Used Kia Sorento

Used Kia Sorento

Before shopping for used Kia Sorentos, you should know that this midsize crossover has changed quite a bit since its beginning. When the world saw the Sorento for the first time in 2002, this crossover was more like a truck. The 2002 model had the body-on-frame and some great off-road potential. Today's Sorento is a little more car-like, with improved handling and a unibody design. In this used vehicle guide, we'll let you know when these changes occurred so you can get the used Sorento that's right for you. Built like a truck, handles itself like a car, or something in between.

Is the Kia Sorento My Kind of Crossover?

A few things haven't changed through the years. Do you like a large and spacious crossover with seating for seven? Do you like powerful engine options? Those things have remained constants. So if you have people to haul, want plenty of oomph, but don't want to feel like you're driving a bus, the Sorento is probably right for you. The only decision left is which model year is best for your needs.

Used Kia Sorento Gen 1

The Sorento Through the Years

The first generation of Kia Sorento ran from 2003 to 2009. But the Sorento didn't remain unchanged all those years. The engine especially received several upgrades. The base engine was a 192-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 paired with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. Starting in 2005, the transmission on offer was a five-speed automatic. The 2007 model year gave us a new standard engine: the all-aluminum 262-horsepower 3.8-liter V6. This sizable boost in power and torque makes the latter end of the first generation much better than the first four years. The 3.8-liter wasn't standard after 2007 but continued to be offered as an option. One thing to watch out for is safety. The IIHS crash test ratings gave the Sorento only one star in 2003, but by 2007 the Kia had significantly upped its game with the Sorento receiving four stars.

Used Kia Sorento Gen 2

There was no 2010 Sorento, but this crossover roared back to life in 2011 to start the second generation. The 2011 Sorento offered the same engine options as the last couple of years of the first generation, as well as the four-cylinder engine. Available third-row seating debuted, which stretched the seating from 5 to seven occupants. The tiger nose grille came in 2011 as well. A mid-cycle refresh in 2014 gave the Sorento a revised instrument panel, along with a new front and rear end with new tail lights modeled after the Optima. The final year of this generation cut the manual option, leaving only the six-speed automatic transmission.

Used Kia Sorento Gen 3

The third generation debuted in 2016, giving us a larger Sorento with a smoother ride and better steering. Despite the Sorento's increased size, this generation gave us a more car-like, refined drive. The interior also improved, with an upscale, high-grade feel to its materials and styling. Engine options include a 290-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 or a 190-horsepower 2.4-liter I4 engine, and a new 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine. Buying a used car from this generation is a good move if you want a touch of refinement with your raw power.