How do you make something that was already great even better? This question arises because the last Sorento had very few faults and ranked high in the midsize SUV segment. Things have only improved with the 2018 Kia Sorento as it now gets plenty of standard features along with a nice ride quality and plush interior.
2018 Kia Sorrento is available in three engine options. The base trim comes standard with a 185 horsepower 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine; however, you can also choose between a turbocharged 240-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder or a more powerful 3.3-liter V-6 with 290-hp. All come with a well-tuned 6-speed automatic, and the turbo-4 and V-6 can combine with all-wheel drive, with a locking center differential.
8.0/10 Fuel Economy
Sorrento has a generically handsome silhouette that weaves itself into the big tapestry of modern-utility vehicle design. The car feels smooth, not jagged; well detailed but not too blingy. It is a nice blend of value and feature with the price ranging from $25,800 for the base and going up to $44,400 for the top trim.
2018 Kia Sorento Features
There is no shortage of choices when it comes to buying a new Sorento SUV. Kia offers five different trims: L, LX, EX, SX, and SX Limited with price ranging from $25,800 to $46,200. Every trim comes standard with front-wheel drive, which can be upgraded to all-wheel drive for $1800.
Cloth Seats with YES Essentials Fabric Treatment.
Heated Outside Mirrors, with Integrated LED Turn signals
Bluetooth Wireless Technology with Steering Wheel Mounted Controls
Roof Rails, Low Profile with Silver Finish
USB Charger Ports.
50/50 Split-Folding 3rd-Row Seats
2nd-Row Seats, Sliding & Auto Folding
3,500 lb. Towing Capacity.
Leather Seat Trim
Push Button Start w/ Smart Key
Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control.
EX 2.0T+50/50 Split-Folding 3rd-Row Seats.
Smart Power Liftgate
Panoramic Sunroof w/Power Sunshade.
Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC)
Surround View Monitor (SVM).
There are also three engine options available. The L and LX come standard with a 185 horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. The EX only comes standard with a 2.0T turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. A 3.3-liter V6 is also available which is optional on the LX and EX and comes standard on the SX and SX Limited. All the trims come mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Most Sorento’s come standard with a third-row seat which expands the seating capacity from five to seven but the L and EX 2.0T comes only as a five-seat SUV.
Confused? We will help you find the best trim
The Sorento EX with the V6 engine comes with seven seats and offers an abundance of features (including advanced driving aids) at a price that undercuts bigger three-row crossovers. One can even get luxury add-ons and still, the price is pretty reasonable. Avoid the underpowered base 4-cylinder engine if you can.
2018 Kia Sorento Engine
"Depending on the configuration, the 2018 Kia Sorento comes as a comfortable, fuel-efficient daily driver, an energetic 2-row SUV, or a muscular V6-powered midsize SUV. Though its demeanor may vary, all Sorento’s deliver a quiet, relaxing ride." -Cars.usnews.com
Engine and Transmission
The 2018 Kia Sorento is offered with three engine options, each appealing in their own way. Select the one that best fits your driving needs, and you should be happy with the result. The standard 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine cranks out 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque and gives you the best bang for your buck as it gets better gas mileage than most midsize SUVs.
2.4-liter 4-cylinder Gas engine
3.5-liter V-6Gas engine
2.7-liter 4-cylinder Gas engine
3.3-liter V-6Gas engine
185 hp @ 6,000 rpm
280 hp @ 6000 rpm
185hp @ 5800 rpm
290 hp @ 6400 rpm
178 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm
262 ft-lbs. @ 4700 rpm
184 ft-lbs. @ 4200 rpm
252 ft-lbs. @ 5200 rpm
The 240-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine meanwhile offers a nice blend of brisk acceleration and efficiency but only comes in 2-row configuration. The Sorento’s 3.3-liter V-6 acquits itself well against the competitors in both the two and three-row class. You can also get better-towing capacity with the V-6, though you sacrifice nimbleness for the extra power. All the engine comes with a responsive 6-speed automatic transmission which works with a little fuss.
