Styling is mildly refreshed with new front and rear fascias, new LED headlamps and LED tail lights. The look is fresh but familiar, with our SX trim grade getting body color wheel arch trim and 19” alloy wheels for a bold look.
The interior got a mild makeover as well, with new trim treatments across the dash and center stack. A new instrument cluster now has an LED TFT screen center gauge which gives more information, and the center stack gets all new controls.
The UVO touch screen and center console controls are very user friendly in controlling audio, HVAC and vehicle settings. There are touch screen menus for most controls, but also traditional buttons and knobs to make it quick and easy. It looks good but works very well.
Our test model was equipped with a panoramic sunroof which features a power sunshade which opens and closes for light, and the front panel opens for ventilation as well.
The leather upholstered seats and soft touch trims around all have a look of quality. Gaps between pieces, fit and finish and overall execution are notable better than the 2013 models.
When it comes to the all new platform Kia boasts, we would argue its really more a significant revision of the same. After all the majority of sheet metal stampings have not changed. What has been redesigned is the suspension cross-member up front and the rear mounting bushings.
Its sounds like small details but these well placed engineering solutions go a long way to transforming the driving refinement, feel of solidity, and overall composure. The 2014 Kia Sorento feels notably different on the highway and off-road, in a good way.
We spent a good deal of time off-road where these chassis changes really come alive. Of all the uni-body crossover vehicles we have tested this year, the Sorento is the most polished out on rough and loose surfaces. The body structure is solid and quiet in a way few competitors are.
The stability control is well tuned for loose surfaces, stepping in to catch under-steer and over-steer nicely. Suspension travel is still a little thin for heavy duty off-roading, with some bumps crashing through if you are rolling at them too fast.
The power steering for 2014 is driver adjustable with settings of “Comfort, Normal and Sport”. We played with the settings and they offer up a true difference in power assist, from an easy light feel to a more sporting heavy feel that I preferred out here in the wild.
The new 3.3 liter direct-injected V6 has 290 horsepower, about 14 more than the 2013 model's 3.5 liter V6. It provides ample power through the smooth shifting 6-speed transmission. It's a significant improvement in refinement across the rev range and even seemed a bit quieter.
It was a bit thirstier than the 2013 model we tested with a V6 however. The EPA rates the 2014 Sorento V6 at 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. Our observed fuel economy for the week of our testing was about 20 mpg.
While the 2014 Kia Sorento is not what we would call all-new, it is significantly better. While it may not strike you as different from across the mall parking lot, the changes you cannot see from afar really raise its stock in this competitive mid-size crossover segment.
As tested our 2014 Kia Sorento SX V6 FWD was $36,900 including destination charges.