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The Kia Sorento is a mid-size crossover with an available third-row seat to provide seating for seven, which puts it in a category of just a few vehicles. It was redesigned for the 2016 model year, increasing its wheelbase and length by about three inches to increase cabin space, making it a bit larger than the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.
The redesign was total, including a new chassis with stiffer body structure, complete sheetmetal makeover, and new available turbo four-cylinder engine with direct injection. The ride got smoother and interior more sophisticated. The Sorento came out feeling more confident and solid, without gaining weight.
Base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 185 horsepower. Other engines include a 3.3-liter V6 making 290 horsepower, and the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard, and each powertrain comes with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive with a locking differential that splits the drive 50/50 front/rear.
With 7.3 inches of ground clearance, the Sorento is good in deep snow or sand. Each of the powertrains is capable of towing, but the V6 is best, rated at 5000 pounds.
The Sorento earns top crash test results in all five categories from the IIHS, as well a five stars from the NHTSA. Standard safety equipment includes side airbags and active headrests in front, side as well as curtain airbags with rollover sensor. Extensive active safety features are available.
The base 2.4-liter engines gets an EPA-estimated 21 miles per gallon City, 29 Highway, and 24 Combined. The V6 drops to 17/23/19 mpg, and the new turbo four 20/27/23 mpg. All those specs are with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive brings the mileage down by one mile per gallon.