2015 Kia Sorento
If you have a family, then you understand the importance of getting value for your hard earned money. And when it comes to buying a new family truckster, you shouldn't have to spend a small fortune to get what you want. Enter the 2015 Kia Sorento. A cheap alternative to the costly CUV benchmarks from Honda & Toyota. But the new Sorento is anything but cheap...
2015 Kia Sorento - What's new?
Simply put; everything. Kia calls it a 'mid-cycle facelift', but 80% of the vehicle is new. The chassis has been redesigned to provide better handling, with less noise and vibration. A new direct injected 3.3L V6 replaces the old 3.5L, and it produces a healthy 290-hp. This engine sits atop a stiffened front sub-frame, hung with a new independent front suspension for better handling. Kia even added a strut tower brace in the engine bay, like they have on performance cars. This helps make the structure of the 2015 Kia Sorento a lot stiffer, which enables this bigish CUV to respond to steering inputs much faster, without upsetting the smooth ride.
And speaking of steering, the 2015 Kia Sorento now has an electric steering system called FlexSteer. On last year's Sorento, the steering wheel was directly connected to the front wheels. The FlexSteer setup on the 2015 Kia Sorento eliminates the steering shaft, and hydraulic power steering pump. Replacing them with a series of sensors, and electric motors. When you turn the wheel, the computer calculates the angle, and tells an electric motor how far you want the front wheels to turn. You can even press a button to select how heavy or light you want the steering to be. But with the steering wheel not connected to the wheels, you're not going to get a lot of feedback from the front wheels. If you trust the long term reliability of computers and sensors, then you'll probably love the new FlexSteer system (you also get that famous 10-year / 100,000 mile warranty fyi).
Another notable mechanical feature of the 2015 Kia Sorento is the new Torque on Demand All-Wheel Drive. Unlike a standard AWD system, Kia's four-paw setup can route additional torque to the outside rear wheel as you go through a curve, helping to push your CUV through turns with a bit more dignity. Called Torque Vectoring Cornering Control or TVCC, this system is similar to Acura's performance-oriented Super Handling AWD (SH-AWD). But it's in a Kia, so it costs like $1.99
The upgrade 191-hp 2.4 liter GDI 4-pot from last year's model returns as the standard engine, paired with a 6-speed automatic.
2015 Kia Sorento - Style
Since the look of the previous model was so popular, Peter Schreyer decided to simply improve on that design. The signature Tiger Nose grille has grown in size, and it's now flanked by sharp looking projector headlights, which are accented by LED running lights. The entire front fascia has been smoothed out, and the back now features a set of mesmerizing LED tail lights.
On the inside, the 2015 Kia Sorento gets a new dash and center stack design. Resembling a jukebox from the year 2045, the expensive-looking center stack can now house an optional 8-inch touchscreen, loaded with Kia's UVO infotainment-distraction system. There's also a new instrument panel with a 7-inch TFT digital speedometer. Above all that, you'll find a larger glass roof with power sun shades. And the new flagship model; 2015 Kia Sorento SX Limited (SXL), gets rich Nappa leather seats, and some tasteful wood trim. Kia says that the new SXL is "an inviting respite from the stress and strain of urban existence". Which is marketing speak for "this thing's pretty darn nice".
Thanks to all of those meaningful changes, the 2015 Kia Sorento is finally starting to get some of that "refined smoothness" found in more expensive CUVs like the Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot. Kudos Kia!