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First launched in 2003, the Kia Sorento became a very different SUV after a 2011 redesign. The reason? In its second generation, the Sorento switched from truck-like body-on-frame design to car-like unibody construction. This means later Sorentos have more on-road refinement and less off-road capability than early Sorentos. It’s a tradeoff Kia customers welcomed.
The born again crossover appeals to a wide variety of drivers with an array of options including 6-cylinder power, and the versatility of available third-row seating.
In 2014, the third-generation Sorento debuted with revised styling on the front and rear, and inside the cabin. Under the hood was where Kia made the most significant upgrades, as the direct injected 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque became the new base engine, and a 3.3-liter V6 with 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque took over for the 3.5-liter V6. Both engines made use of a six-speed automatic transmission.
The second-generation Sorento kicked off in 2011, after a hiatus during 2010, and featured an all-new design with a unibody platform in place of the body-on-frame platform of the first generation. It came standard with a 175-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder hooked to a six-speed manual transmission and had an optional 3.5-liter V6 with 276 horsepower and an available six-speed automatic transmission. In 2012, Kia debuted a direct injected version of the 2.4-liter engine as an option that produced 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. The only change in 2013 was the elimination of the six-speed manual transmission, as all models featured a six-speed auto.
In 2003, Kia released the midsized Sorrento SUV with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produced 192 horsepower and 217 pound-feet of torque through a four-speed automatic transmission. A new Sport package appeared in 2004 with a five-speed manual transmission, alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and keyless entry. For 2005, Kia replaced the four-speed auto transmission with a five-speed automatic. In 2007, Kia introduced a new 3.8-liter V6 with 262 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque that hooked up to a five-speed automatic transmission. Kia rolled in a new base 3.3-liter V6 with 242 horsepower in the Base and LX trim levels for 2008.