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What's New For 2018
There are no major changes to the 2018 Kia Sorento. It is virtually identical to the 2017 model. The only differences this year are some minor changes to the features offered in each trim package.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Kia Sorento – The Pros
1. Affordable Price
The 2018 Kia Sorento is one of the more affordable mid-sized SUVs on the market. Although it is lower in price, it never feels like a cheap, budget vehicle. This is quality ride with good performance and features you normally only see in more expensive vehicles. The Kia Sorento offers good value for your money.
2. Great Interior
Material qualities are all excellent for the interior of the Sorento. The fit and finish of everything is as good as it gets. It's impressive at the price point of the Sorento. All of the gauges and controls are laid out well. The design and spacing of everything makes sense. The interior is adequately roomy and the vehicle is easy enough to enter and exit.
3. Nice Ride Quality
Front passenger and driver seats are comfortable and well designed. The 2018 Kia Sorento provides an extremely quiet ride. Kia has done an excellent job of blocking out any wind or road noises. The overall ride quality is smooth and very comfortable.
4. Great Infotainment System
The 2018 Kia Sorento features a nice, quality infotainment system. The base models come with a fine system, but it may be worth it to step up to the next trim to get the upgrades. Higher-trim levels receive really nice 7" or 8" touchscreens in the console. The interface is easy to see and use. Smartphone integration includes Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. USB connectivity is also available.
A Navigation system and social-media apps can be accessed through your touchscreen. A ten-speaker sound system from Infinity is also optional and well worth the extra cost. Sound quality is fantastic.
5. Good Fuel Economy
The 2018 Kia Sorento gets great fuel economy in its class. You should be able to get 19 mpg in the city and 25 or more mpg on the highway.
6. A Reliable Ride
The Sorento is a reliable vehicle for a good price. This Kia has rated highly every year in low maintenance and longevity. Though there are no long-term studies on this new model, it is a safe bet that it will at least be as reliable as the 2017 model. There really are no major changes between last year and the 2018.
7. Good Performance
The 2018 Kia Sorento performs well with any of the engine options. The 2.4-liter engine comes standard and gets the best fuel economy. A 4-cylinder turbo is also available and offers 240 hp. For better performance, but decreased fuel economy, there is a V-6 option that produces 290 horses. All models are joined with a 6-speed automatic. Shifts are handled smoothly and accurately.
8. Handles and Drives Well
Driving the Sorento feels quite sporty. This is especially true with the turbo or V-6 models. These two feature great acceleration. All of them feature strong braking, responsive steering and great overall handling.
9. One of the Safest Vehicles in its Class
This is where the Kia Sorento perhaps shines the most. It is one of the safest vehicles on the road, in any class. It is the cream of the crop when it comes to mid-sized SUVs. It has received excellent ratings in crash tests. The NHTSA gives it four out of five stars for rollover safety. It receives five out of five stars for front and side crashes, as well as for its overall rating.
The IIHS gives the Sorento a "good," rating in side crash, rear crash, front crash and in roof-strength tests. Driver and front passengers get multiple airbags. Rear-seat passengers are protected with airbags as well.
The Sorento offers a number of safety features and driver-assistance systems. Some of these include, a blindspot monitor, Rollover Protection System, Electronic Stability Control and Brake Assist.
10. A Lot of Cargo Space
The Kia Sorento offers a ton of cargo space. It even provides an enormous amount of small-item storage. There is an endless number of compartments within the vehicle for passengers to stow smaller items.
The second row features a 40/20/40 split configuration. The third features a 50/50 split arrangement. You should have few issues transporting large, awkward cargo in the Sorento. Even with all of the seats up, you should get at least 40 cu. ft. of cargo space.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Kia Sorento – The Cons
1. Smaller Interior than some Competitors
There's no lack of space, but plenty of competitors offer more of it. This goes for both cargo and for passengers.
2. Second-Row Seats are a Bit Stiff
While the front seats are cozy, this is less true of that second row. The seats feel a bit stiff and not as ergonomic.
3. Third-Row Seats are Slim
While there is a decent amount of leg and head room, the third-row seats themselves are kind of slim. They aren't so bad for smaller kids and teens, but may not be as comfortable for larger adults.
How it Stacks up to the Competition
The stiffest competition for the 2018 Kia Sorento comes from the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and the Hyundai Santa Fe.
The Honda Pilot is more expensive than the Sorento. It does, however, carry more passengers. It carries more cargo too. The Sorento has better safety ratings. If you don't need the bigger space, then the Sorento beats the Pilot in most ways.
The Toyota Highlander is comparable to the Sorento when it comes to quality, reliability and ride quality. The Sorento is cheaper and even comes with more standard safety features, making it the better value.
The Hyundai Santa Fe is very similar to the Sorento in size, performance and in most categories. The Sorento wins again in the safety department.
The Sorento is a great choice for a mid-size SUV when the average mid-size is too big for your needs. It's a great family vehicle with one of the best safety-records of any vehicle on the road. It's highly recommended for anyone looking for an SUV in this class.
• Why buy a 2017 Kia Sorento? w/ pros vs cons