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2019 Kia Sorento SX-L V6 Quick Spin: A handsome refresh

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2019 Kia Sorento SX-L V6 Quick Spin: A handsome refresh

I’ll have pushed from Crested Butte, Colo., again to Portland in a Kia Stinger, however that is not how I obtained to the snow-encrusted mountain city wedged deep in the midst of the Rockies. Nope, I received there the “fast” means by way of Canine Pleasant Airways, a two-hour cease in San Francisco, a touchdown at Montrose airport and a two-hour drive within the 2019 Kia Sorento. That, plus a quick jaunt round Crested Butte can be the extent of my seat time within the revised-for-2019 household crossover, nevertheless it was sufficient to shine a light-weight on what’s modified (not quite a bit) and remind that that is nonetheless a worthwhile various to a pair of midsize SUV segments.

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Ah, they really modified it?

Positive did! It takes wanting fairly intently at aspect-by-aspect photos, however lo-and-behold, there have been delicate styling modifications made for the 2019 Sorento. The headlight clusters have been rearranged in order that the LED flip sign strip is now under the headlight parts fairly than above them. Under, there are nonetheless 4 LED operating lights (nonetheless discovered on choose trim ranges), however they’re now smaller and not look faraway from an working theatre. They reside in a shapelier decrease bumper housing. In the meantime, the grille insert has been modified to incorporate in a different way formed dot parts.

The decrease rear bumper was additionally given a nip-and-tuck, whereas the taillight parts at the moment are redder all through. In complete, typical mid-life refresh stuff.

Modifications to the interior are much more delicate, however have been even much less needed, because the 2019 Sorento continues to boast a handsome, nicely-made cabin that in prime trims is sort of luxurious. Admittedly, I am curious to expertise one of many decrease trims to see how a lot of the premium vibe they share, as I’ve solely skilled the highest SX-L trim, each with the 2019 in Colorado and when the present era was launched again in 2016.

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A sprinkling of latest features

Now, these updates embrace a brand new steering wheel (no complaints, fairly cozy), a brand new shifter head (change for change sake) and improved graphics for the instrument cluster (if they are saying so). The SX-L does include a brand new Terracotta interior shade, which is sort of stylish, as you’ll be able to see within the photos.

Tech updates embrace a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now standard on all trim ranges (a non-contact colour show was standard on L and LX trims), and a wi-fi charging pad added as standard gear to the SX and SX-L.

Lane-retaining help was added to the safety tech ledger, enhancing the lane-departure warning system already discovered on the SX and SX-L. Sadly, solely these prime two trim ranges could be graced with accident avoidance tech, in contrast to the crossovers from Honda and Toyota. No matter trim degree, the SX and SX-L’s driver inattention and fatigue monitor can be a stand-out feature amongst non-luxurious SUVs. I might assume it might be much less susceptible to crying wolf than the comparable system discovered within the Stinger the place it did not appear to get together with the fast, extremely-responsive steering.

Dynamic modifications, sure. Enhancements? Perhaps

As for the Sorento’s steering, it was apparently retuned by Kia’s new driving dynamics wizard, Albert Biermann, however with no again-to-again drive with the earlier mannequin, I am going to need to take Kia’s phrase that it is higher. As I wrote again in 2016 for a unique publication, “The Sorento SX’s steering proved to be exact, competent and seemingly vice-free for the phase.” Yep, that also very a lot applies. Whether or not totally different or no, the steering is mild and friction-free in effort. It is also a bit numb on middle, which ought to make for a soothing drive on the freeway and doubtless result in fewer hiccups with the “you are falling asleep!” alarm. These in search of a sharper steer will in all probability need to look elsewhere, maybe within the path of a Mazda supplier.

Physique motions have been stored in examine on the winding mountain roads from Montrose to Crested Butte, with no trace of the nautical rebound typical of previous Hyundai/Kia crossovers. I truly acquired an opportunity to experience within the again seat for a very good half hour or so, and may report the youngsters must be completely content material again there even on the SX-L’s greater 19-inch wheels.

They may also have entry to a few third row seats no matter trim degree or engine. Beforehand, the Sorento got here standard with 5-passenger seating, which was additionally the one strategy to get the elective turbocharged 4-cylinder engine improve. That is been discontinued, as Kia says clients weren’t solely overwhelmingly choosing three-row Sorentos, however related a V6 engine as the popular sort of engine improve for the phase. A 2.four-liter 185-horsepower 4-cylinder is standard, however was not sampled. One ought to assume it to be fairly sluggish.

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The way it stacks up

As examined, the three.three-liter V6’s bullish 290 horsepower and 252 pound-ft of torque impressively brings the Sorento in control with out a lot effort or fuss. The brand new for 2019 eight-velocity automated responds fortunately to proper-foot inputs, with throttle response and downshift-readiness improved by placing the Sensible Shift & Drive settings into Sport. Now, you may think the Sorento’s smaller exterior dimensions would result in a significantly decrease curb weight and subsequently efficiency than key rivals, nevertheless it truly falls in between the Honda Pilot and the Toyota Highlander when it comes to curb weight.

Actually, the most important dimensional distinction between these and the Sorento is in general size (about 7 and 5 inches, respectively) and width (about four and 1.5 inches, respectively). The Sorento’s wheelbase is nearly equal to the Highlander’s, which means its rear-row legroom is comparable, however it falls nicely brief when it comes to cargo area, notably behind the aft-most row. Its most cargo area of seventy three cubic ft is beneficiant, however on-par with greater compact SUVs just like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. The Highlander and Pilot have about 10 cubes extra.

But, this size distinction is arguably what makes the 2019 Kia Sorento such an intriguing entry within the midsize crossover phase. Sure, it has about the identical most cargo capability because the CR-V’s of this world, however it additionally has a 3rd-row seat snug sufficient for medium-sized teenagers, a extra premium cabin and the supply of a stout V6. On the similar time, it will not be as huge inside because the Pilots and Highlanders of this world, however not everybody wants that a lot area, and its tidier dimensions ought to make parking simpler and it does really feel rather less cumbersome to drive. There’s undoubtedly one thing to be stated for an in-betweener various, which is strictly what the refreshed 2019 Sorento is.

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