Larger than most compact crossovers but smaller than many midsize SUVs, the 2022 Kia Sorento carries up to seven people in three rows of seats. It comes with gas or turbocharged gas four-cylinder engines, a turbocharged hybrid drivetrain, or a turbocharged plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain offering 32 miles of electric driving range before its gas engine starts up to continue the drive. Cargo space measures 38.5 cu. ft. behind the second-row seats, with a maximum of 75.5 cu. ft. of cargo capacity with the rear seats folded down.
What's New for the 2022 Kia Sorento?
Following a complete redesign last year, the Kia Sorento lineup gains a new PHEV model offering 32 miles of electric driving range. Once the battery reaches its minimum state of charge, the turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder engine fires up, and the Sorento PHEV returns about 34 mpg in combined driving.
Additional changes are in store for the 2022 Sorento. Except for the base LX trim, all versions get a standard 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and connected services. In addition, the Kia Sorento Hybrid is now available with an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system and a 19-inch wheel design. Furthermore, the popular X-Line treatment, which gives the Sorento a more rugged look, is available on more trim levels this year. And the top-of-the-line Kia Sorento SX Prestige adds more comfortable front seats and heated second-row captain's chairs.
How Much is a Kia Sorento?
This year, the 2022 Kia Sorento price range is from the low $30,000s to nearly $50,000, including the destination charge to ship it from Kia's West Point, Georgia factory to your local dealership. Note that Kia builds the hybrid and PHEV models in Hwasung, South Korea.
2022 Kia Sorento Trim Levels and Configurations
Kia offers the 2022 Sorento in five core trim levels. Here are the highlights from each one:
- Kia Sorento LX — The most affordable version of the Sorento includes 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, and heated exterior mirrors with turn signal indicators. The interior comes with cloth seats, manual height adjustment for the driver's seat, and air conditioning vents for second-row passengers. Standard technology includes an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a basic package of driver-assist and collision-avoidance features
- Kia Sorento S — Upgrade to the Sorento S for 18-inch alloy wheels, blacked-out exterior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and heated front seats. Kia upgrades the S trim's tech package with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system (with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), navigation, connected services, remote engine starting, and additional safety features, including blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
- Kia Sorento EX — Choosing the Sorento EX installs a turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 281 hp, a hands-free power rear liftgate, second-row captain's chairs, wireless smartphone charging, and an expanded list of driver-assist and collision-avoidance systems. The highlight here is Highway Driving Assist, which combines adaptive cruise control with lane-centering assistance to create a semi-autonomous highway driving aid
- Kia Sorento SX — The Sorento SX gets a set of 20-inch alloy wheels plus upgraded LED lighting inside and out, a panoramic sunroof, and an 8-way power-adjustable front passenger's seat
- Kia Sorento SX Prestige — With SX Prestige trim, the Sorento adds a layer of luxury. It comes with power-folding outside mirrors, a 12.3-inch digital instrumentation panel, perforated leather seats, ventilated front seats with additional power adjustments, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, and a 12-speaker premium sound system. Front and rear parking sensors with automatic braking are also standard for this model, plus a surround-view camera and a camera-based blind-spot monitoring system
You can get the rugged-looking X-Line package with S, EX, and SX Prestige trim. It adds AWD, a Snow driving mode, roof rails, and a suspension lift that increases ground clearance to 8.2 inches while improving approach, breakover, and departure angles.
Sorento Hybrids are available with LX and EX trim, while the Sorento PHEV comes only with SX and SX Prestige trim. You should expect minor standard and optional equipment variations from the trim-level detail above with these powertrains.
2022 Kia Sorento Review and Test Drive
When Kia introduced the Telluride for the 2020 model year, the automaker finally had a proper three-row SUV sized for American families. Not only that, the Telluride married instantly appealing design with upscale interior style and impressive technology, making the biggest Kia an instant hit with consumers. Dealers struggled to keep the so-called "Selluride" in stock.
The Telluride's success dimmed the smaller Kia Sorento's shine, but a 2021 model-year redesign restored its luster. The Sorento is a midsize SUV, but it competes at the smaller end of the playing field where two-row, five-passenger models typically square off against one another.
The Sorento brings a standard third-row seat to the rivalry, one of many attributes that make the Kia a mighty attractive alternative to models such as the Chevy Blazer, Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Murano, and Subaru Outback. If there is a direct rival to the Sorento, it's the Mazda CX-9, which is also sized on the small side and comes with a third-row seat.
This year, the Sorento gets a handful of updates that make it more appealing. For this 2022 Kia Sorento review, the automaker provided the SX Prestige with the X-Line package, extra-cost Wolf Gray paint, extra-cost Rust interior leather, and a set of carpeted floor mats. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) came to $45,300, including a $1,255 destination charge. I evaluated the vehicle using my standard test-drive route in Southern California.
