Does The 2015 Kia Sorento Look Familiar To You?

Front 3/4 view of 2015 Kia Sorento
The 2015 Kia Sorento.
Regular TireKicker readers will certainly recognize this crossover...a frequent visitor to the "Most Viewed Reviews This Week" feature in the right-hand column in both its 2013 and 2014 model years, and which we reviewed, in different trim levels, not once, not twice but three times in MY 2014.  We had two SX front-wheel drives (one in Arizona, one after the move to Sacramento) and a lower-spec EX all-wheel drive. Each time we came away impressed with the Sorento's overall goodness, to the point that I said (and will stand by) that if I were shopping in this segment, playing with my own money, the Sorento would be the one to beat.

Now the 2015 Sorento is already on the streets, getting a multi-month jump on the competition...so what's new?

Rear interior view of 2015 Kia Sorento
2015 Kia Sorento.
Not much.  Not that that's a bad thing at all.  '15 models get a couple of updates...a tweak to the fuel-efficiency of the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder (available only in base LX models), which now gets an EPA fuel economy estimate of 20 city/27 highway...and an updated version of Kia's UVO telematics system. Now, navigation can be uncoupled from UVO and the sound system, which Kia says allows superior voice-recognition technology and premium sound quality.

Instrument panel of 2015 Kia Sorento
2015 Kia Sorento instrument panel.
This time around, our tester was an all-wheel drive SX, one notch below the top-of-the-line Limited.  3.3-liter V6, 6-speed automatic, 19-inch alloys, EPA estimated 18 city/24 highway and so well equipped it had no options whatsoever. The only way up is the Limited, which adds Nappa leather, heated second-row seats and chrome 19-inchers...and which, in all-wheel-drive configuration, starts at $42,595.

Truth be told, our tester, starting at $38,300 and landing (after $895 inland freight and handling) at $39,195 is pushing the outer edges of what I'd be willing to pay for a vehicle I really, really like. Every buck above 35 grand (37 for awd) starts to feel like I should be in a different class of vehicle for that money.  I'd still play with my own money, but I'd probably fall back to an EX rather than go $40K.