2024 Kia Sorento X-Line SX Prestige AWD Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Kia, SUV, Test Drives

Kia, alongside its Hyundai and Genesis brand counterparts, has made major inroads in being a highly praised mainstream automaker, and that forward momentum continues in vehicles like the recently refreshed Kia Sorento. For the 2024 model year, the Kia Sorento, positioned just below the larger Telluride, gets an update for the fourth-generation model that was first introduced in 2021. The updates surround some exterior styling that mostly reworks the front end for a more sophisticated look, an updated instrument panel and touchscreen interface, and a slight reworking of the trim levels and how its tech is presented. The changes are welcomed to keep the smallish 3-row crossover fresh and relevant in an aggressively competitive segment.

Performance and Driving Character

Powering the Kia Sorento is a choice of two gas powertrains outside of the Sorento Hybrid and plug-in hybrid offerings. The gas powertrain choices start with the base 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque found in the LX and S trims. From there, all other trims, starting with the EX, get the more powerful 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine touting 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque sent through an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which is found in my Sorento X-Line SX Prestige AWD test vehicle.

Having the more powerful engine at your beckon transforms the Sorento into a sure-footed and somewhat sporty crossover. Moreover, the X-Line SX Prestige AWD trim, with its sporty looks and 20-inch wheels, feels right at home in the midst of other crossovers commuting to and from suburbia dwellings.

The Sorento fits right in and has a slight edge for being a sportier option versus many in its highly competitive segment. With that, the Sorento X-Line SX Prestige drives quite well and has adequate power to get up to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds. Power surges on from a low RPM without much turbo lag or drama from the drivetrain. The only fumble I found is the use of the dual-clutch 8-speed auto transmission, which seldom has occurrences of being a little clumsy and unrefined. Such takes place at low crawling speeds where the automated clutch activation is apparent, leaving you with a difficult time keeping things smooth upon acceleration. Otherwise, the transmission gives you a more direct feeling and connection to the turbocharged engine’s output by not having a traditional torque converter and the all-wheel-drive system prevents the front end from spinning out of the hole or out of a turn. Mostly, every other characteristic of driving the Sorento X-Line SX Prestige feels more refined than what I remember before placing it on a higher level of desirability for a smaller midsized 3-row crossover.

Fuel Economy

Having the substantial power output in the turbocharged engine, which a similar unit from the performance-oriented Kia K5 GT that I praised in my review, sacrifices some fuel economy for that extra bit of power and having all-wheel-drive. The Sorento X-Line SX Prestige AWD matches its EPA figures of 20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined in the real world. I was able to return a steady 27.2 mpg on the highway and mustered 23.6 mpg with mixed city and highway commutes. The 17.7-gallon fuel tank is good for a range of up to 477 miles on the highway.

Interior and Technology

The interior of the latest Kia Sorento has remained in the same configuration over the few years of its fourth generation, providing a smart use of seating areas and cargo rooms. Up front, you have comfy leather-trimmed seats with heating and ventilation and the proper power adjustments with thigh adjustment and power lumbar. Having the Sorento X-Line SX Prestige changes up the seating configuration where you have heated captain’s chairs in the second row and two seats in the third row for a total capacity of 6. The downfall here with such a setup is that when you put up the third-row seats, there is very limited cargo room, just 12.6 cubic feet. Though, folding the third-row seatbacks down gives you as much as 45 cubic feet of space.

Kia has been a frontrunner for its simplistic and user-friendly infotainment systems for many years now. The formula continues with the tech updates in the new 2024 Sorento, but they seem to have more of a subdued theme with a darker and monotone look, even with a curved 12.3-inch touchscreen and same-size gauge cluster. While the basis of the infotainment system’s core functions remains easy to access and interact with, things look a bit less attractive compared to the previous setup, with no way of changing the look. The latest gauge cluster follows the same pattern but does offer two distinctive themes apart from the different highlighted colors that can match your drive mode selection. Still, it looks more minimalistic and monotone.

I appreciate the advancements in tech for the new Sorento, such as the addition of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which allows one to fully take advantage of the wireless smartphone charging pad. Additionally, the integration of a new digital rearview mirror system is a welcomed update to prevent rear passengers or seating from blocking your rearward view. The digital rearview mirror system appears to utilize some of the best imagery using a high-quality display and refresh rate of such a system. The one issue of the new setup remains to be the panel for the climate controls and audio system, which utilize the same two knobs and toggles for the audio system use or climate control use. Basically, the turn knobs act as both the volume/tuning and climate temp adjustment, whichever (audio or climate) function is active. The toggling between the two uses where the function buttons change is sometimes counterintuitive until you spend a good amount of time with the unique setup, which was first introduced in the Kia EV6.


Kia keeps on pace with others in providing several active safety features as standard for all trim levels, which include blind-spot warning, forward collision warning/avoidance, rear cross-traffic warning/avoidance, lane departure warning/assist, smart cruise control w/stop & go, driver attention warning, rear occupant alert, and safe exit assist. Other additions as part of a higher trim level, like my Sorento X-Line SX Prestige test vehicle, include a 360-degree surround view monitor/camera system, navigation-based smart cruise control with curve & machine learning, highway driving assist 2, and parking sensors with parking collision avoidance.


Kia keeps things mostly competitive in the vast landscape of crossovers, and the new 2024 Sorento, with its slight price increase, remains a good value with a starting price of $31,990 before any fees or options. From there, the collection of 8 trim levels ranges up to nearly $48,000 before fees or options. My Sorento X-Line SX Prestige AWD test vehicle comes to a total of $48,285 as the final price, which includes the freight and handling charge of $1,375.


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