9.17.2016

Don't Mess With Success: The 2017 Kia Sorento SXL AWD V6

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Kia Sorento SXL
The 2017 Kia Sorento SXL AWD V6.
We've made no secret of our admiration for the Kia Sorento  here at TireKicker over the past couple of years.  If you haven't read about its stellar performance during Mrs. Tirekicker (then known as Navigator) and my 10-day, 1800-mile Utah camping trip during the summer of 2014, by all means do. You'll see how it earned that admiration.  That was a 2015 model, and in January of '15, Kia introduced the new 2016, which we didn't subject to such rigors, but which proved to be a very nice example of just how good a vehicle Kia can make.



Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Kia Sorento SXL AWD V6
2017 Kia Sorento SXL AWD V6.
Well, the 2017 has arrived and Kia, which has made enormous strides in its vehicles over the past few years, has wisely left well enough alone.  The one and only change is to the price tag for the Sorento SXL AWD V6.  It's $100 more than in 2016 ($45,700 versus $44,700---with $895 inland freight and handling, $46,595).

Most automakers couldn't bring themselves to show that kind of restraint given the opportunity to jack up the MSRP.   So props to Kia.

Interior view of 2017 Kia Sorento SXL AWD V6
2017 Kia Sorento SXL AWD V6 interior.
Apart from that, there's only one other difference...and that's that this year, the Sorento carries the distinction of being a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The V6 and six-speed automatic transmission may be the Sorento SXL AWD V6's only weakness.  As the competition comes up with smaller turbocharged options and more gears, the EPA estimate of 17 city/23 highway looks a bit meager.  But remember...with the same powertrain, we achieved 26.9 on our 1800-mile Utah camping trip.  So your mileage may vary to the point of being better than the estimates.

And Kia does have the SXL AWD available with a 2.0-liter turbo.  What we found in our review of that variant last August is that it's lighter, less expensive, hides the loss of 50 horsepower extremely well and the EPA's estimate goes up by two MPG city and highway (to 19/25).

Bottom line:  If I were in the market for a mid-size SUV and playing with my own money, both the V6 and 2.0-liter turbo four versions of the Kia Sorento SXL AWD would be on my short list.

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