The 2014 Kia Sorento has retained its key feature, its five plus two seating arrangement, as well as its basic styling cues, but has changed in just about every other way. Like its sister the Hyundai Sonata, it has undergone a complete engine change and platform change for its new 2014 model year, slated to start sales in early 2013.
The 2014 Kia model uses 80% new components, but it still has its handsome and distinct styling. Although on a new platform, the Sorento does not seem to be following Hyundai’s Sonata in offering two wheelbases. We will confirm that in future reviews. Presently the Sorento has the perfect mix of five passenger comfort with two pop up jump seats for family dinner outings and emergency car pool duty. Unlike in the Toyota RAV-4 which removed its rear seats, this key feature is to be retained. In addition, the panoramic sunroof that extends way back to the rear seats is also going to be an option going forward.
The 2014 Sorento will have a new V6 engine available. The new 3.3 liter gas-direct-injected (GDI) engine puts out an impressive 290 horsepower. Kia has had very competitive engine offerings in its vehicles of late and we expect that this new mill will keep the Sorento at the top of the fuel efficiency ratings. Although the 2.0 Turbo available in the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is not slated for the options list, the 2.4 normally aspirated four will be the standard engine with a solid 191 horsepower. Both engines will be matched with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Other than engine changes, the main update for the 2014 Kia Sorento is the infotainment packages available. All models will have a larger screen for interfacing the radio and Nav and models equipped with Nav get a larger touch screen. Satellite traffic and an Infinity sound system are available. The big news is that Kia is introducing its new telematics system it calls UVO eServices. Telematics systems are now available on most brands and they do offer many functions and features drivers want. The Sorento now can also come equipped with vented front seats and a power tailgate.
Hyundai and Kia are not stopping to rest on their journey from economy car to luxury car. They may be close to the finish line.