The 2023 Kia Sorento is making waves in the competitive mid-size crossover and SUV segment, offering a compelling blend of versatility, powertrain options, and fuel efficiency. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the key features, performance, pricing, and why the 2023 Kia Sorento deserves your consideration.
Key Features and Highlights
The 2023 Kia Sorento stands out in several aspects:
Versatility: With seating for up to seven passengers, the Sorento combines the utility of a larger SUV with better fuel economy and multiple powertrain configurations.
Engine Options: Buyers have a choice of powertrains, starting with a standard 191-hp inline-four engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission. For more power, there’s an available 281-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Kia also offers a 227-hp hybrid powertrain and a 261-hp plug-in hybrid (PHEV) with an impressive 32 miles of battery-electric range.
Interior Comfort: The Sorento offers a comfortable and spacious interior with available heated and cooled front and second-row seats, ensuring a pleasant ride for all passengers.
What’s New for 2023?
The 2023 Kia Sorento doesn’t introduce any major changes but does come with some noteworthy updates:
- Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are now standard on all models.
- The S trim now includes a wireless smartphone charging pad.
- The mid-range EX trim receives an eight-way power-adjustable passenger’s seat and a frameless rearview mirror.
- The upscale SX now features a 12.3-inch digital gauge display, power-folding exterior mirrors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
- Kia has introduced a fully loaded Hybrid SX-P trim with standard all-wheel drive, leather seating, and captain’s chairs for the second row.
- The Hybrid EX gets an eight-way power front-passenger seat and a frameless rearview mirror.
- The Sorento PHEV now comes exclusively in SX-Prestige trim, boasting a range of high-end features.
Pricing and Our Recommendation
The 2023 Kia Sorento offers a range of trims to suit various budgets and preferences. Among them, we recommend the EX hybrid. While it comes at a slightly higher price point, it offers excellent value with the more powerful turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain. Additionally, it includes premium features like leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, remote start, and stylish 17-inch wheels with black exterior accents.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Kia Sorento provides a wide selection of engine options and drivetrain configurations. You can choose between front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The standard 191-hp 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine is adequate, but for those seeking more power, the 281-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder is a compelling option. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Sorento hybrid features a turbo 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor, producing a combined 227 horsepower. On the other hand, the plug-in hybrid boasts a combined 261 horsepower, thanks to a more potent electric motor.
The Sorento delivers a poised handling experience, a comfortable ride, and responsive brake-pedal feedback. It’s worth noting that the Sorento hybrid and PHEV models contribute to a more eco-friendly driving experience.
Towing and Payload Capacity
While the Sorento may not be a towing powerhouse, it can handle moderate towing needs. With the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine and the optional towing package, it can tow up to 3500 pounds, making it suitable for tasks like hauling trailers or small boats.
Without the towing package or with the base non-turbo four-cylinder engine, the towing capacity drops to 2000 pounds. While it may not match the capabilities of the larger Telluride, the Sorento can still accommodate recreational towing or carrying extra cargo.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The 2023 Kia Sorento offers competitive fuel efficiency across its various powertrains. Here are the EPA estimated figures:
- Base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine: Up to 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
- Turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder: 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.
- Hybrid Sorento HEV: Impressive estimates of 39 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.
- Plug-in hybrid (PHEV): A combined rating of 79 MPGe and an estimated 32 miles of electric driving range.
It’s important to note that real-world fuel economy may vary based on driving conditions and individual driving habits. During testing, a Sorento EX Hybrid achieved 31 mpg on the highway, slightly below its EPA estimate.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Sorento’s interior is well-designed, featuring quality materials and a user-friendly layout. Key interior highlights include:
- Optional 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
- Attractive design elements like rhombus-shaped air vents and integrated ambient lighting.
- Abundant storage spaces and cupholders for convenience.
While the Sorento boasts a standard third row, it’s more suitable for children, and cargo space is somewhat limited compared to larger SUVs like the Telluride.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Kia equips the Sorento with modern infotainment and connectivity features:
- Standard 8.0-inch touchscreen or optional 10.3-inch touchscreen.
- Optional wireless charging pad.
- Available 12-speaker Bose sound system.
- Optional rear-seat entertainment system with touchscreens on the back of the front seats.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2023 Kia Sorento prioritizes safety with a range of standard and available driver-assistance technologies, including:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking.
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
For a comprehensive look at the Sorento’s safety ratings, you can refer to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Kia offers an exceptional warranty package with the Sorento:
- Limited warranty: Five years or 60,000 miles.
- Powertrain warranty: Ten years or 100,000 miles.
However, it’s worth noting that Kia does not include complimentary scheduled maintenance, which some competitors may offer.
The 2023 Kia Sorento impresses as a versatile mid-size crossover that provides a wide array of powertrain options, comfortable interior features, and a range of safety technologies. Whether you prioritize fuel efficiency, power, or a mix of both, the Sorento has a model to suit your needs. With its competitive pricing and Kia’s excellent warranty coverage, the 2023 Sorento is an attractive option in the crowded SUV market. Visit your nearest Kia dealership to experience the Sorento