2019 Kia Sorento Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Nov 30, 2017
  • Minor styling updates inside and out
  • New 8-speed automatic transmission with V6 engine
  • Cancelled turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • Revised driving mode programming
  • Added driver assistance systems, and several safety technologies now standard on most versions
  • Standard 7-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Upgraded navigation and premium sound systems
  • Available wireless device charging


Supplying style and value in equal measure, the midsize Kia Sorento crossover SUV has proven more popular than ever since its last redesign for the 2016 model year. Now, the 2019 Kia Sorento benefits from a freshening that revises its styling, improves its interior, enhances its safety, and upgrades its technology.

Exterior Features

Continuing in L, LX, EX, SX, and SXL trim levels, the 2019 Sorento is distinguished by several design alternations.

2019 Kia Sorento front quarter right photoHighlights include restyled bumpers, a new grille, new headlights (LED on SX and SXL), revised fog lights (LED on SXL), new taillights (LED except L and LX), and a revised tailgate. Three new aluminum wheel designs debut, too, ranging from 17 inches to 19 inches in diameter.

Interior Features

Inside, the 2019 Sorento benefits from a new steering wheel and shift knob, revised trim accents, updated instrumentation, and subtle changes to the air vents and center console design.

Comfort for front seat passengers in the SX and SXL trims should improve thanks to a power lumbar support adjustment, while all trims gain a standard third-row seat for 2019, bringing total passenger capacity to seven.

Choose the SX or SXL trim, and a new Mahogany and Terracotta leather colors are available.

Under the Hood

Kia has dropped the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine formerly offered in the Sorento. Continuing from last year are a 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 290-horsepower, 3.3-liter V6 engine. Kia has confirmed that it is working on adding a diesel engine option to the Sorento lineup.

For 2019, the 4-cylinder engine’s 6-speed automatic transmission is upgraded for improved operation. A new 8-speed automatic debuts this year, paired exclusively with the V6 engine.

Either engine is offered with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Equip the Sorento with the V6 engine and AWD, and it can tow up to 5,000 pounds of trailer.

Another change for 2019 is a new Smart Shift & Drive feature, which replaces the former Drive Mode Select system. It offers Eco, Sport, and Smart driving modes, and automatically changes between them based on your driving style. Alternatively, the driver can select a specific mode to use at all times.


Kia upgrades the Sorento’s safety technology for 2019. First, all versions except for the L and LX will include the automaker’s menu of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems as standard equipment. That means the SUV will have adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and a surround-view camera system.

Second, this package is expanded for 2019 with the addition of new Driver Attention Warning and Lane Keep Assist systems. The former monitors for a drowsy or distracted driver and issues a recommendation that perhaps it is time to take a break from driving. The latter is a lane departure monitoring and lane keeping assist technology.


Kia will supply every Sorento with a touchscreen infotainment system featuring a 7-inch or an 8-inch display and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone projection capability. Wireless device charging is newly available for the 2019 Sorento.

Equip the SUV with the optional navigation system, and it features next-generation software and capabilities. The Sorento’s available Harman Kardon premium sound system is also new, featuring 630 watts of power, 10 speakers, Clari-Fi music restoration technology, and Quantum Logic surround sound.


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