2018 Kia Sorento

#30
in Fullsize SUVs
2018 MODEL
$25,900 - $46,300 See Inventory Prices

7.4

Overall Rating

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Detailed Review

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.

See detailed review »

Pros

Upscale interior

Extra-long warranty coverage

Quiet comfortable ride

User-friendly infotainment system

Cons

Less cargo space

Base 4-cylinder engine underpowered

Cramped third row

What's New?

Power liftgate is available in all the trims

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is now available in LX trim via Cool and Connected Package


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$25800

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

116 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

144 cu. in.

horsepower

185 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

178 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

6-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

12 in. ventilated front disc/12.6 in. solid disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

109.4 in.

length

187.4 in.

width

74.4 in.

height

66.3 in.

curb weight

3704 lbs.

ground clearance

7.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

146.4 cu ft.

cargo volume

38.8 cu ft.

towing capacity

11700 lbs.

payload capacity

1322 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

9.1 sec.

standing ¼-mile

16.9 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

174 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

21/24/28 mpg

highway range

526.4 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

5 years/60000 miles

drivetrain warranty

10 years/100000 miles

corrosion warranty

5 years/100000 miles

roadside assistance

No



Styles

 2018 Kia Sorento in Blaze Blue color  2018 Kia Sorento in Ebony Black color  2018 Kia Sorento in Platinum Graphite color  2018 Kia Sorento in Polished Walnut color  2018 Kia Sorento in Remington Red color  2018 Kia Sorento in Sangria color  2018 Kia Sorento in Snow White Pearl color  2018 Kia Sorento in Sparkling Silver color
Blaze Blue

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.6

Engine

6.6

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

7.0

Exterior

6.6

Safety

9.0

Comfort

7.2

Driving

7.3

7.4

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Kia Sorento L

L

power
185 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
24 combined

$25,900


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
L 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $25,900 MSRP (21/24/28) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 5

 2018 Kia Sorento LX

LX

power
185 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
24 combined

$27,200 - $29,990


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $27,200 MSRP (21/24/28) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 5
LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $29,990 MSRP (21/22/25) 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic all wheel drive 7

 2018 Kia Sorento LX 3.3

LX 3.3

power
290 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
21 combined

$29,600 - $31,400


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LX 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $29,600 MSRP (18/20/25) 290 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.3 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 7
LX 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $31,400 MSRP (18/21/25) 290 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.3 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic all wheel drive 7

 2018 Kia Sorento EX

EX

power
240 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
23 combined

$33,000 - $34,900


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
EX 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) Starting at $33,000 MSRP (20/23/27) 240 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 5
EX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) Starting at $34,900 MSRP (19/22/25) 240 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic all wheel drive 5

 2018 Kia Sorento EX 3.3

EX 3.3

power
290 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
21 combined

$34,200 - $36,000


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
EX 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $34,200 MSRP (18/20/25) 290 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.3 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 7
EX 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $36,000 MSRP (18/21/25) 290 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.3 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic all wheel drive 7

 2018 Kia Sorento SX

SX

power
290 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
20 combined

$39,200 - $41,000


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SX 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $39,200 MSRP (18/20/25) 290 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.3 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 7
SX 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $41,000 MSRP (17/19/23) 290 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.3 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic all wheel drive 7

 2018 Kia Sorento SX Limited

SX Limited

power
290 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
20 combined

$44,500 - $46,300


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SX Limited 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $44,500 MSRP (18/20/25) 290 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.3 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 7
SX Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $46,300 MSRP (17/19/23) 290 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.3 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic all wheel drive 7

Top Kia Cars

2017 Kia Cadenza
8.0/10

Engine: 290 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.3 L V6

MPG: 23 combined

2019 Kia Optima Sedan
8.0/10

Engine: 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L I-4

MPG: 27 combined

2018 Kia Stinger
8.1/10

Engine: 255 hp @ 6200 rpm, 2 L I4

MPG: 25 combined

2017 Kia Optima plug-in hybrid Sedan
8.2/10

Engine: 202 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L I4

MPG: 40 combined

2019 Kia Stinger
8.4/10

Engine: 255 hp @ 6200 rpm, 2 L I-4

MPG: 25 combined

2017 Kia Optima hybrid Sedan
9.1/10

Engine: 154 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L I4

MPG: 42 combined

2019 Kia Sorento
8.1/10

Engine: 185 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.4 L I-4

MPG: 25 combined

2017 Kia Soul EV Wagon
8.2/10

MPG: 105 combined


Expert Review


CARHP Editorial September 21, 2018

7.4

Overall Rating


7.6/10
Features

 

6.6/10
Engine

 

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.0/10
Interior

 

6.6/10
Exterior

 

9.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

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

7.6/10

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.

