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For budget-conscious SUV buyers, the 2023 Kia Sorento offers performance, seating, and safety that’s hard to beat. Drivers no longer have to make a trade-off between price and features in their search for a third-row SUV. The new Sorento has everything drivers need and receives excellent ratings from major automotive publications.

Let’s delve into what makes the Kia Sorento a great pick and how it stacks up against the competition.

Kelley Blue Book gives the 2023 Kia Sorento top ratings

The front of a gray 2023 Kia Sorento X-Line going off-roading in the forest.
2023 Kia Sorento | Kia

Kelley Blue Book recently released its list of the Best 3-Row SUVs of 2023. The list considered fuel efficiency, cargo space, and performance without particular attention paid to MSRP. Even then, the reasonably-priced 2023 Kia Sorento finished No. 4 out of 20 vehicles, with many costing thousands more.

Despite being the second cheapest on the list, the Sorento impressed Kelley Blue Book with its excellent cost/benefit ratio and a long list of standard features. And with an exterior design based around “Rugged Boldness,” this economical SUV looks the part among more expensive competitors.

Listed below are Kelley Blue Book’s Best 3-Row SUVs of 2023.

  1. 2023 Kia Telluride: $37,255
  2. 2023 Ford Expedition: $56,870
  3. 2023 Ford Expedition MAX: $62,935
  4. 2023 Kia Sorento: $30,090
  5. 2023 Honda Pilot: $37,295
  6. 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid: $38,015
  7. 2022 Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid: $46,485
  8. 2023 Hyundai Palisade: $37,235
  9. 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe: $56,095
  10. 2023 Toyota Highlander: $37,755
  11. 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid: $41,555
  12. 2023 GMC Yukon: $59,295
  13. 2023 GMC Yukon XL: $61,995
  14. 2023 Chevrolet Suburban: $58,795
  15. 2023 Subaru Ascent: $35,120
  16. 2023 Nissan Pathfinder: $36,535
  17. 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan: $28,245
  18. 2023 Chevrolet Traverse: $35,915
  19. 2023 Mazda CX-9: $40,125
  20. 2023 Nissan Armada: $52,495

The Sorento finished near the top of the list, despite costing more than $20,000 less than some models. That’s quite an achievement.

2023 Kia Sorento specs and features

Going over the impressive specs and features of the 2023 Kia Sorento, one might think it costs tens of thousands more. But somehow, the South Korean company created a rare combo of function and value.

The 2023 Sorento has a major pricing advantage, with the LX trim starting at $30,090. Considering what you get, that’s an outstanding value.

Under the hood, the Kia Sorento LX and S trims come standard with a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder producing 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. That’s good for 26 mpg combined on FWD models and 28 mpg combined on AWD models.

But Sorento EX, SX, and SX Prestige trims bring a turbo 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder with a substantial 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. And the turbocharged motor produces nearly identical fuel economy, at 25 mpg for FWD versions and 24 mpg for those with AWD.

The interior continues Kia’s theme of offering more for your money, with standard seating for seven, available leather and wood trim, and a modern design. Folding down the third-row seats creates 38.5 cubic feet of cargo space, and optional captain’s chairs add another comfort layer.

The exterior styling of the Sorento strikes a nice balance between capable and sophisticated. The narrow grille and LED running lights are reminiscent of a sporty pickup truck, while its prominent creases and strong shoulders give it an appealing stance. And the sleek Kia logo hints at the brand’s intentions to compete with the best in the business.

The Kia Sorento is becoming a mini Kia Telluride for 2024

With a refresh on the horizon, the 2024 Kia Sorento may become more like a mini Kia Telluride. While that’s a good thing regarding equipment and performance, it could mean a price increase. For now, we’ll have to wait and see.

The Kia Telluride is one of the most popular SUVs available and ranked No. 1 on Kelley Blue Book’s “Best 3-Row SUVs of 2023.” Still, the Telluride’s a large vehicle, and for those who want something more compact and nimble, the Sorento might be a better choice.

Current rumors suggest a boxy look with a larger grille, vertical headlights, and stronger creases, pointing to a Telluride-like design. Inside, the refreshed Sorento looks to have digital gauges and an infotainment screen spanning the width of the dashboard. And while spy shots haven’t fully revealed the cabin, bucket seats appear similar to those in the Kia Sportage.

While 2024 Kia Sorento test vehicles look ready for production, details could change as the launch date approaches. Keep checking back, and we’ll provide you with the latest info.


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