2009 Kia Sorento

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15 CITY / 21 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2009:
  • Several updates for the 2009 model year
  • Refreshed front grille
  • New paint colors
  • Improved and expanded option packages
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. The Sorento remains a truck-based SUV with body-on-frame construction, V-6 power, and rear- or 4-wheel drive (RWD or 4WD).

Kia has updated the Sorento for 2009 with a new front grille and paint colors. In addition, the standard features and option packages have been expanded and improved.

The 2009 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 2009 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. For 2009, Kia has also added keyless entry and active headrests to the list of standard equipment. Inside, features such as metal and wood trim, air conditioning, 10-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo, power windows/locks/mirrors, and cruise control are all standard. EX versions get leather upholstery, fog lights, 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 6-disc CD changer, and Torque-On-Demand 4WD. A new optional value package bundles the sunroof, leather seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The 2009 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 5000-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. In EPA testing, the 2009 Kia Sorento 2WD 3.8 earned fuel-economy ratings of 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway. The Sorento 4WD 3.8, with its additional drivetrain weight, earned slightly lower numbers-15 mpg city/20 mpg highway.

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.

Standard safety hardware on the 2009 Kia Sorento includes front air bags, full-length side curtain air bags, driver's knee air bag, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes.

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. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, the 2007-2008 Kia Sorento (a carryover platform for 2009) earned \"Good\" ratings in frontal crash tests and \"Poor\" ratings in side-impact tests.

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


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