2022 Kia Sorento Review: The Design
When Kia created the fourth-generation Sorento, it replaced the SUV's soft, elegant lines with sharp, angular surfaces. So while the new Sorento is about the same size and is proportionally similar, it looks dramatically different. Whether you like it or not is a matter of personal preference, but the rugged-looking X-Line treatment is so popular that Kia has expanded its availability for 2022.
Likewise, the latest Sorento's interior represents a dramatic departure from the previous model. Here, the angular theme continues, replacing the plain and simple interior of the old Sorento with a classically architectural yet high-tech cabin. The SX Prestige test vehicle's Rust-colored leather seats featured perforations, quilting, and piping and stood in sharp contrast to the otherwise black cabin. Matte-finish simulated wood and contrast stitching played off the gloss black and polished metallic interior accents to ensure a luxurious look and feel.
In the test vehicle, two 12.3-inch digital displays supplied instrumentation, infotainment functions, and access to vehicle features and settings. I'm not a fan of the purple accent color Kia uses and wish owners had control over the hue. Generally speaking, the Sorento's tech and controls are easy to find, understand, and use, but the glossy surfaces can suffer from glare and reflections.
For 2022, the Sorento SX Prestige model's front seats add a wider range of adjustment, memory for the driver's settings, and adjustable thigh-support bolsters. These features join the heated and ventilated front seats and the heated steering wheel, all designed to maximize comfort no matter the weather. Thanks to the 14-way adjustability of the front seats, both the driver and passenger enjoy excellent comfort during long drives.
Someone with children designed the Sorento SX Prestige's second-row seating area, though side window sunshades are mysteriously absent. The rear doors open wide to make it easier to load youngsters, and the captain's chairs slide forward and back to make extra room in the third-row seat. Kia puts cupholders up high on the door panels where they're easy to reach, and older kids will appreciate the dual seatback storage pockets, smartphone nets on the inner sides of the seats, and airplane-style USB ports embedded into the front seat backs. In addition to the new-for-2022 heated rear cushions in this trim level, all Sorentos have rear air conditioning vents.
Adults will also be happy in the second-row seats. But the third row is of questionable use. It's challenging to enter and exit, and grown-ups will find little in the way of headroom, legroom, and foot room. Smaller children won't complain as much, but parents should keep in mind that the third-row head restraints are nearly flush with the rear window glass, and there is precious little crush space between the third-row seatback and the tailgate should someone rear-end the Sorento at a higher rate of speed.
Considering that a Sorento supplies only 12.6 cu. ft. of primarily vertical cargo space behind the third-row seat, you're better off folding it down and pretending that it doesn't exist except for emergency use only. Then, you'll have between 38.5 cu. ft. and 45 cu. ft. at your disposal, depending on the trim level, equipment, and second-row seat positions. That's a substantial amount of cargo space. Fold the second-row seats down, and the maximum cargo volume measures 75.5 cu. ft., putting the Sorento on par with its primary rivals.
In-cabin storage space is good, and Kia makes maximum use of the surface real estate on the center console. Highlights include a covered bin forward of the shifter and plenty of room inside the compartment underneath the center armrest. In addition, when you need to load cargo, you can activate the Sorento's smart tailgate function so that it will automatically power open if you stand behind the SUV for a few seconds with the key fob in your pocket or bag.
2022 Kia Sorento Review: The Technology
There is no shortage of technology in the 2022 Kia Sorento. From robust infotainment systems to impressive driver assistance and collision avoidance features, the Sorento is a modern automotive technology showcase.
Let's start the discussion with the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system in the base LX trim. Curiously, the LX is the only version of the SUV to get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The others have a larger and more sophisticated 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, but it requires you to tether your device to the tech by cord via the USB port. Weird.
Anyway, the test vehicle had the larger screen and all of the upgrades, including satellite radio, Kia Connect connected services, a navigation system, and a voice recognition system. A wireless smartphone charging pad and a decent-sounding 12-speaker Bose premium audio system are also standard with SX Prestige trim.
Though the evaluation vehicle had few miles on it, the Kia Connect service plan was not set up and active, so the Sorento's voice recognition technology did not work very well. It was able to find my favorite coffee shop and give me directions to the closest hospital, but otherwise, the digital assistant seemed clueless. Based on my experience in other Kias, this mediocre performance is typical, but at least this test vehicle showed me a message telling me the tech wasn't set up for service. In any case, you can always use your smartphone's digital assistants through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and just forget about the integrated voice recognition technology.
