Three-row SUVs appeal for their blend of utility, room and comfort, and the Kia Sorento checks the boxes. In his review of the 2019 Sorento, Cars.com reviewer Brian Wong calls the three-row SUV a “jack of all trades, master of none,” noting that it’s good in a bunch of areas, but doesn’t really shine in one specifically.
Related: 2019 Kia Sorento Review: Jack of All Trades
The Sorento was revised for 2019 and there’s a lot to like, and only a few areas for improvement. Here are a few of the things we like (and a couple two tree we don’t) about the 2019 Kia Sorento:
Things We Like
1. Pleasant Road Manners
The Sorento is well-rounded in many ways, and one of them is in road manners. Power from the optional 290-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6 is competent, smooth and prompt, and the ride is comfortable and composed. What’s more, wind, engine and road noise are well-checked, making for an overall comfortable drive.
2. Common-Sense Controls
Kia’s multimedia system doesn’t break any new ground, but it is refreshingly straightforward to use, lacking what Wong calls any weird controllers or strange menus. The touchscreen is quick to respond, and within easy reach of both driver and front passenger. What’s more, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration are standard.
3. Strong Value
The 2019 Sorento starts at around $27,335, which is much lower than competitors. It’s also backed by an impressive warranty: 10 years/100,000 miles.
Things We Don’t
1. Interior Achilles
A big change for 2019 is that the third row is now standard across the lineup, but don’t celebrate just yet. While Wong notes the first two rows impress for space and materials, the third row is a letdown. It’s very tiny — even for kids — and offers much less headroom and legroom than competitors like the Volkswagen Atlas and Chevrolet Traverse. Wong was so unimpressed by the third row that he said it might be a deal-breaker for shoppers looking for a vehicle in this class.
2. Cargo Room
Again, the Sorento comes up short in cargo room. With just 11.3/38.0/73.0 cubic feet of space behind the third/second/front rows, respectively, it trails the Traverse (23.0/57.8/98.2 cubic feet) and Atlas (20.6/55.5/96.8).
3. Sibling Rivalry
This one isn’t really a “dislike” so much as a problem for the Sorento: Kia’s new three-row Telluride SUV is excellent — and a direct competitor with the Sorento. It’ll likely steal shoppers underwhelmed by the Sorento. According to Wong, who sampled both vehicles, it’s going to be a problem.
“The problem is that the Telluride that I tested actually cost less than the Sorento I reviewed. Both vehicles were the top respective trim levels for each (SX for the Telluride, SX Limited for the Sorento) and even though the Telluride had more than $2,000 in options, it still checked in at a lower price: $46,860 (including destination charges) versus $48,370 for the Sorento. And the Telluride had more equipment, a much better interior and a big advantage in passenger and cargo room. Compare the two here.”
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