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2011 Kia Sorento

By luanpa in | September 4, 2010 | (2) Comments

The 2010 KIA SUV Sorento has been reinvented in its second generation as a far more relevant, if slightly less macho, crossover. And not a moment too soon.

The chassis is shared with the Hyundai Santa Fe  and has a strut-type suspension in front and a multilink design at the back. In place of the outgoing model’s wheezy 3.3- and 3.8-liter V-6s are a miserly 2.3-liter four-cylinder and a gutsy 3.5-liter V-6. All transmissions—a manual for base four-bangers and autos for the rest—have six forward speeds. Front-wheel drive replaces rear-wheel drive as the base drivetrain offering, and the optional four-wheel-drive system now employs an electronic locking differential.

The Kia’s steering is rather quick—3.0 turns lock-to-lock—and ensures there is little slop off-center, along with a spirited feel to things once the wheel is turned. It was raining heavily during our drive, so we didn’t push it. We did, however, find it easy to sense hydroplaning and equally easy to catch it with a flick of the wrist without giving the stability-control system fits.

The engine choices seem right for the times. The four-cylinder is nearly silent in operation off-throttle and remains smooth and vibration-free all the way to the redline. With all-wheel-drive versions, we found power to be reasonable. The optional 3.5-liter V-6 pumps out 273 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque and moves the Sorento along more briskly. But neither mill will set one’s heart ablaze.

Both engines come mated to a six-speed automatic that feels in character with either choice, if a bit slow. A six-speed manual is available on the el cheapo model, although it’s a configuration for which Kia expects few customers to opt. (Unfortunately, Kia had no examples of the manual available for us to experience.) The good news is that, should a buyer want to upgrade from the four-cylinder to the V-6, there is only a 1-to-2-mpg penalty for doing so. Get the V-6 if you can swing it.

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2 responses to "2011 Kia Sorento"

  1. […] 2011 Kia Sorento | Car Blog | Hybrid Electric Cars […]

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