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2015 Kia Sorento Overview
Apparently, the folks at Kia decided that the 2014 remake of their popular Sorento 5-seat midsize crossover wasn’t as comprehensive as they had hoped. For 2015, some further tweaks to exterior styling are expected to further enlarge the grille, as well as add a more Credenza-like look to the front fascia. There’s also talk that a few more inches could be added to its overall length and wheelbase.
In any case, the traditional 4 trims, the base LX, the up-featured EX, the quasi-posh SX and the top-shelf Limited are slated to remain available in 2015. Front-wheel drive (FWD) ought once more to be the standard drivetrain configuration, with an optional on-demand all-wheel drive (AWD) system again offering added agility in normal conditions and a driver-selectable locking center differential for slippery roadways.
As a further expected improvement for this year, the 8-inch touchscreen display that interfaces with Bluetooth, with audio and with the available navigation system is expected to get some extra upgrades to include driver information as well. Meanwhile, the familiar driver-selectable ActiveEco feature that moderates drivetrain and air-conditioning interaction for better fuel efficiency should also return for this latest Sorento iteration.
Speaking of drivetrains, the entry-level Sorento LX will doubtless return packing the standard (and somewhat maligned) variable-valve-timed (VVT) 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant, with the ubiquitous 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission managing 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. Look for mileage figures of 20 mpg city/26 highway in the FWD editions and 19/24 in AWD versions, based on 2014 numbers. Towing, meantime, is once again expected to max out at 1,650 pounds when the optional trailer hitch is mounted.
A well-wrought 3.3-liter V6 engine with variable valve timing is slated to remain standard in the 2015 Sorento EX and higher trims, while once more returning as an option for the LX. This peppier powerplant should again mate with the 6-speed shiftable automatic for 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque, with mileage running a sort of okay 18/25 in FWD trims and 18/24 in AWD variants, again based on 2014 figures. Towing, meantime, is expected to remain maxed out at a respectable 3,500 pounds.
The much-ballyhooed FlexSteer system is also slated to return for 2015 and will once again sport 3 driver-selectable steering modes accommodating mood swings from Normal to Comfort to Sport.
Assuming the upgraded 8-inch LCD display will be added to all 2015 Sorento trim variations, look for the base LX to also carry standard 17-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, reclining rear seats and full power accessories, including heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering. Also slated to return in this starter trim are air conditioning, simulated wood cabin accents, Bluetooth hands-free calling and a single-CD player with 3 months of free satellite radio service. The V6-toting LX is additionally expected to return a roof rack to its slightly tweaked profile.
Next up, look for the EX to add 18-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler outside, with leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats and UVO-interfaced destination guidance all standard inside. Rear parking sensors should also return in this lower-midlevel Sorento, as should a rear-view camera, with some added leather accents making their debut this year.
The penultimate SX should again flaunt such standard extras as 19-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof, power liftgate and skid plates outside for 2015, with heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats, rear air conditioning, memory for driver's settings and a 10-speaker Infiniti premium audio system again gracing the cabin.
Finally, the flagship 2015 Sorento Limited is expected to return flaunting unique exterior chrome add-ons and upgraded 19-inch wheels in addition to a heated simulated-wood-trimmed steering wheel, heated rear seats and premium leather upholstery.
Such options as fold-down third-row seating for 7 total passengers as well as hard-drive navigation and side steps are all expected to carry over into select 2015 Sorento variants.
Again, look for such standard safety features as 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and active front headrests to return in the 2015 Sorento lineup. Also look for daytime running lights and a remote antitheft alarm to be retained on all trims, with front fog/driving lights expected to return aboard the EX and higher versions. Additionally, look for the EX and above trims to boast a post-collision safety system and UVO emergency assistance and alerts, while the Limited should additionally offer standard auto-leveling high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights. Blind-spot monitoring is, by the way, again expected to be optional across the lineup.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.