Relentless: The 2016 Kia Sorento Limited V6 AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Kia Sorento Limited V6 AWD front 3/4
The 2016 Kia Sorento Limited V6 AWD
Regular TireKicker readers know that the Kia Sorento has earned its way onto the TireKicker's Best Cars list on the right side of this page through a series of weeklong exposures...not the least of which was serving as our trusty steed for an eight-day, 1800-mile camping roadtrip from suburban Sacramento to four national parks in Nevada and Utah and then home.

If you'd asked us, we wouldn't have thought the Sorento was due for an update.  But Kia is on a mission, relentlessly stepping up its game and its profile in the marketplace.  And the 2016 Kia Sorento is destined to play a big part in that.

Let's face it, if Kia wasn't counting on the Sorento for big things, they wouldn't have dropped the bucks required for Pierce Brosnan, a CGI explosion, a moose and ad time in the Super Bowl and for months beyond on mere mortal TV shows.

Truth be told, though, the Sorento does a good job of selling itself.

Rear 3/4 view of 2016 Kia Sorento Limited V6 AWD
2016 Kia Sorento Limited V6 AWD.
It can be had (in base-level L trim) for as little as $24,900.  Our tester was, as it was for the Utah trip six months ago, the whole enchilada...the Sorento Limited V6 AWD (there is some discrepancy between the Kia website which calls it the "Limited" and the badge on the tailgate, which says "SXL", but they're the same thing). And the base price for that is a bit more dear.  As in $43,995.  More than 19 grand above the starting price for the base model.

On paper, that's insanity. But in practice, how it shakes out is this:  The L is a screaming bargain. The Limited/SXL V6 AWD is right in the sweet spot of this class of crossover SUV, in which loaded examples of any manufacturer's contender are going to land three or four grand either side of $45,000, with the "prestige" brands knocking on or crossing 50 large.

The difference in the Sorento Limited V6 AWD is that there is only one option...the Limited Technology Package, which adds auto-leveling HID projector beam headlamps, a surround view monitor, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, electronic parking brake and Lane Departure Warning System for $2,500.  Every other thing (see the list here) is standard...and much of it (upgraded audio system, nav, rear camera and rear cross-traffic alert) is stuff that would be extra-cost options, if available at all, on other vehicles.

Interior view of 2016 Kia Sorento Limited V6 AWD
2015 Kia Sorento V6 Limited AWD interior.
In white, like our tester, with the ivory Nappa leather interior, it's also stunningly good-looking.  And as with previous Sorentos we've driven, the V6 delivers more than adequate power and good mileage (EPA estimate: 17 city/23 highway...but remember, we saw 26.9 on our 1800-mile roadtrip last summer).

With $895 destination and handling, the bottom line came to $46,495.  Not long ago, I would have wondered aloud if a Kia could be worth that.  But a lot has changed for Kia in a short time and the Sorento, in particular, has proven worthy time and time again here at TireKicker.  For 2016, Kia has kicked the Sorento up a few notches, and we're doing the same, moving it up on the TireKicker's Best Cars list.