Here is the review of the latest Kia Sorento done by Autoblog.
First off, let's talk style. We happen to think the Sorento, though perhaps a bit dated this far into its life cycle, has always been one of the better looking SUVs on the market. While the old and new machines look entirely different from one another when placed side-by-side, that attractive tradition carries on with the 2011 model. Blur your vision a bit and it would be easy to mistake the '11 Sorento for any number of midsize CUVs, but take a little time to pick out the details and you'll likely be pleased.
Starting up front with a grille that's becoming a trademark of Kia Design Director Peter Schreyer (he of Audi TT fame) and is quickly spreading across the rest of Kia's lineup, there's an easily recognizable link between this Sorento and the aforementioned Forte sedan. When it comes to Kia's recent design direction, sharp, geometric shapes and creases are the name of the game, especially noticeable in the case of the Sorento as the eye is drawn to the vehicle's deeply chiseled window sills and rocker panels.
We don't often comment on specific colors on our first drives, but in this case we think it's worth mentioning that the 2011 Sorento puts its best foot forward when painted up in metallic tones and lighter shades, which allow more contrast between the flat surfaces and those angular wedges and indentations. Dark shades and jewel tones seem to mask these – we asked around to verify our initial opinion and found many fellow testers agreed with our assessment. Whatever the case, the Sorento isn't likely to offend and introverted drivers should find that it easily blends into its surroundings.
The term "all-new" is surely one of the most overused phrases in all of autodom, but this is one of those times when it truly applies. This Sorento really is completely different from its predecessor. In fact, the only thing that the 2011 Sorento shares with the 2010 model is its nameplate. Underneath the new sheetmetal is a new unibody structure that replaces the old body-on-frame architecture of the last-gen model. Length is up a little under four inches while the wheelbase, at 106.3 inches, actually shrinks by a smidge. One very important bit made possible by the lack of a full steel frame underneath is a weight reduction of about 400 pounds. In this day and age of rapidly expanding waist lines, that's a big deal. Look underhood and you'll be greeted by one of two powerplants – either a 2.4-liter four cylinder with 172 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque or an optional 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 273 hp and 247 lb-ft.
Propping up the front are independent MacPherson struts with coil springs; at the rear is a fully independent multilink arrangement. Ground clearance sits at 7.2 inches, which strikes us as more than enough considering that very few owners will ever venture off-road anyway. Sitting relatively close to terra firma means entering the Sorento is a breeze for both front and rear passengers. Once inside, there's plenty of room for occupants both up front and in the second-row. And the extra two perches out back? Yeah, pretty much exactly as you'd expect – for children, chihuahuas or chia pets only. Interior space is up a useful 15 percent for a total of 103.9 cubic feet. Put those rear-most seats down and you'll find plenty of cargo space (a max of 72.5 cubes with all the seats stowed away) with a nicely-shaped opening through the single-piece rear liftgate and a good amount of floor space. You'll note, though, that there isn't a great deal of stowage available with the seats up – just 9.1 cubic feet. So configured, our camera bag fit with room to spare while our standard carry-on overnight luggage did not.
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