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Like many offerings in the Kia lineup, the Sorento has distanced itself from its modest beginnings when the South Korean automaker produced mainly affordable cars that often came with a “cheap” tagline.

Kia vehicles are now well respected and are giving both Honda and Toyota some serious competition.

Four years ago, the Kia Sorento redesign transformed this midsize sport utility vehicle from a truck-based model to a car-like crossover. The result: The Sorento began delivering a comfortable ride, which is what the majority of midsize SUV owners desire.

2015 Kia Sorento

  • Performance: 2.4-liter, four-cylinder, 191 horsepower; 3.3-liter, V6, 290 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 20-26 mpg; 18-25 mpg
  • Price: $24,300 to $41,700
  • Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain 10 years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance 5 years/60,000

Kia gave the Sorento another makeover a year ago, so the 2015 model is mostly unchanged. The most significant change was a new chassis that is featured by the Sorento’s cousin – the Sante Fe Sport. The Sorento chassis has led to some driving improvements, including a stiffer body structure, and front and rear suspension improvements that have the Sorento delivering more comfort and better handling.

Another significant change was additional performance. The Sorento now features a direct-injected, 3.3-liter, V6 that has added more horsepower (290 vs. 276) and features 252 pound-feet of torque. It’s a little quicker as well, going 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds, which is good for this class.

One other thing to note is the Sorento sticker price continues to rise. Although not over-priced, purchasing a Kia is no longer a true “bargain.” The estimated price runs from $24,300 and can go as high as $41,700. Kia’s terrific drivetrain warranty -10 years or 100,000 miles – remains.

The attractive Sorento, which straddles the line between compact and midsize crossovers, has some serious competition in the Toyota Highlander, Dodge Durango, Honda CRV, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Edge and the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The Sorento is offered in four-cylinder and V6 engines with a lot of variety, depending on your desires. Although the Sorento is one of the few among this class to offer third-row seating (accommodating seven passengers), it’s not that spacious. However, it is a little more tolerable for its third-row occupants than similar SUVs. Still, the third row is no place most teens or adults will enjoy.

The more affordable base model Sorento provides some pep even in mountainous driving. It’s a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder that has 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque.

The Sorento cabin is well thought out and provides easy-to-master climate and audio controls. This crossover is also a good one for short or long trips for passengers in the first two rows, while the cargo room is ample. A downside with the Sorento interior is too much hard plastic.

Kia has produced a crossover that has a nice balance between small and midsize SUVs. It can seat seven, but also has a two-row model as well. Interior room, gas mileage, and attractive exterior are all a plus with the 2015 Sorento.

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