Updated 9.29.14 with 70 official (Euro-spec) 2016 Sorento photos!
The updated Sorento is likely to arrive in the US market some time in the spring of calendar 2015 as a 2016 model. The 2015 Sorento is already available at dealers, which is why we speculate about the 2016 model year.
Kia calls this the third-gen Sorento, as Europe is less concerned with model years than we are in the USA.
Overall, the styling update is a big success. It is paired with a new refinement on the road, an all-new cabin, and a much larger third row of seats than before.
The design upgrade really helps keep the Sorento feeling young and competitive. Its previous chassis update only minorly tweaked the headlamps and grille style of the existing model, and was less-than-convincing as an all-new vehicle.
Staying fresh is critical in the Sorento’s market, where new entries like the Nissan Rogue on the low end, the Toyota Highlander in the mid-range and the Acura MDX at the top end are all safely in the competitive set.
Kia has done well with this car, and a thorough revamp for the European market cements Kia as a player in the big crossover segment. Few models as large as the Sorento are available for such attractive pricing — which is often half that of the similarly-sized Audi Q7.
Dynamically, we are excited to report that the new Sorento will come as standard in Europe with the very-good new steering setup from the Sonata Sport here in the US. Called R-MDPS by Kia, the rack-mounted electronic power steering is far, far better than the current model, as explained below….
The system is optional on the 2015 Sonata, where it totally transforms the front end of the car and feels precise and heavy and accurate.
2016 Kia Sorento
The Kia Sorento has the makings of a great SUV – but needs a few extra tweaks to really get to the same levels as its Hyundai Sante Fe cousin.
Those changes required include a fresher and more appealing exterior style, some dynamic tweaks, and a sportier cabin and driving position.