On the playing field of crossover SUVs, the 2020 Kia Sorento checks in at shortstop. It does nearly everything well, rarely wins MVP attention, and watches while its big-bank colleagues like the Telluride take home all the glory.
Revamped into a lineup of L, LX, S V6, EX, and SX models, the 2020 Sorento puts in major-league efforts in style, comfort, space, and safety, which earns it a TCC Rating of 6.5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Updated last year front and back, the 2020 Sorento has the shimmery wide-angle grille common to the latest Kias, sculpted body sides, a carefully draped roofline and pert taillights. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but its design benefits from great proportions and well-placed details. The cabin’s fashioned from low-gloss plastic and nice leather on the top models, and dressed up with oval-ish cues that lift it above its family-wagon station in life.
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Skip the 4-cylinder, front-drive Sorento L and its LX kin, and go directly to the V-6 and 8-speed automatic found in the Sorento S V6, EX, and SX. It’s rated at 290 horsepower, and has a friendly growl that goes well with its ample but not angry power. Gas mileage isn’t great, but the Sorento V-6 never feels like it’s gulping for air, as the former turbo-4 did. Ride’s the strongest performance facet the Sorento offers, but the SX’s steering is pretty delightful for a crossover SUV with a front-drive origin story.
The 2020 Sorento comes only with three rows of seats, but only the small will endure in the wayback; the Sorento is better at carrying four or five adults in fair comfort. Front-seat passengers have excellent support, but the middle bench sits low and lacks support. The Sorento has 73 cubic feet of storage space behind the front seats, but just 11.3 cubes behind the raised third row.
Safety scores are excellent, provided you pay for a Sorento with standard automatic emergency braking, which also eliminates the 4-cylinder models. Every Sorento has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a shiny 5-year/60,000-mile warranty, but only the most expensive models have leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control, and cooled front seats. Spend about $35,000 and the 2020 Kia Sorento shines; above that, we’d shop a 2020 Telluride and hope to find one in stock.