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2023 Kia Sorento Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2023 Kia Sorento Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: LX vs S and X-Line S, EX vs X-Line EX and SX Prestige

What 2023 Kia Sorento Trim Should You Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

Finding a new SUV is either really easy or really difficult, depending on how decisive one is. The sheer number of options out there makes it hard for some drivers to narrow down their list, while others relish the opportunity to find the SUV that is just right. To appeal to every type of shopper, car brands are trying harder than ever to stand out.

The 2023 Kia Sorento is a three-row SUV, making it an option that many families will consider. Kia has decided that it needed to be available in a whopping eight trim levels, perhaps in an attempt to make the Sorento a bit more memorable in the sea of SUVs currently out there. Determining what makes each of these trim levels unique can seem a bit challenging, if not completely overwhelming, but their names provide important clues.

On top of going off their names, savvy buyers can use the following guide to get to know all eight of the 2023 Sorento trim levels. It will help determine which version of this SUV is the right balance of both features and price.


Compare the Sorento LX vs the S Trims. What is the difference?

The 2023 Kia Sorento LX is given a 2.5L four-cylinder engine that generates 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. Paired with this is an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is considered standard, but even the entry-level LX can be upgraded to all-wheel drive.

There are only five paint options for the LX. This is the only trim level with so few. The LX is also the only version of the Sorento to have satin chrome window surrounds and a matte black rear spoiler. Interestingly, the LX is also the only model that has body-colored side mirrors rather than gloss-black ones. Sadly, the LX is the only Sorento without roof rails.

Like the entire lineup, the Sorento LX is a small SUV that manages to fit in three rows of seats and room for up to seven. Cloth seat trim is standard here, as well as manual air conditioning. The driver gets a six-way manual adjustment to work with, while the front passenger has a four-way manually-adjustable seat.

An 8-inch touchscreen comes in the 2023 Sorento LX. It has a fairly intuitive infotainment system that includes wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There are a total of six USB ports, with at least one located in each of the three rows. One of those front USB ports allows for data input, making it easy to listen to music from the driver's phone. HD radio and a six-speaker sound system are standard.

Kia gives the entry-level Sorento a wide range of driver assistance tech. Blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision mitigation, pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, and lane departure warning are all among the standard features. Also included for this vehicle are automatic high beams, driver attention monitoring, a rear-seat alert, and a safe-exit system.

The Sorento S has the same powertrain as the LX. Many of the exterior accents are gloss black here, including the side mirrors and window surrounds. Gloss-black roof rails also make their debut for this trim level. A sixth paint option is added to expand customization options.

A 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat is added by this trim level. Synthetic leather upholstery also becomes standard at this point, plus heated front seats. The S trim is the first Sorento to gain dual-zone automatic climate control as well, and it adds a couple more USB ports to the second row.

The extra USB ports are not the only tech addition made here. This model has a 10.25-inch touchscreen and adds Kia Connect along with an integrated navigation system. Wireless phone charging is added as well, plus voice recognition. On the safety front, the S trim level gets rear parking sensors.

It will require $2,500 to move up to the S from the entry-level LX. Many of the features that are added are quite desirable, however, which helps justify this extra expense. It helps to remember that the Sorento has one of the lowest starting prices for the class, so there may be room for this upgrade in the budget.

Compare the Sorento S vs the X-Line S AWD. What is the difference?

As the name implies, this next trim level comes standard with all-wheel drive. It is essentially the same as the S trim when it comes to the powertrain and features, it just has a more rugged look to show off around town. The Sorento X-Line S AWD has raised roof rails, dark gray-painted wheels, and silver exterior trim accents. There are seven paint options at this point.

The X-Line S AWD costs precisely two grand more than the run-of-the-mill S. If buyers are after an all-wheel drive and prefer the X-Line styling, this is a respectable option.

Compare the Sorento X-Line S AWD vs EX Trim Levels. What is the difference?

The 2023 Sorento EX does not come standard with all-wheel drive, although that remains an option. It also gets deletes all of the X-Line styling touches found on the previous model. On the bright side, the EX is the first trim to get the turbocharged 2.5L engine that allows it to make 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is an eight-speed dual-clutch here as well.

