2013 Kia Sorento Jam Packed with Features>

As the Sorento was the first Kia built in the United States at a very pricey new North American plant in Georgia, the 2013 Kia Sorento had to be pretty darn impressive to make all that expense worthwhile. Unlike the now long since forgotten first generation version, it had to be the right size to fit your average super-sized American and it had to have cupholders large enough to carry our big gulps plus it is a full size 7-Seat Crossover SUV.

Since Americans also love to always be prepared, the Sorento absolutely had to be designed with a third row of seats just in case someone forgets that it’s their turn to carpool some extra kids home. Nowadays towing capacities and cargo hauling are less important to SUV buyers than the availability of features like in-dash navigation, a premium audio system and an essential all-glass panoramic sunroof.
While some may call the 2013 Sorento a tad unadventurous when it comes to styling but to us it actually looks a bit like a slightly smaller Acura MDX which is definitely no complaint. Helping along the Acura impression was the amazingly smooth and powerful 3.5 liter 276 horsepower V6 engine we tested that is quite simply the best motor Kia has ever built. It also works very well with the silky smooth six-speed automatic that comes standard.

While the Sorento is also available in a higher level SX trim, we like the EX-V6 most especially because of its delicate balance of power, features and price—basic  MSRP for a 2013 Kia Sorento EX-V6 is $27,950. But if that’s still too rich for your kind of budget there is also a less expensive 2.4 liter 191 horsepower direct injected 4-cylinder that drops the base price to $26,950. Either way, rest easy knowing that the EX trim level is jam packed with features and tempting available options.
Surprisingly, however, the 3.5 liter V6 fuel economy is estimated at the identical 21 city/30 highway that the 4-cylinder returns according to EPA figures. So if you can convince your other half and your iPad savvy ikids that you just need to have that extra power you won’t wind up paying for it at the pumps. And isn’t that real luxury? Yes, that and a roof made of glass is pretty luxurious too.

Written by Staff Contributor, road tested, photographed, video and edited by Christina Selter