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A grey 2019 Kia Sorento is parked on gravel with a bay view in the distance.

What’s New for the 2019 Kia Sorento

Kia’s Sorento has been completely redesigned for 2019, now offering three rows of seating standard within a very high-quality interior. With one of the lowest base prices in its class, the Sorento also offers exceptional features and an array of optional innovations and upgrades for buyers looking to step it up a notch. Coupled with great gas mileage and an excellent reputation for safety, the 2019 Kia Sorento is a strong entry in the midsize SUV category.

Improvements across the line

Perhaps the most compelling and important feature on the new Sorento is the 7-passenger, third-row seating—now standard across all five trim levels.

On the outside, the changes are more subtle, with the Sorento adopting a sportier and more streamlined appearance. A new rear bumper design creates sleeker taillamps and a revised rear lift gate. Redesigned wheels are available in three new styles with sizes ranging from 17-inches to 19-inches.

Inside the Sorento, improvements have been made to its spacious cabin. Premium materials, a more tactile steering wheel and an updated instrument cluster with higher-definition graphics are just a few of the changes. All trim levels include a touchscreen and back up camera as standard.

As with previous versions of the Sorento, the 2019 model features front-wheel drive as standard, but sure-footed all-wheel drive is available as an option. A new 2.4L 4-cylinder engine replaces the previous 2.0L version, with the option to upgrade to a beefier 3.3L V-6. In addition, the new Sorento features an optional 8-speed automatic transmission. This all-new transmission option ensures smoother and more precise shifting.

On the safety front, drivers will be reassured by the addition of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, a suite of active safety features standard on EX trims and higher. These features provide access to the Forward Collision Warning System, Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Surround View Monitor.

The UVO feature allows drivers to sync up their Sorento to their mobile device using the UVO app, allowing them to stream music, access roadside assistance, get maintenance reminders, and the ability locate their vehicle in a crowded parking lot or garage. UVO allows for all of these tasks to be performed hands-free.

Comparing trim levels

The Sorento is available in five trim levels, ensuring there is an option suitable for your lifestyle, driving needs and budget.

Sorento L: While priced for value, the base model isn’t a stripped-down lackluster offering. It doesn’t skimp on features and includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a 3.5-inch multi-information display, 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity, six-speaker audio system, USB port, and keyless entry.

Sorento LX: This next level up includes all the features of the base model, but also adds seatback pockets, automatic up and down front windows, two additional USB ports and safety features like rear cross-traffic alert and blind spot monitoring. The V-6 variant adds a power adjustable driver’s seat and dual-zone climate control. The LX also adds all-wheel drive for assurance in poor weather.

Sorento EX: The EX bumps up the wheel size to 18-inches and also adds fog lights and roof rails. On the interior, the multi-information display increases the size to 7-inches. Other interior features include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated front seats, leather seating, keyless start, and a hands-free power liftgate.

Sorento SX: Stepping up to the SX increases the wheel size again to 19-inches, bumps up the touchscreen to 8-inches, and adds a sunroof, wireless phone charger, and a premium Hartman Kardon audio system powered by ten speakers for a fuller sound.

Sorento SXL: The top of the line Sorento comes standard with features like a full 360-degree camera system, heated second-row seats, heated steering wheel and LED headlights and fog lights.

Performance and fuel economy

A red 2019 Kia Sorento is towing a small camper on a narrow road.

The 2019 Sorento comes standard with a 2.4L engine rated at 185 hp which is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. A 3.3-liter V-6 engine rated at 290 hp is optional on the LX and standard on the EX, SX, and SXL trims. This comes paired to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy ratings for the new Sorento are excellent, with the front wheel drive, four cylinder model coming in at 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. Moving up to the 3.3L V-6 drops the numbers slightly to 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.

Safety

The NHTSA gives the 2019 Kia Sorento a five-star safety rating (out of a possible five-stars) in its testing. The 2019 model has not yet been crash tested, but based on results of the 2018 Sorento, it is expected to perform the same—a good rating on all crashworthiness tests. In the front crash prevention test, the 2018 model received a superior rating, the highest possible, after it avoided a collision in 12 and 25 mph tests. In addition, advanced braking features are potentially life-saving. The Sorento electronically adjusts the balance of braking power according to changes in weight distribution. It also offers a brake assist system which helps the driver by applying full braking power during an emergency stop. The aforementioned advanced features on the higher trim levels will ensure increased safety for both driver and passenger.

Utility

A properly equipped four-cylinder Sorento can tow up to 2,000 pounds. The more powerful V-6 can increase that capacity up to 3,500 pounds, providing enough power to haul ATVs, Jet Skis and even some small boats and smaller trailers. The new Sorento also features more cargo space behind the third row of seating, with 11.3 cu.ft. of space that can be expanded to 38 cu.ft. with the seats folded. In addition, even more room can be made by folding the second row. This will result in a total of 73 cu.ft. of available cargo space.

Exceptional warranty

Kia’s generous 10-year/100,000 mile warranty program consists of:

  • 10-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty
  • 5-year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty
  • 5-year/100,000 mile limited anti-perforation warranty
  • 5-year/60,000 mile roadside assistance plan

This warranty program applies to 2008 and newer Kia vehicles. Each warranty provides coverage until the year or mile total is reached, whichever comes first.

Conclusion

The 2019 Kia Sorento features a new design and features all wrapped up in the lowest base price in its class. A family-friendly SUV, the Sorento provides plenty of room to carry seven people and all of their gear. For buyers concerned with safety, plenty of innovative options are offered across the various trim levels. The Sorento will also appeal to buyers who are looking for a quality interior filled with advanced features and a smooth ride. While priced for value in the base model, the upgrades and upper trim levels do not disappoint with a wide range of optional equipment, and all models are hard to beat for gas mileage and warranty.

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