Kia excels at creating innovative and comfortable spaces inside its cars. Thus, it should shock no one to see how well laid-out the interior of the Sorento is. The lower trims may use cheaper materials, but it never feels that way. The leather reserved for the upper trims makes the cabin feel almost premium, though. Only the entry model retains the smaller eight-inch touchscreen, while all the rest gain the larger 10.25-inch unit which adds to the high-tech and upscale feel. A panoramic sunroof can be optioned on to make the cabin feel more spacious, which might help those in the third row feel less claustrophobic.
The seats inside the cabin can be set out in a 2+3+2 or a 2+2+2 configuration. This means that a maximum of seven people can be housed inside, unlike larger three-row SUVs that can accommodate up to eight. While squeezing three rows of seats into a midsize vehicle is innovative, and many buyers will welcome the added practicality, the fact remains that there just isn't all that much space for those in the back. The second row is about as spacious as you'd expect, however, supplying a comfy 41.7 inches of legroom, but the rear-most seats only give 29.6 inches. This makes them suitable for only small children at best.
Headroom is pretty good in every row, luckily, topping out at 40.3 inches up front and dropping to 36.8 inches in the back. Getting in and out is easy, as it should be for any SUV, but accessing the third row can be tricky without the captain's chairs installed.
|Kia Sorento Trims||LX||S||Hybrid S||X-Line S||EX||Hybrid EX||SX||X-Line EX||SX Prestige||X-Line SX Prestige||Plug-in Hybrid SX||Plug-in Hybrid SX Prestige|
|Headroom Front Seat||40.3 in.||40.3 in.||40.3 in.||40.3 in.||40.3 in.||40.3 in.||40.3 in.||40.3 in.||40.3 in.||40.3 in.||40.3 in.||40.3 in.|
|Headroom Back Seat||39.1 in.||39.1 in.||39.1 in.||39.1 in.||39.1 in.||39.1 in.||39.1 in.||39.1 in.||39.1 in.||39.1 in.||39.1 in.||39.1 in.|
|Legroom Front Seat||41.4 in.||41.4 in.||41.4 in.||41.4 in.||41.4 in.||41.4 in.||41.4 in.||41.4 in.||41.4 in.||41.4 in.||40.3 in.||40.3 in.|
|Legroom Back Seat||41.7 in.||41.7 in.||40.7 in.||41.7 in.||41.7 in.||40.7 in.||41.7 in.||41.7 in.||41.7 in.||41.7 in.||40.7 in.||40.7 in.|
|Shoulder Room Front||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.||59.1 in.|
|Shoulder Room Rear||58.1 in.||58.1 in.||58.1 in.||58.1 in.||58.1 in.||58.1 in.||58.1 in.||58.1 in.||58.1 in.||58.1 in.||58.1 in.||58.1 in.|
|Hip Room, Front||55.6 in.||55.6 in.||55.6 in.||55.6 in.||55.6 in.||55.6 in.||55.6 in.||55.6 in.||55.6 in.||55.6 in.||55.6 in.||55.6 in.|
|Hip Room, Rear||55.1 in.||55.1 in.||55.1 in.||55.1 in.||55.1 in.||55.1 in.||55.1 in.||55.1 in.||55.1 in.||55.1 in.||55.1 in.||55.1 in.|
As a mainstream product, the Kia Sorento uses affordable materials for the construction of the cabin - but this doesn't mean cheap. In fact, most of the hard plastics are kept out of view. The base LX is the only trim that gets cloth upholstery as standard, and the only color option is Black. Luckily, the choices and quality improve drastically moving upwards. From the S to the SX, including their X-Line variants, SynTex leatherette covers the seats. You get a choice between Black or Gray.
Embossed leather is standard on both Prestige trims. Color options differ, with the SX Prestige having access to Black or Gray. The X-Line SX Prestige gets Black as standard or Rust at a $200 surcharge. Exclusive to the PHEV in SX Prestige spec, you have the choice between Gray or Navy perforated leather.
Only the base LX makes do with a polyurethane steering wheel and soft PVC shift knob; all other models have a leather wrapping for these major controls.
As you'd expect when cramming additional seats into a body style not traditionally equipped to deal with such, the Sorento suffers from a lack of standard cargo capacity. If you insist on lugging six or more people about, you'll have to make do with a meager 12.6 cubic feet. However, if you treat it like a five-seater instead and fold the third row down, you get access to a much more impressive 45 cubic feet. True, there are some other midsize SUVs out there that can beat this figure, but they don't offer the added versatility of two additional seats in a pinch. Fold the second-row seats down, too, and the open floor plan supplies 75.5 cubes. The middle ground is the sweet spot here, with enough room for your monthly groceries and then some, as well as luggage for a four- or five-person vacation.
In-cabin storage for smaller items is good, with the first two rows getting access to sizeable door pockets. Those in the back also get seatback pockets, while those up front get the glove compartment and armrest cubby. The front cupholders are situated within the console, while the back-seat cupholders can only be accessed if the center armrest is folded down. Sadly, third-row occupants don't get such luxuries.
Modern Kia cars are laden with features, and even the base LX has plenty to offer. Remote keyless entry, manual air conditioning, a 4.2-inch driver information display, and a rearview camera are included. The driver has a six-way manually-adjustable seat and the front-seat passenger a four-way manual seat. The safety suite is comprehensive, too, comprising forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, a driver attention system, and rear occupant alert with a sensor.
From the S, push-button start, a ten-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear park distance warning, and safe exit assist. The EX is upgraded with a power tailgate, second-row captain's chairs, smart cruise control with stop/go, cyclist detection, highway driving assist, rear parking sensors, and junction assist. The passenger seat gains eight-way power adjustability from the SX and a panoramic sunroof is added. At the top of the range, the SX Prestige gets heated and ventilated front seats, a 14-way power driver's seat with memory, a ten-way power passenger seat, heated second-row captain's chairs, a heated steering wheel, a 12.3-inch driver-info display, front parking sensors, rear collision avoidance, a surround-view monitor, and a blind-view monitor.
Hybrid models are better-equipped as standard with features like heated front seats and a ten-way power driver's seat being standard from the start.
Only the LX is still saddled with the smaller eight-inch touchscreen but it does get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system. The larger 10.25 screen is standard on all the remaining trims, but its smartphone connectivity is not wireless. Navigation, SiriusXM, and UVO telematics are added, while a wireless phone charger is included from the EX upwards. The premium 12-speaker Bose sound system is only standard from the SX Prestige trim. All models have additional auxiliary, USB, and iPod connection points.