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Kia’s Sorento X-Pro Prestige – WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?

Car Reviews

Kia’s Sorento X-Pro Prestige – WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?

Kia’s Sorento X-Pro Prestige


I’ve not been to Sorrento, Italy – and given the intentional misspelling of its namesake city by the product team at Kia, I’ll guess few members of that group have been there, either. To its credit, the Sorento tag exudes a vibe far more exotic than Hyundai’s Tucson or Santa Fe, if not as western or rugged (or, hell…Rocky Mountain High) as Kia’s own Telluride. But regardless of how much or little we know about Sorrento, there’s a lot to like in Kia’s midsize crossover of that almost-the-same name. 

Described by the EPA as a small SUV, Kia’s Sorento occupies what I regard as the midsize crossover category, positioned between Kia’s smaller Sportage and the aforementioned Telluride, and competes against players such as Honda’s Passport and (perhaps) Jeep’s Grand Cherokee. In the walkup you’ll see upright proportions, a reasonably generous greenhouse and easy access to both front and rear seats. 

A 2024 refresh gives the Sorento a ‘bolder’ – per the press release – character, with a new lighting design up front, while the vertical taillamps in back accurately mimic the well-received Telluride. The cosmetic changes are all (supposedly) futuristic, and I’ll guess that’s accurate. For me, the best news is that in this refresh no one did any harm.

2024 Kia Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro

Inside, as you would have anticipated, a panoramic curved display houses both auto-specific info – via an all-digital presentation – and infotainment, while leaving controls such as ventilation easily accessible and adjustable. Within the context of 2024 Kia’s design team has seemingly struck a ‘best of both’ execution, with good sight lines and reach to those controls, and an easy grasp for the neophyte of what they do. Add to that the predictably high hip point and decent glass area, and you’ll enjoy a King of the Road feel without saddling yourself with Ford’s King Ranch. 

Underhood, Kia supplies its Sorento with a host of choices, beginning with a non-descript 2.5 liter normally aspirated four delivering 191 horses and 195 lb-ft of torque. This is the powertrain to spec if you have a budget of $35K and no more; it’s workmanlike, will get the kiddos to school, but will provide no joy whatsoever. More involving are the two hybrid choices, regular and plug-in. And most expressive – and expensive – is our test vehicle’s 2.5 liter turbocharged four with 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. With this, expect a 0-60 of around 6 seconds (you’ll never be late to school!), along with an EPA estimate of 20 City/27 Highway and 23 Combined. 

2024 Kia Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro

For those of you valuing efficiency, the hybrid promises 39 City/35 Highway, while the plug-in will deliver up to 32 miles of all-electric operation. And both deliver that efficiency via a 1.6 liter turbocharged four and the electric assist of their respective hybrid drivetrains.

Beyond our SX-Prestige trim’s premium appointments, which includes that panoramic display with navigation, SynTex seating and 2nd row captain’s chairs, all Sorentos give you the bonus of a 3rd row, a feature that most of its immediate competition doesn’t provide. And while it’s not the most accessible of third rows, and a tight fit for even smallish adults, as a grandparent it’s invaluable, and a ‘bonus room’ I wish our ’23 Grand Cherokee had offered. You can spec a 3rd-row in the Jeep, and Kia provides the 3-row Telluride, but both are longer – and may not be compatible your garage space. The Sorento’s 3rd-row is right there, and didn’t require checking an option box. 

Finally, a nod to the Sorento’s X-Pro trim. Equipped – again, to quote the press material – to provide ‘exhilarating outdoor excursions’, the X-Pro Sorento is equipped with 17-inch all-terrain tires mounted on matte black alloy wheels, a bump in towing capacity, real leather seating and a 115V power adapter. With this you still won’t want to hop boulders in Moab, but you can more safely access the bike trails in summer or those ski slopes in winter. And (again) to their credit, Kia didn’t go overboard with a butch-type makeover; Subaru’s design team should take note…

At the end of the day – and, critically, the end of a two-day road trip from Northern Virginia to the Poconos of Pennsylvania – the Sorento receives our ‘buy’ recommendation. If using its third row for vacations, know you’ll need a storage box on top to accommodate your stuff. But if you have a family of four the Sorento is decidedly capable and eminently comfortable. And at just under $50K for the X-Pro SX Prestige, it’s within the realm of what we call – in 2024 – affordable. Whether we like it or not.

Boldt, a contributor to outlets such as, Kelley Blue Book and Autoblog, brings to his laptop some forty years of experience in automotive retail, journalism and public relations. He is a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, The Washington Automotive Press Association and L.A.'s Motor Press Guild. David is the Managing Editor of txGarage, a regular panelist on the AutoNetwork Reports webcast/podcast, and the automotive contributor to Dallas' Katy Trail Weekly.

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