The 2015 Kia Sorento is Kia’s largest, most capable crossover vehicle. It’s also well-equipped and has a long roster of standard equipment. The Sorento is available in both 2-row, 5-passenger and 3-row, 7-passenger configurations. Cargo space is generous on 2-row models, with 37 cu ft. available aft of the second-row seat and 72.5 cu ft. with the second-row seat folded flat. The maximum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds.
Both front- and all-wheel drive are offered, with the latter sporting a lockable electronic center differential that routes drive torque effectively to all four wheels. Also aiding back-road and poor-weather driving is standard hill-start assist, which keeps the Sorento from rolling back when starting on a hill, and downhill brake control, which helps keep the vehicle pointed straight ahead when descending steep downslopes.
Standard safety gear on all Sorento models includes dual front- and side-impact airbags, overhead airbags for the first two seat rows, active front-seat head restraints, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, and stability and traction control. An optional blind spot monitoring system is also available.
The Sorento is equipped with electric power steering to improve fuel economy and offers Flex Steer in EX and SX models, which lets the driver adjust steering effort by choosing between Comfort, Normal and Sport boost levels. The available all-wheel-drive system now comes with torque vectoring control to improve handling response.
What We Like
Well-equipped for the money; 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty; flat-folding second- and third-row seats; panoramic sunroof
What We Don’t
No dynamic cruise control option; third-row configuration a bit cramped
Fuel Economy & Engine Specs
The 2015 Sorento is available with a direct-injected 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine or a new direct-injected 3.3-liter V6. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard. All Sorento engines use regular unleaded fuel.
The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine makes 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. It has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with 2-wheel drive and 19 mpg city/25 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.
The 3.3-liter V6 is rated at 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. On front-wheel-drive versions, the engine is EPA-rated at 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy, while all-wheel-drive models receive an 18 mpg city/23 mpg hwy rating.
Standard Features & Options
The 2015 Kia Sorento is available in LX, EX, SX and SX Limited trims.
The Sorento LX offers standard air-conditioning, Bluetooth, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio with SiriusXM radio, USB input jacks, cloth seats with YES Essentials fabric treatment, cruise control, remote keyless entry, a trip computer, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with remote audio controls, a 40/20/40 split-folding second-row seat, third-row seating (V6 only), 17-inch alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors and power windows and door locks. LX options include a power driver’s seat (V6 only), a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, UVO infotainment, a backup camera, heated front seats, auto headlamps, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear air conditioning, second-row sunshades, fog lamps and roof rails.
Sorento EX models gain leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power driver’s seat, 18-in alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, fog lamps, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, second-row sunshades, third-row seating, a 115-volt outlet, auto headlamps, push-button start, Flexsteer steering modes, UVO infotainment, backup sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. EX models can also be optioned with a panoramic sunroof, voice-activated navigation with an 8-in display and real-time traffic, a 10-speaker Infinity Surround Sound system, a power passenger’s seat, driver’s-seat memory, a power lift gate, a HomeLink garage-door opener, ventilated front seats, blind spot monitoring, interior mood illumination and rear-seat DVD entertainment.
The Sorento SX upgrades to a panoramic sunroof, voice-activated navigation, a 10-speaker Infinity Surround Sound audio system, the HomeLink garage-door opener, stainless-steel pedals, an air-cooled driver’s seat, a power front-passenger seat, illuminated sill plates, a power lift gate, rear air conditioning, chrome exhaust tips, 19-in alloy wheels and blind spot monitoring.
Sorento SX Limited adds 19-in chrome wheels, Nappa leather seat upholstery, a heated wood-trimmed steering wheel, heated rear seats, a soft-touch headliner and self-leveling high-intensity-discharge headlamps.
The Sorento is one of Kia’s best-selling vehicles, so there should be a decent supply of used examples on used-car lots. Expect to pay more for well-equipped, V6-powered EX models. All-wheel drive is nice to have but doesn’t command a huge premium, because front-wheel-drive Sorentos with all-weather rubber can handle the vast majority of inclement-weather driving situations.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued no safety recalls for the 2015 Sorento as of the writing of this article.
Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.
Safety Ratings & Warranties
NHTSA gave the 2015 Sorento a 5-star overall rating, with five stars in side impacts and frontal impacts and four for rollover performance.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 Sorento Good ratings for side- and moderate-overlap front impacts, as well as head-restraint and seat performance, but a Poor rating for small-overlap front impacts.
Kia sold the 2015 Sorento with a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, an industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty (for original owners only), a 5-year/100,000-mile corrosion-perforation warranty and 5 years/60,000 miles of roadside-assistance coverage.
A Kia certified pre-owned vehicle can’t be more than 5 years old or have more than 60,000 miles on the odometer. Every certified pre-owned Sorento receives a 150-point inspection. Each receives a 1-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and the remainder of the vehicle’s original 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Also included is a Carfax vehicle-history report and roadside assistance.
Other Cars to Consider
2015 Chevrolet Equinox — Chevy’s Equinox seats just five, but its rear seat slides fore and aft to allow owners to custom-tailor passenger and cargo space according to the task at hand. A 301-hp 3.6-liter V6 delivers lively performance. The base 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine beats the Sorento with an impressive 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy EPA rating. The 2015 Equinox adds OnStar with 4G LTE and in-car Wi-Fi
2015 Dodge Journey — Aside from the Grand Caravan, the Journey is Dodge’s best-selling vehicle. It packs a lot of interior space and can carry up to seven passengers as long as the rearmost passengers are on the smaller side. The Journey excels in offering hidden storage compartments, with one under the front-passenger seat cushion and two under the rear floor. Power comes via a 173-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder or a 283-hp 3.6-liter V6.
The Sorento’s direct-injected 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine offers a decent mix of around-town power and fuel economy, but if you do a lot of highway driving, the 3.3-liter V6 provides better oomph for passing and merging situations. We’d go with a well-optioned 7-passenger EX for the best in day-to-day livability and resale value down the road. Selecting a Kia certified pre-owned vehicle can help take the worry out of buying a used car. Always look for a vehicle that’s enjoyed obvious care and maintenance. Check with the dealer to make sure any applicable safety recalls have been addressed on the vehicle you’re considering.