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The gorgeous Kia Sorento X Line: The most complete SUV?

By Tony C. Lesesne

Here's the Kia Sorento X Line. With more off-road capability the gorgeous new X-Line trim features 1.0-in. higher ground clearance, improved approach/departure angles. It also features a more advanced AWD with snow-mode and a more robust roof rack than outgoing Sorento. I love it and plenty of others do as well.

I try to focus on day to day performance and what the average driver can get from my test drives. In this case, there’s more performance capabilities: A new 2.5-Turbo option with an abundant 281 horsepower and 311-lb-ft of torque mated to a segment-exclusive 8-speed wet-clutch DCT for more responsive around-town or mountain-pass driving. The Kia Sorento X Line was a major surprise because the mid-size SUV segment is so incredibly competitive.

Speaking of performance, as you'll also notice in the webisode, that the Kia Sorento X Line's new Turbo-Hybrid powertrain delivers 42 additional horsepower and nearly 50% better fuel economy than outgoing Sorento. It boasts the most Powerful HEV in its class1: 227-horsepower and estimated 37 MPG combined and there’s an available Plug-in Hybrid option with 261 horsepower and an estimated 30 miles of pure electric driving range.

Making a third row work while also maintaining a design and style that can appeal to buyers is a tall order. Making the Kia Sorento X Line a solid performer well on the streets, highways and freeways is equally tough. Kia pulled it off with a SUV that takes what the brand has learned over the years and packed it into this smart SUV that is complete on many levels.

When you look at the Kia Sorento X Line's doors in the photo at left, you also get the design scheme that is consistent throughout the interior. Its classy. There's a specific design idea that I liked - the wood inspired appointments on the door and dash. Sweet! There's plenty of practical technology on the dash as well as with the safety features. The headroom and leg room was pretty impressive in both the front and second row passenger seats with the third row being a bit low for my liking. I did like the appointments that the third row passengers got to enjoy, such as the storage cup holders, USB charging ports, lighting and the sunroof.

This episode highlights the Kia Sorento X Line's features and more as we take it from South Beach to downtown Miami for a test drive - not to mention the test route for the agility tests.

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