A hands-free power liftgate is standard for the Sorento EX. LED foglights join the equation as well. Inside, this model goes with standard second-row captain's chairs, meaning the seating capacity is six. An eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat makes its debut as well.

Choosing the Sorento EX will mean getting a few safety upgrades. This is the first trim that comes equipped with adaptive cruise control, and it also has a lane-keeping system that makes small adjustments to keep the Sorento where it ought to be. Cyclist detection is added to the forward-collision mitigation. The price jumps up $1,400 here.

Compare the Sorento EX vs X-Line EX AWD. What is the difference?

If buyers like the more rugged look and want all-wheel drive, the X-Line EX AWD may be the way to go. It has the turbocharged engine still, and it regains things like the higher roof rails that were found on the X-Line S AWD. The fancier X-Line EX AWD is also equipped with a sunroof, and it upgrades to 20-inch wheels.

Shoppers will need to be ready to spend $3,700 more if they want the style and added traction of the X-Line EX AWD trim level. This is significantly more than the increase observed between the S and the X-Line S AWD. Larger wheels and a sunroof do little to justify spending that much.

Compare the Sorento X-line EX AWD vs SX. What is the difference?

The 2023 Sorento SX maintains the turbocharged power but loses standard all-wheel drive. It also has the gloss-black low-profile roof rails that are found on most non-X-Line models and black rather than silver accents. The exterior of this trim level is upgraded with power-folding side mirrors and LED daytime running lights, plus LED projector headlights.

This is not the end of the list of exterior upgrades for the SX. There are LED taillights to be found around the back, and drivers get the convenience of rain-sensing windshield wipers. This version of the Sorento also comes standard with 20-inch wheels.

Previous models of the Sorento have had a 4.2-inch instrument display. Beginning with the SX trim level, a 12.3-inch display is standard instead. Going to the SX from the X-Line EX AWD will actually mean saving $800. If buyers want to save some cash and would prefer a few feature upgrades over AWD, this may be the way to go.

Compare the Sorento SX vs SX Prestige AWD. What is the difference?

The SX Prestige AWD adds a lot to the 2023 Sorento. Other than the all-wheel drive, the majority of upgrades are made to the cabin. Up until this point, every Sorento has had a six-speaker sound system. The SX Prestige AWD doubles this, gaining a 12-speaker premium Bose setup instead. An auto-dimming rearview mirror complete with a universal garage door opener is also included.

This version of the Sorento is a bit more comfortable, thanks to the 14-way power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support and thigh extensions. The passenger gets upgraded to a 10-way power-adjustable seat, and they get some lumbar support as well. Front seats are ventilated, while the second-row outboard seats become heated. There are even second-row integrated window sunshades in the SX Prestige AWD.

Safety features are once again upgraded for the Sorento. This trim level has front parking sensors, reverse automatic emergency braking, and a surround-view camera system. It also has a blind-view monitor which will display what is happening behind the Sorento on the touchscreen via a camera.

When compared to the X-Line EX AWD, the previously most expensive trim, the SX Prestige AWD costs an extra $3,800.

Compare the Sorento SX Prestige AWD vs X-Line SX Prestige AWD. What is the difference?

The top Sorento X-Line SX Prestige AWD is exactly what one would expect based on the name. It has every feature mentioned in the last section, plus the X-Line styling details. This is essentially just an appearance package, and it costs only $200. If buyers are already willing to spend the kind of money that the SX Prestige would set them back, they might as well go for this top trim.


Final Thoughts

Thanks to its low starting price, the 2023 Kia Sorento has a broad appeal. If cost is the main focus, the entry-level LX is a respectable choice. It has a fair number of safety and tech features for the price. If possible, however, a step up to the s trim level will provide a much more pleasant driving experience.

The 2023 Sorento S has a larger touchscreen and a couple of bonus safety features. It is also where buyers will first find highly sought-after features such as heated front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control. The price increase is relatively small when considering the number of valuable features gained. Stepping up to the X-Line S AWD is not a bad call either to get added traction.

From here, the Sorento trim levels add largely unnecessary features to the equation. They also move the price out of the affordable range that will attract so many buyers in the first place.

The 2023 Kia Sorento S provides a great deal of value and fun to families.

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Previous Year Trim Configurations:

2022 Kia Sorento Trim Levels