Kia first revealed the updated crossover at the L.A. Auto Show in November, showing off more refined exterior features including new front and rear fascias with updated grille, revised headlamps, new rear bumper, tail lamps and a revised lift gate. Seven-passenger seating and a 7-inch touchscreen interface with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration will both be standard in the 2019 model, while the optional 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine is no more. In its place is the carry-over base 2.4-liter inline-four with a revised six-speed automatic, plus an optional 3.3-liter V6 with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. A diesel version is also forthcoming.
Inside the Sorento there’s a new steering wheel, shifter knob and revised air vents and gauges. Options include the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems package on the EX, SX and SX-L trims, which bring lane-keeping assistance and driver-attention warning technologies, and a premium Harman Kardon surround-sound system. The fully loaded SXL trim starts at $44,690 for front-wheel drive and $46,490 for all-wheel drive and includes LED headlights with high- and low-beam assist, LED fog lights, wireless phone charging and front parking sensors, among other perks.
A Magna Dynamax intelligent all-wheel-drive system is available on all trim levels except the base front-wheel drive L and features a 50-50 locking center differential and torque vectoring.
The new Sorento’s starting price is right in line with its 2018 predecessor and keeps it priced competitively with three-row crossover competitors like the Subaru Ascent, which starts at $31,995, and the Volkswagen Tiguan, which starts at $24,595. Sales of the Sorento fell 13 percent in 2017 to 99,684, making it Kia’s fourth top-selling vehicle behind the Optima, Soul and Forte.