The Sorento V6 hits 60mph in 7.6 seconds and its 290 horses are perfectly adequate for normal driving and light towing. Although Kia’s V-6 feels weaker in the real-world driving, with less yank at low rpm. The 2.0 liter 4-cylinder may be more efficient than the V6, but it slows down the car. The Sorento is powered by the base 2.4 liter 4-cylinder would take close to 9 seconds to hit 60 mph.
“Not surprisingly, the turbo and V6 feel strongest, but the 2.4 is adequate and offers better fuel economy, making the most of the 6-speed automatic transmission all the engines use.” -Kelley Blue Book
Unfortunately, the base engine's potential is way lesser than what competition offers. The car comes out a potential lagger in the lot. The likes of Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Santa Fee defeats the Sorento big time.
Braking and Handling
The Sorento is incredibly comfortable and quite due to its polished handling. Other elements, such as steering and brakes are adequate but not particularly noteworthy. The AWD system of Sorento includes an electronically lockable 50-50 front and rear torque split, which could come in handy on low-traction scenario while off-roading. Ground clearance is modest at 7.3 inches.
Hyundai Santa Fe
Brake pads Rear(in)
60-0 MPH (ft.)
Kia has equipped Sorento with 4-Wheel Disc brakes with Antilock Braking System (ABS) which comes as standard. Brake pedals feel spongier but the braking distance of 130 feet, however, is fairly long as compared to rivals.
The Sorento can tow, too. It can tug up to 5,000 pounds with the V-6 AWD, which puts it in the league of high-end crossover spectrum. Opting for the front wheel drive and either of the four-cylinder engines reduces max towing capacity significantly, to 3,5000 pounds.
2018 Kia Sorento Fuel Economy
When fitted with either of the 4-cylinder engines, the Sorento gets better gas mileage than most vehicles in its class with an EPA rating of 21 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. With the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, the estimates drop by 1 mpg. The V-6 AWD Sorento meanwhile checks in at 17/23/19 mpg.
Hyundai Santa Fe
It might run low on raw power but the economy is Sorento's strong suit. Its 28 mpg mileage on the highway is the standard other competitors wish to achieve. If you look at the combined mileage figures, the Honda Pilot and Highlander share the same place while the Sorento delivers more.
2018 Kia Sorento Interior
"For the past couple years Kia has excelled in offering interior design, materials, and assembly that feel far more luxurious than the price tag suggests. That holds true for the 2018 Sorento. Available in 5- and 7-passenger configurations, the Sorento’s dash is simple but elegant, with just enough chrome trim to make it feel special." -Kelley Blue Book
Seating and Comfort
The 2018 Sorento comes standard with seating for five people, cloth upholstery, and a 40/20/40 split-folding second row. Although you can carry up to seven people on the top trims with the available third row which folds with a 50/50 split. The first two rows are well-cushioned and provide ample room to accommodate adults. The available third-row seats are cramped but it has more legroom than the rivals like Toyota Highlander.
Hyundai Santa Fe
Sorento’s updated infotainment system is straightforward and highly functional. Kia has done a nice job laying out redundant buttons and knobs on the center stack allowing the driver to operate the control effortlessly. For top trims which comes with a 7-8-inch display, the UVO interface is easy to use and graphics are excellent. The entry-level trim comes with:
A USB port and Bluetooth
3″ Touch-Screen Display
7- and 8-inch infotainment display
Navigation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay
Dual rapid-charge USB ports
10-speaker Infinity surround-sound audio system
Dual-zone automatic climate control
The 2018 Sorento has less cargo space than most in the competition but it is enough to satisfy your needs. There is 11.3 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seat which is least as compared to other rivals.
With 3nd row folded (ft.cube)
With All Seats folded (ft.cube)
Its 38.3 cubic feet of cargo hold behind the second row and 73 cubic feet overall is also less than others in the competition. Even the standard cargo bay is much less when you compare it with cars like Honda Pilot.