Moving to the Sorento's Kia Drive Wise collection of driving assistance and collision avoidance systems, the base LX trim includes a driver monitoring system, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and lane-centering assist. For blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic assist, rear parking sensors, and a Safe Exit System that warns occupants when it's unsafe to open a door, you'll need to choose the Sorento S or a more expensive trim level.
By the time you upgrade to the tested SX Prestige model, the SUV includes all of Kia's safety features. They include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, cyclist detection, Junction Assist (which can help prevent collisions at intersections), and active versions of blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert that can help avoid a crash if you ignore the warnings. Additionally, a camera-based Blind View Monitor shows what's in the SUV's blind spots within the digital instrumentation. Parking is easier, too, thanks to front parking sensors, automatic braking when parking, and a surround-view camera system.
Furthermore, the Sorento offers Highway Driving Assist (HDA). This technology combines adaptive cruise control and lane-centering assist to create a semi-autonomous driving technology. It requires the driver to keep their hands on the steering wheel but is exceptionally effective on most Hyundai and Kia models I've evaluated in the past.
For whatever reason, in this Sorento, HDA seemed uncertain of itself while driving in the direction of the late winter sun. HDA was constantly applying and releasing the brakes to maintain speed on a local mountain downhill grade, and the minor steering corrections on gentle curves drew constant attention to the technology. At one point, I passed someone with HDA engaged, changed lanes (because I don't hang out in the left lane), and then the SUV braked for some reason, almost certainly irritating the driver I had just passed.
Later, on straighter sections of the freeway, the Sorento's HDA proved better behaved and more aligned with my expectations of the system based on my previous experience. I don't know if the sunlight conditions, traffic conditions, or the technology's application in the Sorento caused these dissatisfactory observations, but HDA failed to impress me in this instance.
Another technology worthy of mention is the ultrasonic-sensing rear occupant alert system that can detect movement within the Sorento and send the owner a text message and an alert on the Kia smartphone app. This feature is helpful if you've forgotten that it was your turn to drop off at daycare, and your child wakes from a nap in an empty and locked SUV.
2022 Kia Sorento Review: The Drive
Kia offers four different powertrains in the Sorento. The test vehicle had the most powerful and least fuel-efficient of them, a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) and an adaptive AWD system. Output measures 281 hp at 5,800 rpm and 311 lb.-ft. between 1,700 rpm and 4,000 rpm, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy rating is 24 mpg in combined driving. When properly equipped, this drivetrain can tow 3,500 lbs.
Though Kia claims this engine will accelerate the Sorento SX Prestige X-Line to 60 mph in a modest 7.5 seconds, the SUV feels more potent than that. However, in the Comfort driving mode, it takes a moment for the Sorento 2.5T to get rolling from a stop. When the traffic light turns green, the engine re-starts and the DCT engages first gear, causing a slight delay in response. Then the turbo spools up, adding to it. But then the 311 lb.-ft. of torque swells at 1,700 rpm, and the Sorento surges ahead with authority.
I'll admit that the DCT takes some acclimation. However, once you understand that it works like an automated manual transmission and not a traditional torque-converter automatic, you can better understand its operational characteristics. You can also tune the powertrain to personal preferences by switching between Eco, Comfort, Smart, Sport, and Snow driving modes. In Kias, Smart is the one I typically use because it is supposed to automatically adjust based on how the driver is driving the vehicle. However, in this test vehicle, Smart mode refused to engage. So I ran the evaluation loop in Comfort mode, switching to Sport for mountain driving.
Aside from my dissatisfaction with Highway Driving Assist's performance, the Sorento proved an excellent highway vehicle. It's comfortable, easy to see out of, and feels secure on the road. In Comfort mode, the powertrain's behavior exhibited an additional, unusual trait in moderate slow-and-go traffic. Under acceleration, the turbocharged torque would arrive, the SUV would surge forward, and then the DCT would upshift to conserve fuel. This upshift dropped engine revs, causing a momentary dead spot in power delivery, and then the SUV would surge forward again. I found it entertaining, but I suspect most people would find it irritating.
Drivetrain quirks aside, the Sorento 2.5T is quick, responsive, and easy to maneuver in city driving. The ride feels firm in this environment, but not uncomfortably so. Suspension isolation could be better on speed humps and bumps; you won't want to take these with much velocity. Impact harshness doesn't sound brittle, but it tends to shudder up through the vehicle architecture on sharper bumps and holes.
My evaluation route includes some of the best driving roads Southern California offers. As I switched into Sport mode and headed into the Santa Monica Mountains, I expected the Sorento to drive like any other midsize SUV. But I was pleasantly surprised by its capabilities on the twisting two-lane roads near Malibu. It drives more like a sports sedan than a sport/utility vehicle.
