The mid-size crossover Kia Sorento has been produced and marketed by Kia Motors since 2002. The first generation was offered as a compact 4-door SUV with standard five-speed manual transmission and optional four-speed automatic transmission. The Kia Sorento is available in two trim levels: LX and EX. The power comes from a 3.5L 24 valve DOHC V6 engine rated 192hp. Thanks to the automatic 4 wheel drive system, the Kia Sorento is very capable off-road. The vehicle is equipped with front and rear side curtain airbags and dual front airbags. The optional features are anti-lock braking system and the Torque-on-Demand automatic full-time four wheel drive. The Sorento family standard features are 4 wheel disc brakes, battery saving feature, ladder frame design, used often in truck construction. This adds a rigidity to the Kia Sorento compared with other vehicles in its class. In 2007 Kia Sorento came with a 3.8L Lambda engine producing 262hp, and standard for all trims 5 speed Sportmatic tip-tronic automatic transmission. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (NHTSA), the 2007 Kia Sorento received the highest 5-star crash safety rating.
The second generation Kia Sorento debuted at New York Auto Show in March 2009. The vehicle is the first model of Kia to be produced in the United States. It was the return of 4-cylinder model to the North American models lineup since the period of its absence during 2007-2010. The new Kia Sorento came on sale as a 2011 model. The body on frame SUV construction of the first-generation model is replaced with a uni-body crossover construction. The straight-up SUV model is replaced with a new car-truck crossover. The suspension is fully independent versus the live rear-axle in previous model. Due to the change of the frame construction the Sorento weighed 475 pounds less versus the previous model and that improves its performance and fuel economy. The new Kia Sorento is lighter, faster, and more efficient than it used to be. The 2011 Sorento comes in 11 trims, ranging from the Base model to the SX AWD. The Base models S, LX and EX I4 come with a 2.4-liter I4 engine producing 175-hp. The new SX model is available with a 3.5-liter V6 engine rating 276-hp. A new 6-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic is standard.
The Korean automaker has reinvented its brand and vehicles. As a result of these changes, the 2011 Kia Sorento received a new look, new cabin technologies and a new crossover architecture. The vehicle features the Kia's new bow-tie grille, known as the Tiger Nose and designed by Peter Schreyer, a company's design chief. The Kia Sorento exterior parts are angular and aggressive, but at the same time quite youthful. The Sorento's lower edge is wrapped with a black plastic trim that conveys a sporty look. The Kia Sorento is the first vehicle provided with an advanced Kia UVO system. The Kia Sorento EX V6 model received the excellent overall score by American Consumer magazine.
The Sorento has seen itself become more and more involved in the conversation of "best overall crossover." That is not a mistake. The Kia Sorento is in a class of its own, hosting outstanding interior refinements, from spacious legroom to the cubic feet of cargo availability. Kia exterior parts combine ruggedness and contemporary sleekness, and that is perhaps why a vast range of drivers find Kia to be so visually appealing. It performs with just the right punch and smoothness to hang with the big boys, but doesn't overdo itself with increased drag and noise. Inside and out, the Sorento simply impresses, especially when it is equipped with the right accessories.
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