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2017 Kia Sorento: Real World Review - Video

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author photo by Autotrader November 2017

A lot of midsize SUVs kind of look the same, and not many really stand out. We think the recently redesigned 2017 Kia Sorento is one of the few that combines a distinct look with a reasonable price.

For years, Kia has been known as the "affordable-with-a-fantastic-warranty" automaker, but with a recent rollout of truly great cars, they've taken the brand to the next level. And the very stylish and fun-to-drive 2017 Sorento is a perfect example. Reasonably priced and outfitted with lots of premium equipment, the Sorento offers a lot of variety with five different trim levels and three powertrain options. And for just a bit over a thousand dollars, you can add all-wheel drive to all trims except the base model.

We checked out the Sorento SX, which is just one step down from the fully loaded SX Limited. We also opted for the Advanced Technology package to test out a number of comfort and driver assist features.

The Sorento makes a good first impression with its muscular but understated styling. It's sculpted and sporty without trying too hard.

With the V6 setup, gas mileage is decent, acceleration is quick and the Sorento is surprisingly fun to drive. The SX and SX Limited models drive with even more precision thanks to an upgraded steering system.

Our tester's 2-tone merlot interior gives the Sorento a high-end feel, similar to what you'll find in a sporty Porsche or Mercedes. The dash and center stack are laid out well, with easy-to-use controls and buttons. And the soft, upscale materials with layered textures add sophistication to an already comfortable cabin. And we especially love the 4-way lumbar control and the driver seat cushion extender. Overall, the interior is quiet and spacious.

It's also versatile, with a fold-down flat second row that slides and reclines. But keep in mind that the third row is better suited for kids. And when it's in use, cargo space is limited. So you may want to consider buying a roof rack to handle all your extra luggage and gear.

Overall, we're big Sorento fans, but we do have a couple of minor complaints. One is that the ventilated and heated seats turn off when you turn off the engine. Which means every time you turn on the car, you need to turn the seat temperature back on. The other complaint is the hands-free power liftgate, which can take a second to kick in. This can be a hassle if your hands are full or if you're in a hurry.

On the upside, we're happy to see Apple CarPlay and Android Auto added into the mix. And there are plenty of USB ports and an electrical outlet, so keeping everyone powered up shouldn't be an issue. But keep in mind that you may want to go with a higher trim level to enjoy the larger 7- or 8-inch touch screen.

As for safety, the Sorento has received high marks in crash testing. And there's also plenty of available tech like forward-collision warning with auto emergency braking and a smooth, easy-to-use adaptive cruise control that's great for road trips.

We think shoppers will be impressed with the 2017 Kia Sorento's sleek styling, updated tech and dynamic handling. This new Sorento is impressive on almost every front. We think Toyota and Honda fans owe it to themselves to give Kia a test drive.

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Used 2017 Kia Sorento LX
Used 2017 Kia Sorento
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New 2017 Kia Sorento AWD LX
New 2017 Kia Sorento
MSRP $31,775
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New 2017 Kia Sorento AWD LX
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MSRP $30,080
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Used 2017 Kia Sorento FWD EX
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2017 Kia Sorento: Real World Review - Video - Autotrader