Trims L LX LX V6 EX 2.0T EX V6 SX SX Limited
MSRP $25,800 $27,100 $29,500 $33,000 $34,100 $39,100 $44,400
MSRP(AWD) N/A +$27,90 +$18,00 +$18,00 +$18,00 +$18,00 +$18,00
Features
  • 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
  • Rear-Camera Display
  •  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

6.6/10

"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.

Models Kia Sorento Honda Pilot Toyota Highlander Santa Fe
MSRP $ 25,800 $ 30,900 $ 33,080 $ 29,850
Engine 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
Transmission 6-speed Automatic 6-speed Automatic 6-speed automatic 6-speed automatic
Power 185 hp @ 6,000 rpm 280 hp @ 6000 rpm 185hp @ 5800 rpm 290 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque 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.

Acceleration

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
Models Kia Sorento Honda Pilot Toyota Highlander Hyundai Santa Fe
0-60 MPH 9 sec 6.1 sec 7.3 sec 7.3 sec
Quarter mile 16.4 @ 85 mph 14.7 sec 16.7@81.3 mph 15.8 sec @ 90.3 mph
Engine 2.4L 3.5L 2.7L 3.3L
EmissionTons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year 7.3 8.0 8.0 8.4

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.

Model Kia Sorento Honda Pilot Toyota Highlander Hyundai Santa Fe
Brake pads-front(in) 12.6 12.6 12.9 12.6
Brake pads Rear(in) 12.0 13 12.2 11.9
Curb weight(lbs) 3704 4054 4165 4026
60-0 MPH (ft.) 130 119 124 125

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.

Towing Capacity

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.

Model Kia Sorento Honda Pilot Toyota Highlander Santa Fe
Capacity (lbs) 2000 5000 5000 5000
Drivetrain AWD AWD AWD AWD
Engine 3.3L 3.5L 3.5L 3.3L

2018 Kia Sorento Fuel Economy

8.0/10

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.

Model Kia Sorento Honda Pilot Toyota Highlander Hyundai Santa Fe
Mpg city 21 19 20 18
Mpg highway 28 27 24 25
Mpg combined 24 22 22 N/A

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

7.0/10
"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. 

Model Kia Sorento Honda Pilot Toyota Highlander Hyundai Santa Fe
Passenger capacity 7 8 8 7
Front (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg)(In.)   39.5/56.7/59.1/44.1 40.1/59.1/62/40.9 40.7/57.2/59.3/44.2 39.9/56.7/59.4/41.3
Second (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg)(In.)   39.3/56.4/58/39.4 40.2/57.3/62/38.4 39.9/57.1/59.6/38.4 39.4/55.4/58.3/40.4
Third (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg)(In.)   36.3/41.4/52.8/31.7  38.9/44.6/57.6/31.9 35.9/45.6/55/27.7 35.7/44.1/53.9/30.9

Infotainment System

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:

  • Six speakers
  • Satellite radio
  • A USB port and Bluetooth
  • 3″ Touch-Screen Display

Interior Features

  • 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

Cargo Space

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.

Model Kia Sorento Honda Pilot Toyota Highlander Santa Fe
Behind 3ndRow(ft.cube) 11.3 18.0 13.8 13.5
With 3nd  row folded (ft.cube) 38.0 47.7 42.3 40.9
With All  Seats folded (ft.cube) 73.0 87.0 83.7 80.0

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

6.6/10

"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.

Model Kia Sorento Honda Pilot Toyota Highlander Hyundai Santa Fe
curb weight(lbs) 3704 4054 4165 4026
Length(in) 187.4 194.5 192.5 193.1
Width(in) 74.4 78.6 75.8 74.2
Height(in) 66.3 69.8 68.1 66.5
Ground clearance(in) 7.3 7.3 8 7.3
Wheelbase(in) 109.4 111 109.8 110.2
Track width(in) F/R 64.3/64.7 66.3/66.3 64.4/64.2 64.1/64.5

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.

Exterior Features

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

9.0/10

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.

NHSTA Rating

Overall Rating 5 Star
Frontal barrier crash rating overall 5 star
Frontal barrier crash rating 5 star
Frontal barrier crash rating 5 star
Side barrier rating 5 star
Side barrier rating 5 star
Side barrier rating 5 star
Side crash rating overall 5 star
Combine side barrier and pole rating 5 star
Rollover 4 star

IIHS Rating

Crashworthiness
Side impact test Good
Roof strength test Good
Rear crash protection Good
IIHS Small overlap front test results Good
Moderate overlap front test results Good

Safety features

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
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Back up camera
  • Parking sensor
  • Heated seats

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.