2008 Kia Sorento

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15 CITY / 21 HWY
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What Changed for 2008:
  • LX model gets new 3.3-liter V-6 engine

  • New V-6 engine rated at 242 hp, 228 lb.-ft. of torque

  • V-6 engine can tow 3,500 pounds
The Sorento was first introduced in 2003. While sister company Hyundai has chosen car-based construction for its Santa Fe and Veracruz SUVs, Kia retained the 5-passenger Sorento's truck-based configuration, employing a ladder frame with nine crossmembers. Completely redesigned for 2007, the Kia Sorento enters 2008 with no exterior or interior changes, but adds a smaller V-6 engine for the LX model. The Sorento remains a truck-based SUV with body-on-frame construction, V-6 power, and rear- or 4-wheel drive (RWD or 4WD).

The 2008 Sorento is covered by Kia's 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Kia Sorento comes as LX and EX models, each with a different V-6 engine. Front headlights with projection beams, front-end skid plates, and front and rear towing hooks are standard fare. Inside, features such as metal and wood trim, air conditioning, a 10-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo, power windows/locks/mirrors, and cruise control are all standard. EX versions get fog lights, an 8-way power driver's seat, and a trip computer that shows outside temperature and includes a compass and a distance-to-empty gauge. A silver-trim 16-inch wheel is standard.

The LX Sport package adds a black cloth interior or leather, side step bars, and 17-inch wheels and tires. The EX Luxury package includes leather seats, dual-zone air conditioning, sunroof, upgraded stereo with a 6-disc CD changer, and Torque-On-Demand 4WD.

The 2008 Kia Sorento LX now carries an aluminum V-6 engine measuring 3.3 liters and generating 242 hp. Its towing capacity is 3500 pounds. The Sorento EX comes with a 3.8-liter V-6 engine that produces 262 hp and has a 5,000-pound tow capacity. Both engines are mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission with Kia's Sportmatic feature that allows manual shifting without a clutch pedal.

The Sorento's 4WD setup is a part-time system with a low-range transfer case and is standard on 4x4 LX and EX models. It operates via a dashboard knob, enabling shift-on-the-fly usage. A fully automatic Torque-On-Demand system is optional as part of the Luxury package on the top-of-the-line Sorento EX.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Sorento earns double 5-star ratings in both front (driver and passenger) and side-impact (front and rear seat) crashes. Standard safety hardware includes front air bags, full-length side curtain air bags, a driver's knee air bag, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes.

The automatic Torque-On-Demand 4WD system offers both on-road and off-road driving advantages. It's found on EX models with the Luxury package. It checks for wheel slippage 200 times a second, and transfers power from front to rear wheels, as needed, without driver input, the automaker says.

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