For 2013, the Sorento offers a 4-cylinder engine with Base, LX, SX and EX GDI trims, and is offered in two versions. The standard engine is a 175-horsepower 2.4L 4-cylinder, offered on the Base and LX models. A direct-injected 191-horsepower, 2.4L 4-cylinder engine is standard on the LX GDI and EX GDI, and paired only with a 6-speed automatic. The SX's standard (and LX- and EX-optional) 3.5L V6 makes 276 horsepower and brings especially strong acceleration with a smooth, refined character, while the 4-cylinder is quite economical, achieving EPA ratings of up to 21 mpg city, 27 mpg highway in all-wheel-drive configuration.
The all-wheel-drive system is available with LX or EX trims, regardless of the engine. Kia's all-wheel-drive system can send up to 50 percent of power to the rear wheels when needed and comes with a locking center differential that can help provide better traction in harsh weather conditions. Kia hasn't completely forgotten about weekend hauling and towing needs, and the Sorento can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
First- and second-row seating in the Sorento is ample for full-size adults, and the optional third-row has enough space for children, though it does reduce cargo room. Second and third-row seats both fold forward to allow 72.5 cubic feet of cargo space in all.
Standard equipment on all Sorento models is extensive, and includes a trip computer, power windows, locks and mirrors, air conditioning, a Bluetooth hands-free calling interface and a sound system that includes an MP3-compatible CD player, USB interface, auxiliary inputs and Sirius satellite radio. Base models are equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, while LX GDI models step up to a 6-speed automatic in addition to body-color heated mirrors with integrated turn signals for a more upscale appearance. Automatic one-touch up/down windows and a rear center armrest are also included. EX GDI models include push-button start, smart keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, leather seating, fog lamps, heated mirrors, automatic headlamps and larger 18-inch alloy wheels.
Options on the all-new Base LX include a UVO voice-activated infotainment system, rearview camera, rear sonar, heated front seats and fog lamps, while the LX GDI options include a third-row seat, plus a Convenience Package with heated front seats, a backup system, fog lamps and roof rails. Among the exclusives offered on the EX GDI are a Premium Package, with a panoramic sunroof and leather seats; a rear DVD entertainment system and a Limited Package that brings chrome wheels plus a navigation system, real-time traffic information, accent interior lighting and a 550-watt Infinity surround-sound system.
Safety features on the 2013 Sorento include seat-mounted side airbags, side-curtain bags and front active headrests on all models, along with electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes, plus Hill Start Assist Control and Downhill Brake Control, which uses the vehicle's transmission to help moderate speed on slippery grades.