In Sport mode, the powertrain snaps to attention when you push down with your right foot, and while the steering could feel a little more responsive and crisp, it impresses for this kind of vehicle. The brakes are terrific, too, delivering consistent, fade-free performance on the roads I traveled.
What's more, at all times, the Sorento SX Prestige X-Line felt utterly planted to the undulating road surface. There is quite a bit of suspension compliance dialed in, so the SUV can feel a little soft and disconnected, but the 19-inch wheels and tires supply excellent grip with little squeal around sharp curves and corners. There isn't much body roll, either, and the brake-based Torque Vectoring Cornering Control (TVCC) keeps the Sorento on the driver's intended path.
The Sorento's X-Line package increases ground clearance by 1.3 inches, from 6.9 to 8.2 inches. That's still nearly half an inch less than a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk or a Subaru Outback, but it certainly gives the Sorento an extra margin of error if you venture off-road. You can also lock the AWD system in a 50:50 front to rear power split at low speeds to ensure the best traction. I did not present the SUV with any significant challenges during a short ride off-road, but it will go places that a Kia K5 sedan can't.
Dynamically, there is fundamental goodness baked into the Sorento SX Prestige X-Line. I like driving it much better than the Sorento Hybrid I tested last year, but the turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder is not very efficient. My test vehicle averaged just 20.5 mpg on the evaluation loop, falling short of the EPA's 24 mpg rating.
Is the 2022 Kia Sorento a Good SUV?
Size-wise, the Kia Sorento seems like a compromise. But its position in the Kia lineup between the smaller Kia Sportage and the bigger Kia Telluride is actually inspired. So if you're the type of SUV buyer who only occasionally needs a third-row seat, a Sorento might be a perfect fit. Plus, it comes with impressive technology, is available in a range of trim levels, and offers both hybrid and PHEV options at reasonable prices. Add an outstanding warranty and decent crash-test scores, and the Sorento qualifies as a good choice in a midsize SUV.
Kia Sorento Competitors for 2022
If you split the mid-size SUV segment in two, the Kia Sorento competes with five-passenger models instead of three-row SUVs, even though it comes with a small third-row seat. Rivals include the Buick Envision, Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Edge, Honda Passport, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, Nissan Murano, Subaru Outback, Toyota Venza, and Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. The Mazda CX-9 is the three-row mid-size SUV most similar to the Sorento in terms of size.
Kia Sorento Features
Positioned where value, style, size, performance, and technology intersect, the 2022 Kia Sorento is an appealing midsize crossover SUV filled with thoughtful, upscale details. The fun yet fuel-efficient hybrid and PHEV versions are particularly compelling.
2022 Kia Sorento Safety Features
- Rear Occupant Alert — Standard ultrasonic movement-sensing warning system can alert the SUV's owner if a child or a pet remains inside the Sorento
- Safe Exit Assist — Available feature* warns occupants when it may be unsafe to exit the Sorento
- Junction Assist — Available* intersection turning assistance system that can brake the Sorento when a turn is unsafe
- Highway Driving Assist — Available* hands-on, semi-autonomous highway driving feature combining adaptive cruise control and lane-centering assistance
- Blind View Monitor — Available* camera-based blind-spot monitoring system shows the driver what is in the Sorento's blind spots
2022 Kia Sorento Technology
- Infotainment system — Standard 8-inch and an available 10.25-inch touchscreen
- Smartphone connectivity — Wired (10.25-inch) or wireless (8-inch) versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Kia Connect — Available* connected services technology
- Wireless smartphone charging — Available feature*
- Remote engine starting — Available feature*
2022 Kia Sorento Specs
- LX, S — 2.5L four-cylinder, 191 hp, 8-speed automatic transmission
- EX, SX, SX Prestige — 2.5L turbocharged four-cylinder, 281 hp, 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
- Hybrid — 1.6L turbo four-cylinder, 44 kW electric motor, 1.5 kW battery, 227 hp, six-speed automatic
- PHEV — 1.6L turbo four-cylinder, 66.9 kW electric motor, 13.8 kW battery, 261 hp, six-speed automatic
- Front-wheel drive (FWD) or AWD
- EPA fuel economy — 24 mpg to 26 mpg in combined driving (gas engines); 35 mpg to 37 mpg (hybrid); 32 miles electric range and 34 mpg (PHEV)
2022 Kia Sorento Interior
- Leather upholstery — Available feature*
- Heated and ventilated front seats — Available feature*
- Heated rear seats — Available feature*
- Heated steering wheel — Available feature*
- Premium sound system — Available feature* with 12 speakers
*Availability is subject to specific trim level selections