What it is
Nope. They don’t make cars like they used to – and neither, for that matter, does Kia. And that’s a very good thing, if you’re into buying high value vehicles with loads of content. At the 2006 New York International Auto Show, Kia trotted out their latest upgraded vehicle, and, from the looks of it, the 2007 Kia Sorento will win it’s share of fans.
Few will be surprised by that anymore, especially considering that Kia has hit record sales three months running, and have just announced a partnership with Sirius that will make satellite radio available in all 2009 models. As for the Sorento, it already has a lot going for it, with new sheet metal and grille, an upgraded interior design, more power and – at least according to Kia – better fuel efficiency. Len Hunt, Kia’s US top man said that the 2007 Kia Sorento, at 262 horsepower, enjoys more power than Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer and Toyota 4Runner. That’s impressive on paper – we’ll see what it’s like on the road.
Why it matters
What’s under the hood
Not anymore. With the 2006 Kia Sorento’s new 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces 262 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with shift mode. The new powertrain setup has a tow rating of 5,000-pounds. Underneath, the Sorento comes with standard 16-inch wheels (17-inch wheels available), supporting a body-on-frame construction and a double wishbone front suspension and a five-link solid rear axle. A long wheelbase (106.7 inches) and wide track (62.2 inches) should likely provide a comfortable ride and excellent stability in all driving situations. The 2007 Sorento is available in both two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive configurations. In the two-wheel-drive version, power is directed to the rear wheels, while the 4WD offering includes a part-time or a Torque-on-Demand automatic full-time four-wheel-drive system, depending upon the option package. The part-time four-wheel-drive system engages with the turn of a knob for convenient shift-on-the-fly operation and has a transfer case equipped with a low range for the most challenging off-road situations. The full-time automatic Torque-On-Demand four-wheel-drive system, also with a low range, is available on the EX trim level as part of the Luxury Package.
LX Sport Package models add black interior cloth or leather, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, side step bars, spoiler and the new 17-inch wheels and tires. The EX trim line features a power sunroof, heated power mirrors, fog lights, deluxe door scuff plates, eight-way power driver’s seat, outside temperature gauge, compass, average speed and travel time to the overhead console and new 16-inch alloy wheels. The EX Luxury Package adds leather seating and interior trim, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, heated front seats, auto headlamps, chrome door handles, Torque-on-Demand (TOD) full-time four-wheel drive and 16-inch machined alloy wheels.
What we think
Photos by Ron Perry