Her + His Car Reviews

2016 KIA Sorento SXL AWD

There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that! To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle – Her and His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

$45,095 Base price: $43,100; about $45,000 as tested
Kia has done an exceptional redesign of the 2016 Sorento SXL which has improved this midsized SUV and increased its value. A three-row SUV, this bigger vehicle, handles well on the road, and has a quiet cabin for a large vehicle. Responsive, the car drives and handles well for drivers and passengers alike. Braking impressive. The Sorento has more than enough to provide strong acceleration on the highway in passing situations, and it also moves well in city driving - if you get the V6. The 4-cylinder model feels somewhat sluggish. The six speed transmission sometimes feels as though it is struggling on hills, too. But generally it too performs well, braking is strong and the car feels stable and confident and maneuvers well.
Fuel Economy
19 city miles and 25 highway miles. Overall 22 mpg. 3.3-liter V6, which produces 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. Kia estimates it'll return 21 mpg combined (18/26) with front wheel drive; probably a mile per gallon or two less with all wheel-drive.
The Car
This vehicle ranks and is rated highly. Its value is one of the best, although we note that Kia's prices continue to creep over the past 3-4 years, now a top 10 brand in the United States. Certainly, I am not being daft or dismissive. On the one hand their prices and value are terrific - the SXL is less expensive than a Buick or a Lexus, etc. But, from a value standpoint, look at Volvo, a much smaller volume brand who is doing its darndest to regain market share in this midsized SUV category, who has very comparable pricing with its XC60 and XC70. Just saying.

To its utmost credit, Kia engineers and designers left no stone unturned. Flawless driving and comfort, seating and aesthetics, space and ergonomics. Everything was taken into consideration. Third row seating; plenty of room. Please note that about one-third of new 2016's cars do not come with a spare tire and the Sorento SXL is not an exception.

Further Panoramic room for full exterior vision, nice 'nook' pass-through in back seat to accommodate longer accessories. Heated Exterior Mirrors. Telescoping Steering Column and adjustable heated/cooling seat for perfect fit. We love the hands-free liftgate!
Driving the 2016 Kia Sorento was a real shocker; the good kind of shocker. It is such a good product that we rank it among the best SUVs - of any size - on the market. No kidding. The ride is solid and controlled in most settings. You would have to hit quite the pothole to feel even a little unsettled in this car.

Another thing that separates the Sorento from others are the little touches that seem to be everywhere. A discreet little chime sounds when you go into reverse. A little sign notifies you when your steering wheel is not aligned straight for easier parking and pulling out of spaces.

The panoramic roof truly goes to the rear of the car to give even third rowers a nice slice of glass to look at over head. To enjoy the view in some other cars from panoramic roofs, you have to lean forward and really crane your neck to see.

Problems were relatively minor--a transmission that occasionally some roughness, and straining up hills. But neither of those two really happened often enough to really annoy us.
Airbags galore - Front, Rear and Side. Traction Control Systems. Electronic Stability Control. Hill-Start Assist Control. Tire-Pressure Monitoring System. Blind-Spot Detection System. Forward Collision Warning System. Surround View Monitor. Smart Cruise Control. And, of course, All-Wheel Drive - excellent for this winter snow. Excellent crash test results. It's all there. Not a thing to be left unturned. Very competitive with other models.
From Bluetooth, a USB port and satellite radio, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, 10-speaker Infinity surround sound audio system, rearview camera, and three-hundred-sixty degree camera system are included. Kia's UVO infotainment system, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic monitoring, lane departure warning, proximity key, dual-zone automatic climate control and navigation. An 8" touch screen, reviewers report, and kick Infinity audio system. This midsize SUV can be purchased in five - and seven-passenger configurations. From bottom to top, the five trim levels are: L, LX, EX, SX and SX-L. The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is standard on the L and LX trim levels. A 3.3-liter V6 is an option on the LX, standard on the SX and one of two available engines on the EX and SX-L. The other available engine is a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

If you want a V6, you will get seven passenger seat configurations as well. But it turbo power, this sportier powertrain means you will be limited to five seats only. The L model also is a five passenger model.

Fortunately, shoppers at the lower end of the Sorento price scale who have four cylinder engines in mind can get either six or seven seats in the LX trim version. And you won't have to buy an upper line model if you want all-wheel drive. You can order it on all trim models. The entry level L provides standard equipment such as alloy wheels, LED running lights, stain-resistant fabric, satellite radio, a USB/iPod interface and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity.

The LX trim adds a few extras like an acoustic windshield for a quieter cabin, two rapid-charge USB ports, a rearview camera, a 4.3-inch touchscreen and UVO eServices (Siri hands-free, numerous smartphone apps and secondary driver security functions like geo-fencing and speed warning).

Next up is the EX.

The SX brings you right to the top of the hill, with standard features like a panoramic sunroof, push-button start, navigation, 10-speaker Infinity sound system, second-row sunscreens and power liftgate (with proximity hands-free opening) are optional.

The SX and SX-L essentially add power-adjustable driver thigh support and a variety of exterior and interior trim upgrades, while the SX-gets you the Tech package that includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure and collision warning systems, and an "around-view" multi-angle parking camera.
Aesthetics & Styling
Yes, the design and engineering team at KIA outdid themselves on the 2016 Sorento SXL. Bolder looks, added amenities, safer driving, and more room in the first and second rows. Third row adds plenty of room for children. An "A" for this model. Kia made some pretty substantial changes that include round wheel openings in the back that give it a sporty, yet elegant look, and the front grille has a much richer looking texture to it. Seen from the side, the profile looks more balanced and less stubbiness, compared to the previous model, thanks to stretching wheelbase and overall length by three inches.

That gives two inches of additional legroom for the second row, and adding to the comfort level in the third row. The interior is really fabulous. Double stitching, beautiful two tone color schemes, contrasting double piping along the sides of seats, lustrous piano black tastefully applied sparingly, equal a very lovely interior for drivers and passengers to enjoy.
5 years/60,000 Roadside Assistance. 5 years/60,000 Basic Limited. 10 years/100,000 Limited Powertrain. 5 years or 60,000 mile basic warranty.