Kia, Road Test Reviews, Vehicles

2016 Kia Sorento SX Turbo AWD – Road Test, Iain Shankland

I haven’t driven the Kia Sorento in a few years now – in fact it was around the time they launched the previous all-new model… that looked like the one before it. The 2016 version is all-new and it looks… like the one before it!! That is until you see the previous generation… then you realize – they aren’t even close to being identical, it’s an illusion. To be honest I have always really liked the look of the Sorento and fortunately there aren’t a ton of them around, so you can’t really get sick of looking at them – unlike its brother-from-a-different-mother, the Hyundai Santa Fe that clogs every road and parking lot in my neck of the woods. The all-new 2016 Sorento is bigger and better looking than the version it replaces, but is it better?  Let’s find out….

What Is It? 

  • Large-ish CUV/SUV
  • Available in 2.4L I-4 (base model), 2.0L Turbo I-4, or a 3.3L V-6
  • 6-speed Sportmatic transmission
  • Available in 7-passenger configuration for those that can’t bear to get a mini van
  • It thinks it’s a Kia, but it’s really a Lexus
  • Wider and longer than the outgoing model
  • Towing: 3,500 lbs
  • Unless you want/need 5,000 lbs for towing, you don’t need the V-6 AWD, Iain Shankland
How Does It Look?

  • Classy and elegant but
  • Understated and easily confused with a Lexus at first glance
  • I really love the look of this vehicle
  • Great looking rims and a glass moon roof the covers the entire roof, Iain Shankland What’s It Like Inside?

  • Very comfortable and it doesn’t feel big – until you turn around and look in the back
  • Driver’s position is absolutely perfect and the steering wheel is the perfect size
  • Heated and cooled front seats
  • Driver’s seat is incredibly comfortable – there’s even lots of bolster under the knees
  • Multi-way lumbar adjustment – height as well as inflation – very pleasant surprise
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Wife wasn’t impressed with the front passenger seat felt it didn’t hug her enough when going into corners
  • Rear seat is spacious and one passenger noted that it felt extremely open with plenty of room – far better than the 2016 Ford Explorer she was in the day before
  • Flat floor in the rear – perfect for 3 adults across…and their feet, Iain ShanklandSo How Quick Is It & How Does It Handle?                    

  • I climb into the Sorento and head home thinking I’m driving the V-6 model
  • It’s very impressive and very quick
  • Get home and look at the details of the vehicle and discover – it’s the 2.0L Turbo engine!!!
  • I was expecting a sticker price of around $48,000+. Actual price: $42,095. Sweet
  • There is no need to get the V6 – the Turbo 4-banger is more than you’ll ever need
  • Steering input is just about perfect – perfectly weighted and instantly responsive
  • More torque than the V6… and at much lower rpm (1,450 – 3,500 vs. 5,300)
  • Pulling away from stop signs/lights took a lot of concentration, the gas pedal would move, move, connect, launch! A smoother transition from stop to moving would be nice. I found that if I let it move before squeezing on the gas pedal it helped prevent, Iain Shankland

Horsepower: 240 @ 6,000
Torque:  260 @ 1,450 – 3,500
0 – 60 mph: 8.0 seconds

What Does It Cost?
– For up-to-date pricing and options in your region visit:   or
The 2016 Kia Sorento SX Turbo AWD comes with a 2.0L I-4 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission

To Buy…  
Base Price Canada: $42,095 (2.4L FWD base model starts at $27,495)
Base Price U.S: $33,795

To Operate…

  • Fuel economy was a little above what I expected. I averaged 12.5L/100 km with average driving. My best was 10.1 on the highway at a steady 110 kph and in stop and go averaged 13.5L/100 km
  • (L/100 km) is rated at: City -12.3 / Highway – 9.3 / combined – 10.9
  • S. mpg: City -19 / Highway – 22

Noteworthy Standard Features

  • Rear view camera
  • Power everything
  • Premium leather seats
  • 10-way driver’s seat w/ 4-way lumbar
  • 8-way power front passenger seat
  • Heated and cooled front seats & heated rear seats
  • Xenon HID Headlamps – auto-levelling
  • LED taillights and foglights
  • Smart key w/push button start
  • BlindSpot Detection – I thought it wasn’t working until I signalled to change lanes and the alarm went off, so other than the light in the mirror, it’s very unobtrusive until it’s needed
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert – although switched on, it never gave me any warnings at all
  • Infinity Premium Sound System
  • Navigation
  • Leather heated steering wheel
  • Smart Power Liftgate (hands-free it opens when it senses your smart key – no hands or feet required. Once open, the lift gate matches your height to make closing it even more convenient)
  • Panorama sunroof
  • 110 volt power invertor
  • LED interior lighting (map, sunvisor, room & luggage lights)
  • Uniquely engineered body that combines Ultra High Strength Steel throughout its structure – more than twice the amount used in previous generations

The Competition
Ford Edge, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Grand Cherokee, LandRover Discovery Sport, Lexus RX350, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Venza, Iain ShanklandThe Good, The Bad and The Ugly

  • The Good: Everything. From the wonderful seats, the solid feel and ultra-quiet interior to the superb engine that just GOES when you stomp on the pedal
  • Abundant standard features
  • Takes regular fuel – none of this over-priced premium stuff
  • The Bad: Nothing.
  • The Ugly: Absolutely nothing, this is a wonderful vehicle that people MUST put on their test-drive list

What’s The Verdict? 
Kia just keep getting better and better. If you blindfolded someone and drove them around in the Sorento they’d tell you they were in a very expensive luxury vehicle. This vehicle far exceeded my expectation and was $5-6,000 less than I expected it to be. Anyone in the market for an SUV has to have a look at the Sorento. Price, quality and features – it can’t be beat! Why drive a Hyundai Santa Fe like a million other people in your neighbourhood when you can drive a Sorento?! Seriously… everywhere I turn there’s a Santa Fe – I wouldn’t buy one JUST because everyone else is driving one, besides the Sorento is way better anyway!

Copyright © 2016 by Iain Shankland
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Iain Shankland

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