The Kia Sorento 2019 is at a turning point in the history of the Korean brand. The latter is no longer in a catch-up position to the established automobile order, the fruit of years spent consistently offering attractive options to consumers through a wide range of segments. Add to this a well-calculated job to project, at the same time the image of a manufacturer of economic cars, but also of stylized products accessible to the general public. Really, those charged with planning Kia’s future are living an exciting time.

This is not the time to make significant changes to the models that have allowed the company to get where it is. That’s why the refreshed version of the Kia Sorento, a SUV as popular as it is competent, seems to be heading in the right direction.

Do not misunderstand: the Kia Sorento is one, if not the most important vehicle in the Kia family. It has sold more than 100,000 copies annually in the last seven years before the 2018 vintage breaks this sequence due to a smaller print run.

For 2019, we do not modify a winning recipe. In most cases, improvements to the Sorento should be described as evolutionary and not revolutionary. In fact, if you take a quick look, you may find it difficult to notice the most important aesthetic changes. These include new rims, a new facies and the application of a different treatment to the rear. Viewed in profile, it is difficult to distinguish the model reviewed from the one that is replaced, which is not a bad thing if we consider that it was pretty.

Inside, the story is similar with, in particular, an improvement of the Harman Kardon audio system that allows to add in appearance on certain variants. The addition of a third row of seats, which was not offered until now, is also noteworthy. We still enjoy an excellent load volume, including a total of 73 cubic feet (2067 liters) with the seats of the second and third rows folded down.

Mechanically, we focus on the card of Kia Sorento 2019, not only for what it brings us “new”, but also for what she left on the table. Thus, it is no longer possible to order this intermediate SUV with the 4-cylinder turbocharged 2-liter engine that has always been sold as the representative of the sportiness of the family, a block that I found particularly irresistible vis-à-vis -vis the biggest V6 that is always in the game.

Be it understood, there is nothing wrong with this 3.3-liter 6-cylinder engine that offers 290 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque. However, turbo mechanics appeared to be as fast in most everyday driving situations, as well as offering better fuel economy in urban areas. On the mountain roads that connect Colorado ski resort host cities, I was impressed by the frugality of the V6. The latter almost now has the manufacturer’s unofficial average fuel consumption rating of 9 liters per 100 kilometers.

Much of this savings can be attributed to the work of the eight-speed automatic transmission that comes standard with the 3.3-liter engine. If your goal is to reduce your expenses to the maximum, both at the pump and the purchase of the vehicle, you can still fit the Sorento a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that is good for 185 horsepower and works in concert with a six-speed automatic transmission. All Wheel Drive is available with both engines and features a 50/50 torque distribution system to help you get out of unexpected situations, whether in snow or mud, all using of a button, a signed approach Kia.

Absolutely worthy of interest

It would be easy to classify the Kia Sorento as a simple SUV among others through a market that is flooded, at least before driving. For the family, the 2019 Sorento is one of the few affordable vehicles (the base price should be around $ 30,000) that is both pretty and offers a docile and well calibrated driving experience. Not only does this product offer more equipment than is expected for the price (another Kia signature), it plays almost equally with similar proposals in the high-end segment when we focus on the SXL version. The latter advances a new leather upholstery which, frankly, is rather attractive.

On the road, the combination of the powerful V6 engine and the smooth workmanship of the eight-speed automatic was highly appreciated on Colorado’s mountain roads. The cabin filters noises well, except perhaps for times when engine revolutions are higher. The seats, heated and ventilated, are comfortable and provide good support. All-round visibility is also excellent, which is an important consideration due to the size of the vehicle. The king of SUVs at Kia is made for the road, especially if you opt for the SXL variant, offered under $ 50,000.

Kia will unveil a new three-row SUV shortly. Bigger, it will dethrone the Sorento as the most prestigious offer of the group for families. However, it is hard to imagine this pearl disappearing from the shopping list of consumers looking for this rare marriage of price, versatility and style.

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