Three-row SUVs have been the family vehicle of choice for quite a while now, and automakers are updating them regularly to keep them fresh. At the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show, Kia unveiled the updated 2024 Sorento, which slots in between the smaller two-row Sportage and the larger three-row Telluride .
The Sorento was made over into an all-new model for 2021, and so this is a refresh, with updating styling and features, and with a new trim level called the X-Pro. All of that said, our information right now is solely from Kia America for this U.S. debut, so we’re reporting on that with the caveat that some trims and features may be slightly different when the vehicle goes on sale in Canada. For one thing, U.S. buyers can choose between front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), depending on trim, while all models in Canada currently come standard with AWD — and we expect that will remain the case with the 2024 models as well.
That updated exterior styling borrows some of its cues from Kia’s other models. The automaker admits to stealing from the Telluride for the Sorento’s squared-off edges and hood, plus its vertical taillights. Compared to the softer-cornered 2023 model, this new version’s face has a more aggressive nose-forward look to it, which seems to be all the rage with SUVs these days. The inspiration for the grille and stacked LED headlamps comes over from the new and all-electric Kia EV9 , with lighting patterns known as “Star Map” in Kia-speak. The lower bumper gets a wider skid plate, too.
The interior undergoes a transformation as well. The dash retains its overall general shape, but while the outgoing one was visually broken up into two sections by the centrally-mounted air vents, this new Sorento has a solid horizontal line straight across. Those centre vents are now incorporated into it, and it swings up at each end to wrap around the vertical side vents. It’s a handsome and more modern-looking design just for that, but the big deal is a curved panoramic display that contains two 12.3-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system. It’ll be available on upper trims, although we’re not yet sure exactly which ones. Lower trims will use a panel with a 12.3-inch infotainment screen and 4.3-inch digital cluster.
The new Sorento will offer Kia’s new Connected Car Navigation Cockpit system. It first appeared on the EV9 and this will be its second application. Kia says it processes faster and in higher fidelity than other systems, and a swipe will bring up frequently-used controls; it will stay current through over-the-air updates. USB-C ports will be in all three rows, and all trims, regardless of their screen size, will include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Also available will be a Digital Key 2.0, which hooks up to compatible phones or smart watches so they can be used to lock, unlock, and start and drive the vehicle even if you don’t have the key fob with you, and the unlocking feature won’t require you to actually be holding the phone. The digital key can also be shared with others with compatible devices, including giving them vehicle access via text messaging.
Updates to the driver-assist features include emergency front braking that recognizes pedestrians and cyclists, as well as oncoming vehicles when you’re turning left; new “machine learning” on the cruise control, which monitors how you accelerate and drive, and mimics your style when the cruise control takes over; a digital rearview mirror; and 360-degree surround-view camera.
The Sorento’s greasy bits are unchanged, and the 2024 version will offer two engine choices as with the current model. The 2.5L four-cylinder makes 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque, with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Upper trims use a turbocharged version of that engine, making 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque, and with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. That is also an automatic, but it shifts faster than a conventional unit.
The X-Line continues as the lineup’s tougher-terrain trim, with a centre-locking differential, roof rack, 20-inch gloss-black wheels, and unique bumpers and skid plate garnish. New for 2024, the Sorento will also be offered as the X-Pro trim – but don’t get ready to trade in your Ford Bronco or Jeep Wrangler for heavy-duty off-roading just yet. It includes all of the X-Line’s features but swaps out those big rims and low-profile tires for 17-inch wheels. That gives you a tire with a taller sidewall, which is far more effective once you’re driving off the asphalt. The X-Pro will also tow up to 4,000 lbs, which is twice as much as the regular Sorento models, and 500 lbs more than the X-Line can pull.
As with the 2023 Sorento, the 2024 model will also be available as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid (PHEV). They will include all of the styling and tech updates as their gasoline-only sibling, and will be officially launched at a later date. The Los Angeles debut was just a look-see, without a chance to drive it, and no mention of pricing; but for reference, the 2023 Sorento sells in Canada for a starting price of $36,795 to $50,395 before freight and taxes, and with the X-Line tagged at $42,395.2023-11-20T15:07:08Z dg43tfdfdgfd