2018 Kia Sorento Exterior
"Like the interior, the 2018 Sorento projects a sophisticated and upscale look from the outside. We like the “tiger-nose” grille treatment, and the overall blunt styling. Some of us think that it’s the best-looking midsize SUV in its class, although beauty is in the eye of the beholder" -Kelley Blue Book
Dimension and Weight
The 2018 Kia Sorento is neither the longest nor the widest in the segment but it cues up all the correct lines and curves of an SUV. The LED lights accents the front and the rear while the chrome work adds a little class to the overall look.
Hyundai Santa Fe
Track width(in) F/R
Wheel sizes meanwhile range from 17-inch alloys on base and LX models, to the 18-inch alloys on EX models, all the way to 19-inches on SX models with chrome 10-spoke-alloy wheel which delivers top-of-the-line style. The 19-inch wheel is good for off-roading and also provide better ride quality.
All the 2018 Sorento’s comes with a set of upgrades:
LED accent lights in the headlights
Base L models now come with automatic headlamps
Power rear liftgate
Power-folding side-view mirrors
Rain-sensing windshield wipers
2018 Kia Sorento Safety
The IIHS has called the 2018 Sorento Top Safety Pick with all “Good” scores in crash tests, and “Acceptable” headlight performance in top trims. Lower trims only manage a “Poor” score in the headlight test. The NHTSA gave the Sorento five stars overall this year, with only a four-star rollover rating keeping it from a perfect score. The 2018 Kia Sorento comes with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Frontal barrier crash rating overall
Frontal barrier crash rating
Frontal barrier crash rating
Side barrier rating
Side barrier rating
Side barrier rating
Side crash rating overall
Combine side barrier and pole rating
Side impact test
Roof strength test
Rear crash protection
IIHS Small overlap front test results
Moderate overlap front test results
Sorento boasts a host of advanced safety technology and is a solid safety pick. The standard driver safety feature includes:
Side Mounted Air Bag
Rear Air Bags
Blind Spot Monitoring
Back up camera
2018 Kia Sorento Competition
Kia Sorento Vs Honda Pilot
The Honda Pilot comes standard with a V6 engine, which means you get zestier acceleration with the Pilot. As the larger of two, the Pilot also carries more people (up to eight) and more cargo. Its starting price is although 5,000 higher than the Kia’s.
Kia Sorento Vs Toyota Highlander
Toyota Highlander is an exceptional midsize SUV, and it shares many characteristics with the Sorento. Although the Highlander isn’t a good value for money. For starters, it costs about $5,000 more than the Kia Sorento. Safety features like forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control come standard with the Toyota, but you can add many of these items to the Sorento and say within $2000 of the Highlanders base price.
Kia Sorento Vs Hyundai Santa Fe
Kia is owned by Hyundai Motor Group, one can notice much in common between the Santa Fe and the Sorento. Both SUV’s have three engine options, the choice of 2- or 3-row configuration, and similar standard features. Besides styling, one major difference is that you can add select packages to the base Santa Fe trim, while no such package is available for the entry-level Sorento.
2018 Kia Sorento Final Verdict
The Kia Sorento is one of the best in midsize SUV in the segment. It’s available in a variety of configurations, and because each presents a different temperament, the Sorento can be shaped to meet a variety of needs. The lower priced base trim with its above-average fuel economy along with a healthy list of included features makes it a good pick for budget-savvy shoppers. On the other hand, the Sorento EX – which has an energetic turbocharged engine – offers a livelier, more athletic experience or get a V6-powered model to increase towing capacity, or gain extra grip with the available all-wheel drive.
Extra-long warranty coverage
Quiet comfortable ride
User-friendly infotainment system
Less cargo space
Base 4-cylinder engine underpowered
Cramped third row
Power liftgate is available in all the trims
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is now available in LX trim via Cool and Connected Package
144 cu. in.
185 hp @ 6000 rpm
178 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm
brake rotors (f/r)
12 in. ventilated front disc/12.6 in. solid disc brakes
146.4 cu ft.
38.8 cu ft.
zero to 60 mph
braking (70-0 mph)
5 years/60000 miles
10 years/100000 miles
5 years/100000 miles
Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.