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2004 Kia Sorento Sport Utility Crossover

4dr LX Manual

Starting at | Starting at 16 MPG City - 19 MPG Highway

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  • $18,995 original MSRP
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2004 Kia Sorento Sport Utility Crossover

Printable Version

2004 Kia Sorento Sport Utility Crossover

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2004 Kia Sorento

Source: New Car Test Drive

Base Price (MSRP) - $18,995
As Tested (MSRP) - $28,085

Introduction

The Kia Sorento is a mid-size SUV that packs a big V6 engine. It seats five with lots of elbow room. It's built like a truck, with a separate truck-style frame. It will go most anywhere its rivals can off road. Yet the Sorento maintains a civil attitude on the pavement. On the road or off, it is nimble and comfortable. Its long wheelbase and wide stance give it stability at high speeds and in corners.

What sets the Sorento apart is its price: $5,000 to $6,000 less than comparable SUVs. Yet it comes loaded with standard features.

For 2004, Kia has made the Sorento more appealing to enthusiast drivers. A manual transmission is now available and a new Sport Package adds Michelin tires, alloy wheels, fog lights, step bars, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a roof rack, and remote keyless entry.

 

Model Lineup

The 2004 Kia Sorento is available in two trim levels: LX ($18,995) and EX ($23,050), also available in LX 4WD ($20,800) and EX 4WD ($24,850).

All Sorentos are powered by a 3.5-liter, 24-valve, double overhead-cam V6 rated 192 horsepower. All come with dual front airbags and dual side-curtain airbags in the front and rear.

The base LX comes with air conditioning, cloth upholstery, an eight-way manually adjustable driver's seat, central locking, power windows, dual heated power mirrors, cruise control, tilt steering, AM/FM/CD audio with eight speakers, a rear cargo cover, tow hooks and skid plates. Many of these features cost extra on other SUVs.

LX comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission. An electronically controlled four-speed automatic is optional for the LX 2WD ($1,755) and LX 4WD ($1,850). The price of the automatic is high because it includes a roof rack and an upgrade from 16-inch steel to 16-inch aluminum wheels. A new Sport Package ($1,200) for LX with manual transmission includes Michelin all-season tires, alloy wheels, fog lights, step bars, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a roof rack, and remote keyless entry.

EX comes standard with the automatic transmission, roof rack, and aluminum wheels. EX also adds a power tilt-and-slide sunroof; velour upholstery; eight-way power driver's seat; leather-wrapped steering wheel; remote keyless entry; auto-dimming rear-view mirror; a compass, outside temperature gauge, barometer and altimeter in the overhead console; 10-speaker Delphi stereo; and all-season Michelin tires. EX also comes with a different variable-effort power steering system. On the LX, steering effort is tied to engine speed; while the EX uses a more sophisticated electronic unit that senses vehicle speed. Leather upholstery is available as a stand alone option ($900) on EX only.

A Luxury Package ($1,500) for the EX 2WD adds leather seating, heated front seats, automatic air conditioning, automatic headlamps, a six-disc in-dash CD changer, and more chrome. The same package for the EX 4WD ($2,000) also includes a sophisticated Torque on Demand full-time all-wheel drive system with a true low range for serious off-road driving. A self-leveling rear suspension ($510) is also available for the EX.

Four-wheel anti-lock brakes ($595) are an extra-cost option on all models.

 

Walkaround

The designers of the Kia Sorento seem to have done what sometimes seems impossible in the SUV market: They designed an SUV that doesn't look like anything else.

From the side, particularly around the C-pillar, there's a slight resemblance to the Lexus RX 300, but the front of the Sorento has an individual look, if somewhat suggestive of the Mercedes M-Class. From the rear, the Sorento has distinctively broad shoulders, thanks to a shoulder line that steps out and sweeps around the tailgate. The truck's width, greater than most of its competitors', is apparent from this angle. Sorento's headlights have stylish clear covers. Out back, Kia managed to do something different with the taillights, where a circle of red dots light up in a spoke-like pattern.

The Sorento's front and rear overhangs are short, a sign of efficient design. Shorter overhangs are better for handling and for driving off road. The Sorento has about the same length wheelbase as a Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot, but the Sorento is shorter in overall length. That makes for a stable platform.

