Kia shows new 2014 Sorento SX Crossover at Detroit Auto Show
Kia’s new 2014 Sorento SX, shown at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, highlights the company’s desire to step further and further into the luxury segment with its existing offerings through redesigns. Already a popular 7 passenger crossover after only 3 years in existence, the new Sorento has 4/5ths of its parts replaced vs the 2013 model. What customers will notice most is the new Infotainment system, the new engines, and the level of luxury its top of line SX trim offers.
Kia realizes that in order to pull customers in from Lexus and other premium brands its interiors need to feature full functionality audio and information systems. To achieve that Kia has enlarged its display offerings to include an 8” display for all of the Infinity audio, Sirius Satellite Radio, and navigation information. The UVO telematics system will also now feature Google Maps which is new to both the Hyundai and Kia brands. In addition to the newly upmarket infotainment Kia will now also offer a panoramic sunroof with a power retractable shade. On SX trims the seats will be covered in Napa leather. Those seats including the middle row will be heated. Other SX interior upgrades include more impressive headliner and pillar trimming. The luxury continues with a power tailgate lift. There is very little, if anything, missing from this SX model that would be found in the full luxury crossover segment, except about $15,000 in sticker price. The SX trim level has been very popular on the Optima sedan, and it will very likely have a high take rate on the Sorento as well. Like the new Cadenza from Kia, the Sorento is moving decidedly upscale.
The exterior upgrades to the 2014 Kia Sorento include much fancier lighting. The front and rear will now incorporate LED lighting. Fog lights are now more functional and available on all trim levels. The SX will have Xenon HID lighting. SX trims also get red painted calipers and chrome wheels.
The current Kia Sorento with its 3.5 liter engine achieves decent fuel economy for the class. It can almost match the new Hyundai Sonata Sport’s 2.0 turbo fuel economy. The new 290 horsepower 3.3 liter V6 coming may equal that engine’s fuel economy rating or perhaps even go past it. This would be just one more example to help debunk the myth that 4-cylinder turbocharged engines can match the power and efficiency of an equally modern V6. Wisely, Kia is making the V6 standard on many of its trim levels. Others will get the 2.4 liter gasoline, direct injected engine that offers 191 horsepower. It should be noted that Kia’s engines have always been competitive, but the 290 horsepower V6 on the 2014 will offer more power than the Lexus RX350 and the BMW X3 2.8 and will be priced dramatically lower. Kia will also top both those manufacturers in warranty duration.
Kia’s new 2014 Sorento will be an excellent alternative to those looking for a 5 plus 2, seven passenger crossover. When outfitted with the SX or SX limited trim level it is hard to see what is missing when compared to the much more expensive offerings in the marketplace.