I don’t discriminate when it comes to vehicles. I like them all. I drive them all. And, if given enough time, I’ll also own them all!
It why you’ve seen me review a lot of the Kia family:
- The Kia Cadenza, which I view as a luxury sedan
- The Kia Niro, a clever little hybrid crossover
- The Kia Soul Turbo, a funky car in a funky town
- The Kia Stinger, a sport sedan unlike any other
- The Kia Forte, yes, even a little Forte has graced my driveway
As I looked at the list, I realized I still have some major gaps to fill, namely in the SUV department. It was at a recent WAPA event that I got a little tipoff that the 2019 Kia Sorento was just getting ready to hit the fleet and if I put in my request, I might get a chance to drive it for a week before some of the heavy hitters requested it. So I did and I spent a luxurious week in a larger-than-mine SUV that my son Evan recommended as my next car.
What made him make that recommendation? We didn’t go on a fancy road trip. We didn’t stop at picturesque locations. We simply lived a week in the Kia Sorento. I drove him to school every day and picked him up from the bus stop. We drove to a doctor’s appointment and then skipped the rest of school by spending time at a local nursery.
We drove to historic Westminster to celebrate the opening of a new business. We spent plenty of time, as usual, at the grocery store. And we got to take it to special screening of SOLO.
Honestly, it was a typical week for me and it’s the everyday usage that helps me to really assess a car – either for my family or yours. So let’s take a look at some of the best features of the 2019 Kia Sorento.
What’s Different in 2019?
I was excited to be one of the first to drive the 2019 Kia Sorento and then realized I really had nothing to compare it to. I see plenty of older model Sorentos parked around town and honestly I could see much of a difference.
Even when I researched the differences in the two model years, I found that I was right to not really notice much of a change. On the exterior, it’s mostly cosmetic shifts. On the interior, it’s mostly a few cosmetic options. The real difference is under the hood.
In 2018, there were three engine sizes available and all of them used an electronically controlled 6-Speed automatic transmission with overdrive.
For 2019, the Kia Sorento has only two engine sizes but they offer electronically controlled 8-Speed automatic transmission on the LX model and higher.
What does that mean to you as a driver? Not a whole lot except for improved fuel economy. I observed 22 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, which isn’t bad for an SUV of this size.
But you, as a family car buyer and driver, might care about the biggest change to this vehicle in 2019. The third row is STANDARD. In previous years, it was optional but the third row is standard on all models making it a true 7 passenger vehicle.
Exterior Features of the Kia Sorento
If you ask me, many of the Kia models have a distinctly Kia design. I especially notice this with the Kia Niro and the Kia Sorento, which look like a junior and senior version of the same car. It’s got clean, modern lines, a commanding grille, and for the SX-L, chrome accents including the wheels.
Interior Features of the Kia Sorento
I love a car that looks good and is stylish on the outside. But it’s the interior that makes or breaks a car for me. That is, after all, where I spend the majority of my time when I’m with my car.
There were four outstanding features of the interior that you should be aware of:
1. Those Nappa Leather Seats!
For the SX-L, the seat are a Nappa leather that’s available in a color called Terracotta which is what you’ll see on the model I drove. They don’t just look good. They offer outstanding comfort. I couldn’t say enough about the comfort of the lumbar support, the heating, the cooling, and the ability to adjust in every direction (14 way for the driver, 10 way for the passenger). Even the rear seats where adjustable (and the second row is heated!).
2. That Panoramic Sunroof!
Technically, Kia considers this an exterior feature but the value is on the inside. It turns your potentially big, dark vehicle into a greenhouse! Sure, it can get warm but there’s a power sunshade and plenty of A/C options for every row. It just makes the whole vehicle feel light and bright.
3. All Kinds of Connectivity!
Kia gets that we want, nay, need to stay connected even when we’re on the go. That’s why I love that they’ve included so many power and connectivity features:
- USB port (for Apply CarPlay and Android Auto)
- Auxiliary Input Jack
- USB 2.1 Charger Ports (one in console, one in the rear)
- 12 V Power Outlets (one in front, one in the rear, one in the way back)
- 110 V Power Inverter (in the rear seat)
And, of course, there’s premium harman/kardon sound to support it all.
Cargo Space for Days!
Yes, there are three rows standard and the third row is actually comfortable and manageable for bigger kids and smaller adults if you slide the second row forward a bit. But the cargo space is amazing. With the third row down, you’ll get 38 cubic feet but with the second and third row down, you’ll get a whopping 73 cubic feet of cargo space!
And That’s Not All
It’s true. I liked more than four things on the 2019 Kia Sorento. And there were some things I didn’t love. You’ll have to take a look at my in-depth walkthrough to see how major or minor those things were.
Coming in at just over $44,000, this Kia Sorento is priced about where I’d expect it to be. Compared to luxury vehicles of the same size, it’s a bargain for everything you get on this top of the line model. If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, you can look at the base model, the Kia Sorento L which starts at around $26,000.