Visually, the Sorento EX is distinguished from the LX by color-keyed mirrors, two-tone bumpers and body cladding, fog lamps, and some bright trim inside and out.

 

2004 Kia Sorento
2004 Kia Sorento

Interior Features

The Kia Sorento is a roomy vehicle, offering exactly the same front and rear headroom, a little more rear shoulder room, and a little more leg room front and rear than the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Three adults will fit in the Sorento's back seat, with generous leg room and four cup holders.

The Sorento is built to a price, however, and this is most evident in the interior fittings. The EX has splashes of woodgrain trim, which is plastic doing a poor job of imitating wood. (Then again, the woodgrain trim in the Toyota Highlander isn't that great, either.) The woodgrain surrounds the center stack on the dash and splashes of it are on the door panels. The steering wheel rim on the Luxury package Sorento is half leather, half woodgrain, where a full-leather wheel would be nicer to grip.

The interior is loaded with features, however. A display on the EX provides readouts for outside temperature, compass, altitude, and barometric pressure, good for fishermen, boaters and other outdoors people. (Off-hand, we can think of no other car in history that has offered a barometer.) And there are lots of places to put stuff: An overhead console offers sunglasses storage, map lights and a garage door-opener pocket. The center console has double bins, and there are useful cubbies, including a soft-touch, slide-out storage bin and a tip-out coin bin, both felt-lined. A storage bin under front seat is standard, and the big lockable glove box has a map shelf plus the usual room. There are four power points: two up front, one for the second row and another in the cargo area. Those who frequent colder climes will appreciate the rear defroster and rear wiper, and the hot-wire windshield de-icer.

The automatic shifter is easy to reach and has a straight fore-and-back pattern. The control for four-wheel drive is a twist knob on the dash to the left of the steering wheel. You can shift into low range when it gets really tough. The ignition key is on the dash, easier than fumbling to find a column-mounted keyhole behind the steering wheel.

The cargo area is accessible through the main hatch, or through the glass rear window. There's another storage area under the cargo area floor. A cargo cover comes standard. The full-size spare tire is mounted under the vehicle and, if the model has alloy wheels, the spare is mounted on an alloy wheel as well. The rear seat flips and folds 60/40 to form a flat floor with a cargo capacity of 66.4 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. With the seat raised, there's 31.4 cubic feet of cargo room.

 

2004 Kia Sorento

Driving Impressions

The engine is smooth and powerful, barely perceptible at idle but producing a velvety roar at full throttle. Wind noise can be heard around the A-pillars, but it's not oppressive and certainly quieter than in the old Jeep Cherokee, the nadir of noise.

The Sorento needs all of its 192 horsepower and 217 pounds-feet of torque to move its considerable weight, but it has the oats to merge with freeway traffic and motor quietly once there. Its maximum towing capacity is 3500 pounds, enabling it to pull camping trailers, dirt bikes, personal watercraft and other lightweight trailers. The automatic Sorento gets 15/20 mpg EPA-estimated City/Highway.

The Sorento's wide track gives it a sense of stability in corners. Ride quality is acceptable, adequate around town and at lower speeds, but it could use some improvement at higher speeds. On the Interstate, longer pavement irregularities can induce odd ride motions. It never threatens vehicle control, but on a rolling roadway it could be annoying.

The Sorento comes standard with four-wheel disc brakes, and the large diameter vented discs will be hard to fade, even when descending long mountain passes with a heavy load. We recommend getting the optional anti-lock brakes as they allow the driver to maintain control of the steering in a panic stopping situation.

The Kia Sorento is quite capable off road. It has sturdy body-on-frame construction, and just how sturdy is apparent when one goes seriously off-road, which we did to test the Sorento in extreme conditions. And despite crawling over body-twisting trails, the Sorento didn't creak, groan or rattle, suggesting that the frame is sturdy indeed. The Sorento's excellent approach and departure angles are a benefit of its short front and rear overhangs, which makes picking through rugged terrain possible without scraping. Sorento's nimble turning radius makes navigation in the woods less difficult as well. Its 36.4-foot turning radius helps in tight parking lots, too. All 4WD Sorentos come with an Eaton viscous limited-slip differential in the rear axle, which improves traction.

