PINEHURST, NC — June 22, 2022– When I started researching our car of the week, the 2022 Kia Sorento X-Line SX-Prestige AWD, I went to the Kia website.
It took me a few minutes to find the Sorento models, AND, interestingly enough, our Sorento X-Line SX- Prestige AWD is the top of the line. The interesting thing to me was that the Sorento line starts with the LX at $29,590, so you can get a really nice mid-sized SUV starting at a very reasonable price. With LX being the starter model, there are seven more models in ascending cost and standard equipment – the S at $32,390; the X-Line S AWD at$ 34,390; the EX a $35,490; the X-Line EX AWD at $39,190 (are you seeing a pattern?); the SX at 38,290; the SX Prestige at $41,190, and our Sorento, the X-Line SX Prestige AWD at $43,190. All of that was to say, there are lots of choices here but a fully loaded, really comfortable, really quiet SUV, at $41,190 is a good price. Actually, the monroney on our car had a sticker of $43,090, so inflation must have kicked in from the time they did their website until the X-Line SX Prestige AWD showed herein. No matter how you look at it, it’s a lot of car for the money as you will see.
We are going to hit the highlights of the Sorento we had, and once you understand what all you get for $43,090, we think you will be interested if you are in the market.
Let’s start with the 2.5L Turbo 4-cylinder engine with 281 HP and 311 lb.-ft. torque. Since I am often a little critical of 4-cylinder Turbos who hesitate, I have to praise the Sorento we had for being ‘immediately’ responsive to pressure on the gas pedal. I was very pleasantly surprised by the responsiveness of the vehicle and the smoothness with which it went through the 8 speeds of the transmission. The ‘spunky’ engine delivers 27 mpg highway and 22 mpg city for a 24-mpg average. Good enough for me.
While ours was the top-of-the-line SX-Prestige, it was based on the X-Line, which, according to KIA, “can take you on the rugged path less traveled. With unique to X-Line exterior appearance and impressive handling, this off-road capable SUV adds these features to the base model Sorento:
* Torque-Vectoring All-Wheel Drive
* Center Locking Differential
* 1-inch Higher Ground Clearance
* Capable Roof Rails for additional cargo
* Aggressive X-Line Front and Rear Bumpers
* Exclusive Matte Black Lower Body Cladding
* Unique Wheels with all-season tires”
Two things from this, the top-of-the-line Sorento is an off-road capable machine, and it has all the luxury features you would expect in a much more expensive SUV. I like it.
Also, remember that all the features we are talking about are ‘standard’ in the 2022 KIA Sorento X-Line SX-Prestige AWD—which means you get a lot of bang for your buck, such as the Panoramic Sunroof w/ Power Sunshade, the Smart Power Liftgate, High-Utility Roof Rails, 2nd Row Captain’s Chairs w/ Seating up to 6, Heated & Ventilated Front Seats, Heated 2nd Row Seats, and Heated Steering Wheel. The only options are the X-Line Rust Interior Package and the one thing we can never, ever understand when we come across fully loaded cars such as this, where carpeted floormats which are an extra—in the Sorrento, $210.
We loved the big 10.25-inch Touchscreen Navigation and the Bose Premium Audio System. Unfortunately, XM subscription wasn’t current so I didn’t listen to the radio, BUT it did give me plenty of time to evaluate the excellent quietness of the interior. Also, once the all-electric adjustable driver’s seat was put in position, I only had to push the Driver 1 button to get my settings into play, while Laurie set her seat at Driver 2. The Smart Key had Remote Start and the mirrors turned in when you locked the door. Also, approach the car with the key in your pocket and the mirrors turned out, put your thumb on the button on the door handle and all doors unlocked. The wireless phone charger was recessed, so your phone slid into the charger out of the way, plus when you turned the car off, you got a reminder that there was a cell phone in the charger, and also a notice to ‘check the backseat’, if the car detected weight back there, I expect.
When it comes to safety, the KIA brings a lot to the table. Consider the Surround View Monitor, the Blind-Spot View Monitor, and the Parking Distance Warning – Forward and Reverse. The Forward warning is something we are really starting to see. If you get too close to a high curb, the parking meter, a sign, the garage wall (Yes, that’s me), as examples, a warning beep and usually a visual that show white, yellow, and red comes up to show you how close you are to whatever is in front of you. We have had rear cameras for a while now and back up lines that show you where you are in the parking area and how close you are to the car behind you when parking, but the Forward Warning adds a new element of safety. Who doesn’t want that? I certainly do!
From a safety stand point, here are some things to consider. It is interesting to me that these things, once thought new and innovative, are now considered ‘standard’. Once again, keeping people out of accidents is just as important as protecting them in accidents. This car has a government five-star safety rating for side-crash, front and rear seats, and four stars for rollover. The jury is still yet out on the rating for frontal crash, driver and passenger.
We had the Enhanced Auto Emergency Braking Technology with Cyclist Detection and Junction Turning. Cyclist Detection was self-explanatory, but “Junction Turning” was a new term, which means, as I found out, “detects the oncoming car from the other side when turning left at a junction and, if a collision appears likely, applies the brakes to stop the car.” Gives new meaning to ‘Smart Car’, doesn’t it? There is also Rear Cross- Traffic Alert and Avoidance, Lane Keeping and Lane Following Assist, Save Exit Assist (since I first saw that in a commercial where a child could not get out of the back seat because the car knew a car was coming up on that side, I have really liked this), and Navigation-Based Smart Cruise Control – Curve, referred to as NSCC, is yet another step forward, reading the posted speed signs and, when you are in cruise control, adjusting your speed accordingly. The Curve part was new to me, and basically it reads if you are going into a curve and slows the vehicle down to accommodate the curve. These features are being put into place to help with the automated vehicles we are slowly moving toward. We are seeing so much happen right before our eyes.
It’s a good time to be driving, at least from a comfort and safety standpoint, and the KIA Sorento X-Line SX Prestige AWD is definitely one of those vehicles. And in these unsettling times when gas is north of $5 a gallon, the Kia Sorento X-Line gets an average 24 miles per gallon city/highway, which is not bad for an all-wheel-drive roomy SUV that seats five and has an optional third row to make it seven.
This is a beautiful, stylish, elegantly appointed SUV with rugged good looks, and a delight to drive. The dedicated X-line grill, front and rear bumpers, and 20-inch gray alloy wheels with all-season tires, contoured and molded body, and aerodynamic design are tasteful, not overwhelming, like some manly vehicles that look like they’ve been shot with testosterone. Available in nine exterior colors, the Kia Sorento is one of the few vehicles on the road that offers green—in this case, Aruba green, countered with matte black lower body cladding—and if you love the outdoors, like we do, that would definitely be our choice; and the roof rails for additional cargo if you’re camping, canoeing, or heading for the slopes makes this is truly a sportsman’s delight. And, because the lift is an inch increased ride height, you get that much more ground clearance, which is important when you’re driving on rugged terrain, off the beaten path—which this SUV is capably engineered to handle.
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So, once again Kia delivers—and delivers big. Check out your local Kia dealer. Ours, in Pinehurst/Southern Pines, North Carolina is SOUTHERN PINES KIA, www.southernpineskia.com, 10910 US-501, Southern Pines, NC 28387, (910) 684- 1010.
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In the New York metropolitan area, YONKERS KIA at 1850 Central Park Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10710, (844) 327-7844 or go online to www.yonkerskia.com