in seriously adverse conditions, the 4WD Lock Mode splits engine power evenly between the front and rear drive shafts. The system is also equipped with Torque Vectoring Cornering Control (TVCC) to enhance steering management in those situations.
With V6 fuel economy rated at 19/24 mpg and 21 mpg combined – we found the enhanced powertrain more than met our performance expectations.
Suspension and Running Gear
The new 2019 Sorento SXL V6 AWD also delivers an agile – yet sure-footed – drive and ride around town on the road.
Sorento’s ride and handling have been optimized by its “H” shaped subframe, four-point bushing mountings, and Hydraulic Rebound Stopper-type shock absorbers. Suspension is independent front and rear with MacPherson struts, coils springs and stabilizer bar at the front and multi-link with stabilizer bar and dual-flow dampers at the rear.
With Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power steering and running on 19-inch chrome finish alloy wheels mounted with 235/55 R19 All-Season tires our test SXL AWD Sorento had full command of the road at all times.
And, if your adventures include a trailer with toys and such, our Sorento SXL V6 AWD was rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Technology and Infotainment
With the 7-inch TFT LCD Driver Information Center monitoring vehicle performance – the center stack featured an 8-inch color infotainment and technology control display with Kia’s upgraded AVN 5.0 Navigation System embedded.
Power and connectivity features included a wireless charging tray, auxiliary and USB input jacks, rapid charge ports, 110V power inverter plus power outlets on the center fascia, rear floor console and in the cargo space. Other features included Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM, Bluetooth Wireless, AM/FM/CD/MP3/iPod and integrated Rear-View Camera with Surround View Monitoring.
Audio in the cabin was provided by a 630-watt, 10-speaker Harman Kardon system with 11-channel amplifier, Clari-Fi technology and integrated QuantumLogic Surround Sound.
Safety and Driver Assistance Features
Safety features on our SXL V6 AWD included Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, Brake Assist, Hill-start Assist, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Antilock Braking, Roll Over Mitigation, Cornering Brake Control and Tire Pressure Monitoring.
Standard Advanced Driver Assistance Systems included Forward Collision Warning, Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Collision, Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning, Surround View Monitor, Lane Keeping Assist and Driver Attention Warning – often referred to as the “coffee cup symbol’ alert system.
IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus
The 2019 Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD is among a limited number of new vehicles having attained a coveted Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) 2019 Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+) rating. The Sorento receives a good rating in all six IIHS crashworthiness tests and “Good” rating for headlights – when equipped with the optional forward collision-avoidance assist and LED headlights.
We give a special shout-out to the LED headlights and Automatic High/Low Beam Assist feature on our SXL. During our testing, we were deep in Hill Country on several nights running two lane, unlit and poorly marked county roads. The LED lighting with automatic assist on our test SXL kept our path well lighted – particularly on the shoulder side exceedingly well – as we navigated the winding country roads.
Kia offers the 2019 Sorento as 7-passenger capable with its third row. Frankly, as with others who have made a good two row SUV into a three row, its third row is extremely tight with only 36.3-inches of headroom and 31.7-inches of legroom. Full-size adults will not find that space comfortable plus, with the third row up, the remaining cargo space is a paltry 11.3 cubic feet.
Noting the new Sorento SXL AWD V6 delivers at every level otherwise, we would leave the third row seats flat and gain the added cargo utility (38.0 cubic feet) behind the second row.
2019 Sorento Lineup
As noted, the 2019 Sorento, comes in six trim levels (L, LX, LX V6, EX V6, SX V6 and SX-Limited V6) starting at MSRP $25,590 for the L FWD. The 2019 Sorento, except the L trim, can be ordered with AWD for $1,800 more. Delivery and handling are $990.
Go to https://www.kia.com/us/en/vehicle/sorento/2019 to learn more about all of the 2019 Kia Sorento models and options.