Sorento is available with two different four-wheel-drive systems. The standard setup is a conventional transfer case that engages on the fly with the turn of a knob for part-time four-wheel drive. A low range is provided for the most challenging off-road situations.

Sorento EX 4WD with the Luxury Package comes with Kia's full-time, fully automatic Torque-on-Demand system, which electronically monitors for wheel slippage 200 times per second, and transfers power smoothly and quietly between the rear and front wheels with no input from the driver. This system also has a low range for serious off-road adventures.

 

2004 Kia Sorento

Summary

The 2004 Kia Sorento is a solid piece that will look good in your driveway, on the road, or in the woods or desert. And it works well in all those areas. Kia's SUV is a genuine truck, built on a separate frame, and it boasts a V6 engine. It's packed with interior features.

Value is the key to Kia. The Sorento comes with Kia's five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, and five-year/100,000 mile anti-perforation warranty. It's also covered by a five-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance plan. When price is factored in, the Sorento becomes even more attractive. Just about anyone could use an extra six thousand dollars in their pocket.


Model Line Overview

Base Price (MSRP) $18,995
As Tested (MSRP) $28,085

Model lineup: Kia Sorento LX 2WD ($18,995); LX 4WD ($20,800); EX 2WD ($23,050); EX 4WD ($24,850)
Engines: 3.5-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard): front airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, rear child safety door locks, LATCH system, pretensioners and force limiter for front seat belts, impact fuel cutoff ABS
Safety equipment (Optional): N/A
Basic warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles
Assembled in: Hwasung, South Korea

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): Kia Sorento EX 4WD ($24,850)
Standard equipment: automatic transmission; air conditioning; keyless remote entry; power locks; cruise control with steering wheel controls; tilt wheel; auto-dimming rear view mirror; Homelink; dual power heated outside mirrors; overhead console with display for outside temperature, compass, altimeter, barometer; rear cargo cover and cargo net; floor mats; Delphi AM/FM/CD stereo with 10 speakers; rear window defogger; rear intermittent wiper/washer; power windows w/ one-touch down; leather wrapped steering wheel; seat heaters; driver lumbar adjust; skid plates; trailer lighting connector; fog lamps; power sunroof; privacy glass; aluminum wheels
Options as tested: ABS ($595); Luxury Package ($2000) includes leather seats, heated front seats, automatic climate control, six-disc in-dash CD changer, automatic headlamps, Torque-on-Demand 4WD
Destination charge: 640
Gas Guzzler Tax: N/A
Layout: 4-wheel drive
Engine (Optional): 192-hp 3.5-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 192 @ 5500
Torque(lb.-ft. @ rpm): 217 @ 3000
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 15/20 mpg
Transmission (Optional): 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 106.7 in.
Length/width/height: 179.8/74.2/68.1 in.
Track, f/r: 62.2/62.2 in.
Turning circle: 36.4 ft.
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 38.3/55.3/42.6 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r: 38.0/58.0/36.1 in.
Cargo volume: 66.4 cu. ft.
Payload N/A
Suspension F: independent, double wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Suspension R: live axle, upper and lower trailing links, Panhard rod, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Ground Clearance: 8.2 in.
Curb weight: 4317 Lbs.
Towing capacity: 6500 Lbs.
Tires: P245/70R16
Brakes, f/r: disc/disc with ABS
Fuel capacity: 21.1 gal.

Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of 11/Aug/2003.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-333-4KIA - www.kia.com


Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive

Printable Version

2004 Kia Sorento Sport Utility Crossover

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std
Printable Version

2004 Kia Sorento Sport Utility Crossover

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Drivetrain 10 Years/100,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 5 Years/Unlimited Miles

Kia Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

120-months/100,000-mile Powertrain warranty from original in-service date
Age/Mileage Eligibility up to 5 model years old w/ less than 60,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 150
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 10-Year/Unlimited Mileage from In-Service Date
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $50

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2004 Kia Sorento Sport Utility Crossover

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