Since 2020, the fourth-gen Sorento has worn the same jib, but Kia is finally rolling on new makeup for its trusty three-row SUV. The upcoming 2024 Sorento’s most dramatic updates happen up front, where its updated headlights and grille now look less grumpy and more like the design language from the all-electric EV9. A marginally updated interior gets a bigger screen but looks largely the same as before. We speculate the Sorento’s gas, hybrid, and plug-in-hybrid models will carry over, likely using the same powertrains as before. The Sorento will likely continue to be offered as a front-wheel drive SUV with all-wheel drive as an option, giving would-be Telluride and Hyundai Palisade buyers more options in the ever-competitive three-row mid-size market.
What’s New for 2024?
Kia gives the 2024 Sorento a mid-cycle refresh that’s largely focused on appearances. Full details haven’t been released yet, but photos of the updated fourth-gen Sorento have surfaced from the Korean market. We’ll update this space as we learn more. A fresh fascia and revised taillights are among the most significant changes.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
So long as the refreshed model doesn’t shuffle the trim levels, we’ll stick to our usual Sorento trim suggestion. We like the EX hybrid. It’s pricier than the base Sorento, but it comes standard with the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain that’s more powerful than the base nonhybrid offering. It also has nicer amenities than the trims below it, including leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, remote start, and snazzier styling such as 17-inch wheels and black exterior accents.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Sorento has a wide selection of engine options and is available with front- or all-wheel drive. A 191-hp 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine is standard and a 281-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder is available too. Both pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the hybrid model uses a six-speed automatic. We drove a top-of-the-line SX trim with the turbo-four and appreciated its noticeable thrust, but we wish the powertrain felt more responsive off the line. The same model delivered poised handling, a nicely isolated ride, and firm brake-pedal feedback. The eco-friendly Sorento hybrid features a turbo 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor that work together to generate 227 horsepower. The all-wheel-drive Sorento plug-in hybrid features the same engine and transmission as the lesser hybrid, but in this application, the powertrain makes a combined 261 horsepower courtesy of a more powerful electric motor.
Towing and Payload Capacity
Although the Kia Sorento won’t move mountains, its marginal towing capacity could prove helpful in some situations. The maximum towing capacity for the Sorento is 3500 pounds when equipped with the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and the optional towing package. Avoid the towing package or opt for the base naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine and that figure falls to 2000 pounds. Though the Sorento can’t match the V-6-powered Kia Telluride‘s 5000-pound tow rating, it still can haul a couple of jet skis or small farm animals—depending on your lifestyle.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA hasn’t released estimates for the 2024 Sorento, but we don’t anticipate major changes. Currently, the Sorento is rated at up to 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway when equipped with the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The more powerful turbocharged 2.5-liter four nets EPA ratings of 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. The hybrid Sorento HEV is the most fuel-efficient with estimates of 39 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. The plug-in hybrid has a combined rating of 79 MPGe. Drive the Sorento PHEV in its Hybrid mode and the plug-in model earns EPA-estimated fuel economy figures of 35 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. That said, the PHEV can travel up to a manufacturer-estimated 32 miles on electricity alone with a full charge of its battery. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, a Sorento EX Hybrid achieved 31 mpg—4 mpg short of its EPA estimate. The Sorento PHEV returned 25 mpg while in Hybrid mode, 8 mpg off its EPA estimate. For more information about the Sorento’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Sorento has an attractive layout, nice materials, and solid build quality inside. The dashboard has been refreshed and is using Kia’s newer infotainment software. A larger digital gauge cluster sits behind the steering wheel and connects to an updated infotainment screen that’s likely bigger than the 12.3-inch unit found on the top trims of today’s Sorento. The design also incorporates ambient lighting and stitched surfaces on the door panels and seat inserts. A variety of cubby storage spots and cupholders also fill out the console. Along with a standard third row, its second-row bench can be swapped for a pair of captain’s chairs. Compared with the larger Telluride, the Sorento’s far-back seats aren’t comfortable for adults, and we only managed to fit two carry-on suitcases in the cargo area—two fewer than the Telluride.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The updated Sorento will likely offer newer and larger touchscreens compared with the current model’s 8.0-inch or optional 10.3-inch screens. Other features are likely to carry over, such as the optional wireless charging pad 12-speaker Bose sound system, and rear-seat entertainment system.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Sorento enjoys a roster of standard and optional driver-assistance technology. We don’t anticipate many changes for 2024, but it’s possible some optional features will become standard. For more information about the Kia’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Kia has one of the most impressive warranty plans in the industry. However, it doesn’t offer the complimentary maintenance that its corporate counterpart, Hyundai, does.
- Limited warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance