Why is the 2020 Kia Sorento nearing the top of our list for best SUVs this year? Between performance, technology, comfort, and a solid history, the Sorento is a great option for those looking for an SUV in 2020. Since 2002, the Kia Sorento has been a top choice for drivers in the market for a new SUV. Originally produced as a compact SUV, the Sorento was upgraded to a mid-size crossover SUV in 2009 (once the first generation ended). It became Kia’s first model to be manufactured in the United States, starting in its second generation. In 2011, the Sorento was awarded five out of five stars by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP). In the United States, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the XM Sorento a “Top Safety Pick.” This award was given again in 2017. The Sorento has been recognized by New Zealand Autocar Magazine as SUV of the Year. Consumer Reports has also given the Kia Sorento EX V6 model an “Excellent” overall score rating.
The 2020 Kia Sorento is the perfect vehicle for drivers who are searching for the trifecta of premium performance, technology, and comfort. With a starting MSRP starting at just $26,990 and enough room for up to seven passengers, the new Sorento will surely be a tough option to beat for its competitors. The 2020 model is part of the Sorento’s third generation, introduced in 2015. There are five appealing trims to choose from, including the L, LX, S V6, EX, and SX, each with their own unique set of characteristics and progressive luxury features. No matter which model you choose, Kia is confident that you’ll be delighted by its latest creation. To prove it, the company boldly offers an industry-leading Kia 10-year or 100,000 mile warranty on all new Sorentos. Here’s a glimpse at what you can expect if you decide to give it a spin.
Performance Like a Pro
Kia has two different engines on the new Sorento, and most models are available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The powertrain on the L and LX models is a 2.4 liter DOHC I-4 with a six-speed automatic transmission. It puts out 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. Towing capacity is 2,000 pounds, and drivers can expect a combined fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon with this option.
Moving up to the S V6 trim and above boosts horsepower to 290 and offers 252 lb-ft of torque. This configuration uses an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 3.3 liter DOHC V6 engine. Towing capacity is also increased with this upgrade. The all-wheel drive version of the V6 easily tows up to 3,500 pounds, but with the right equipment, it can tow up to an impressive 5,000 pounds. The combined fuel economy for this larger engine is 22 miles per gallon, but some models offer fuel-saving technology, like stop/start functioning.
Kia’s all-wheel drive uses the trademarked Dynamax system, which helps monitor driving conditions to respond quickly to potential hazards. Similarly, the smart shift and drive automatically switches to the appropriate drive mode. The Sorento easily transitions from calm driving through town to busy highway and city commutes in less-than-ideal weather conditions. It’s well-rounded and equipped for anywhere you want to go.
Generous Technology Features
The new Sorento is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can stay connected on the go. For enhanced audio, the available Harman Kardon surround audio system uses Clari-Fi technology for a crisp and clear soundtrack for all of your road trip adventures. The Kia Access Amp has a UVO link that connects your smartphone to your SUV, even from a distance. Convenience features let you start the engine remotely and use climate control to warm it up or cool it down before you take a step inside. If you need to lock or unlock your Kia from afar, the app also lets you do so. The Find My Car feature is perfect for getting directions back to your vehicle if you lose track of it in a crowded parking lot.
Starting with L trim, drivers can enjoy a 7-inch touchscreen and remote keyless entry. A rear camera with dynamic guidelines, hill start assist, traction control, and electronic stability control are also included at this base level. Upgrading to the LX is only about $1,000 more and includes advanced driver assistance technology, like blind spot collision warning and rear-cross traffic collision warning. It lets you know when you’re achieving optimal fuel efficiency with the EcoMinder Fuel Efficiency Indicator. Two rapid-charge USB ports are also included, along with a sound-absorbing windshield to ensure a quiet ride. Auto emergency braking becomes standard in the S V6, along with reverse parking distance warning. The smart key has a push button start on the S V6 as well.
Additional features are added on the EX, including smart cruise control with stop and go to promote optimal fuel efficiency. Lane departure warning and lane keep assist are also standard features. A hands-free smart power liftgate makes it easy to access your trunk when your hands are full with groceries or luggage by sensing the proximity of your smart key. For the ultimate luxury, the highest SX trim upgrades the touchscreen to an 8-inch with navigation. A surround view monitor makes it easier to see your SUV from all angles, and a wireless phone charger makes keeping a full battery a breeze.
Comfort and Design
The 2020 Kia Sorento is undeniably stylish from the inside out. The second row includes a one-touch slide and fold seat for ultimate versatility and cargo space, while the third row seat is a 50/50 split. In the front cockpit, the available 14-way power adjustable driver’s seat comes with heated front seats to keep you toasty and warm. Its integrated memory system remembers your preferences. For a bright interior, choose the panoramic sunroof that can be adjusted to let in just the right amount of light and fresh air. It comes with a power sunshade and vast glass panel.
The exterior is built out of 53% high-strength steel for strength and rigidity that holds up well in an accident. Up to nine sophisticated exterior paint colors are available for a shiny finish on this stylish SUV. Standard LED positioning lights and available LED taillamps in the rear are fashionable details that enhance your visibility in dark driving conditions. Starting with the LX, leather accents are added to the interior, including a leather wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob. The EX expands this with a leather seat trim as well. On the S V6 and the SX, the Sorento is mounted on impressive 19-inch alloy wheels.
The Kia Sorento is the perfect size of SUV. It’s a bit smaller than the typical oversized, gas-guzzling, three-row vehicle, but is still big enough to accommodate up to seven passengers comfortably. The desirable option for all-wheel drive is available on every model above the L trim. Kia piles on a slew of high-tech features from the start while keeping the Sorento at a reasonable price point throughout all five trims. Even the highest SX starts out just over $41k, which isn’t half bad for a brand new SUV with high-end details. Kias are notoriously well-liked by those who own them. They have a long track record of designing award-winning vehicles that earn high ratings. With such a long warranty to back-up their product, it’s obvious that Kia has no doubts in the Sorento’s ability to outlast drivers’ expectations.