- 2022 Kia Sorento ($29,590 – $43,190)
- “Best New Cars for 2021” – Autotrader
- “Large SUV of the Year” – What Car?
- Pro: The Kia Sorento has standard three-row seating and four engine options to choose from.
- Con: It doesn’t have a V6 option and the third row is a little cramped.
Not too long ago, it seemed like the Kia Sorento wasn’t even a blip on most buyers’ radars when shopping for a mid-size SUV. Stalwarts like the Mazda CX-9 and Honda Pilot handily outshined the Sorento back then. But now, Kia’s second-largest SUV is upping the ante in the segment. It was redesigned for the 2021 model year and given a bold look on the outside and a luxurious feel on the inside.
Not only does it still compete with the entrants from Honda, Mazda, and Toyota, but it could even give rivals from Germany a hard time. It’s just that good. I spent a week with the 2022 Kia Sorento Prestige and couldn’t get over just how nice it was to drive and how plush its interior is. At some points, I even forgot that it was a Kia.
Which 2022 Kia Sorento trim level is right for you?
Choosing the right 2022 Sorento for you can be a little tricky as there are eight different trim levels to choose from:
- Sorento LX — $29,950
- Sorento S — $32,390
- Sorento X-Line S AWD — $34,390
- Sorento EX — $35,490
- Sorento X-Line EX AWD — $39,190
- Sorento SX — $38,290
- Sorento SX Prestige — $41,190
- Sorento X-Line SX Prestige — $43,190
If you’re looking for the best value, then the EX trim level could provide that. It comes with an upgraded turbocharged engine, a leatherette upholstery, heated seats, and a few safety features.
My tester for the week was the Sorento X-line SX Prestige model in Wolf Gray with a Rust interior. The price as tested was $45,120 including the destination charge.
What’s new for 2022?
As stated before, the Kia Sorento was updated for the 2021 model year, so everything is carried over for 2022 save for the new “Kia” badging. Also, a new plug-in hybrid model joins the lineup with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s mated to an electric motor for a combined output of 261. All-wheel drive is standard and Kia says that it can achieve up to 79 MPGe and 32 miles of all-electric range.
The 2022 Kia Sorento has a bold look
Kia calls the design theme for the Sorento “Refined Boldness,” which I think is very fitting. There’s nothing offensive to the Sorento’s look but it doesn’t look too subtle either. Its “tiger nose” front grille is flanked by two sharp LED headlights that are outlined by the daytime running lights. While there is definitely a lot of gloss black front grille to be seen, it’s capped off well by the new “Kia” logo.
The rear of Sorento is where things get interesting. The square cargo door and slim LED taillights give off Land Rover vibes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In essence, the 2022 Sorento has a more expensive look than its price tag leads on.
Is the 2022 Sorento comfortable?
Yes, the 2022 Sorento provides more comfort than you would think. Especially if you have ever sat in any Sorentos from the past. The mid-size three-row SUV now sports an elegant look that gets better as you ascend up the trim levels. My top-trim Prestige model came with a leather interior that was soft to the touch and the power-adjustable seats that provided a lot of support.
There’s plenty of room upfront and for the second-row occupants. However, the third row is rather cramped for adults, so I would only recommend it for smaller occupants or short trips. One neat addition is that Kia added a cupholder, a charging port, and vents for the third row, which you normally don’t see in an SUV.
It’s also easy to get into the third row with a touch of a button on either of the second-row captain’s chairs. The seats automatically slide forward for easy access.
The Kia Sorento has a bevy of standard features
The 2022 Kia Sorento comes well-equipped in its base form. According to Kelley Blue Book, some of the most notable standard features include an 8-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto, a backup camera, LED headlights, and a bevy of standard safety features.
Stepping up the trim levels, you can get a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment screen in the S models and above. A smart key with push-button start is also available as is dual-zone climate control, a wireless phone charger, and 8 USB chargers among all three rows.
If you want the most out of your Sorento, then I recommend the SX Prestige model like my test car. It comes with full leather seats with heating and ventilation, a surround-view monitor, a 12-3-inch digital instrument panel, and a premium Bose Audio system. If you’re an audiophile like me, that sound system is worth the upgrade alone.
The Sorento handles well on the road and in the turns
On the road, the Kia Sorento is comfortable at highway speeds and when driving around town. The cabin is serene at nearly any speed, although I detect some wind noise while on the highway. Otherwise, you can expect luxury-SUV levels of quietness, which was surprising to me. I even put the Sorento through its paces on a tight winding road and it handled it with no issues and without much body roll
There are a few different drive modes to choose from – Comfort, Sport, Smart, and Snow. However, they mainly change the vehicle’s steering and throttle response. Needless to say, the Sport setting made the car “feel” better on the canyon road thanks to the sharper steering response.
There are a couple of different powertrains to choose from
The 2022 Kia Sorento has two different powertrain options to choose from. The base engine, which you’ll find on the LX and S trims, is a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It produces 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque and is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. And while that power is sufficient for daily errands, it can feel a little lackluster if you have to carry a car full of passengers and their stuff.
In that case, opting for the EX and above trim levels will give you a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. That powertrain is good for 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque and is connected to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as well. In my testing, this engine felt strong with plenty of mid-range torque for getting up inclines and accelerating smoothly onto the freeway. Although, it felt a little slow when accelerating from a stop, but that could be due to the slight turbo lag.
If you need more traction, the Sorento is also available with all-wheel-drive, which has a locking limited-slip differential for when things get extra slippery.
Is the Sorento safe?
Yes, the 2022 Sorento is safe. It even received a “Top Safety Pick” award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Additionally, the Sorento comes standard with a generous list of safety features that includes:
- Automatic emergency braking
- Lane-keeping assist
- Lane-following assist
- Backup camera
- LED headlights
- Lane-departure warning
- Rear Occupant Alert with Ultrasonic Sensors
- Intelligent speed limit assist
There are also some safety features that are available on higher trim levels:
- Blind-spot collision avoidance
- Highway Driving Assist
- Smart Cruise Control
- Safe-Exit Assist
Is the Kia Sorento cheap to maintain?
The 2022 Kia Sorento is relatively inexpensive to maintain. According to Edmunds’ True Cost to Own calculations, it can cost an average of $5,638 to maintain a Sorento during the first five years of ownership. As far as repairs, Edmunds estimates that it can cost an average of $646 during the first five years.
However, new owners won’t have to worry too much about unforeseen repairs as the Sorento comes with Kia’s industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty in addition to a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty.
The 2022 Kia Sorento offers excellent value and build quality
Although the 2022 Kia Sorento competes in a tough segment filled with heavy-hitting rivals like the Honda Pilot and Mazda CX-9, its bold look and stout roster of features make it a formidable competitor. In addition to those attributes, it has an amazing amount of comfort and eye-pleasing aesthetics that make it an excellent value for the money. Even if you happen to pay over $45,000 for the top trim.
MotorBiscuit gives the 2022 Kia Sorento an expert rating of 8.4 out of 10
The editors at MotorBiscuit award the 2022 Kia Sorento with an overall rating of 8.4 out of 10. The Kia Sorento’s new look and luxurious amenities make it a tough competitor in the segment. Additionally, its pricing structure makes it an excellent value for anyone in the market for a three-row mid-size SUV.