Experts Think Everyone is Buying the Wrong 2022 Kia Sorento Trim

What’s the most popular 2022 Kia Sorento trim? Coming off a full redesign last year, the Sorento is more popular than ever. However, there’s one trim level getting far more action than any other option in the Sorento lineup. Top experts recommend different trims, but none recommend the most popular one. In short, experts think everyone is buying the wrong 2022 Kia Sorento trim.

2022 Kia Sorento X-Line, Consumer Reports review
2022 Kia Sorento X-Line | Kia

According to KBB, the 2022 Kia Sorento SX is the most popular trim so far. Despite offering hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, the standard internal combustion engine SX option remains on top with consumers. Moreover, there are a few trim levels below the SX trim, but it’s still affordable. Sorento SX models are an excellent middle ground for well-equipped and not overly expensive. Starting at $38,290, the SX model is roughly $9,000 more expensive than the base model.

However, it’s still nearly $10,000 cheaper than the top trim, the SX Prestige PHEV. Instead of the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, SX models receive the upgraded 2.5-liter turbocharged engine with 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. In addition, it comes with driver attention warning, forward collision warning, forward collision avoidance assist, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic collision warning, and more.

What makes the Sorento SX better than more affordable trims?

Experts say everyone is buying the wrong 2022 Kia Sorento trim. Is that true?
2022 Kia Sorento | Kia

Consumers tend to go for the cheapest available options if they’re not completely basic. However, 2022 Kia Sorento buyers are choosing an option six models up from the base LX. There has to be something good about the SX trim that’s causing everyone to want it over more affordable trim levels. Here’s what it gets that lower tiers miss out on:

  • A 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • An eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • LED projector headlamps, rear combination lamps, and interior overhead lamp
  • Satin chrome door handles
  • Eight-way power-adjustable passenger’s seat
  • Second-row captain’s chairs

All of this equipment is standard on every 2022 Kia Sorento SX. However, even more optional packages become available, starting with this trim level. These include the rear-seat entertainment package, side step bars, a tow hitch, all-wheel drive, an auto-dimming mirror with HomeLink, custom illuminated interior appearance items, and various cargo management accessories.

Car and Driver recommends a more affordable Kia Sorento

2022 Kia Sorento EX, SX, or S? Experts disagree and consumers aren't buying their recommendations.
2022 Kia Sorento interior | Kia

For the 2022 model year, experts at Car and Driver recommend buying the Sorento EX trim level. Ranking just under the SX and EX Hybrid in price, the EX trim is the first model to come with a more powerful engine. Additionally, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, remote start, 18-inch wheels, black exterior accents, and other styling cues are unavailable on the LX and S models.

CAD says it is worth paying the extra $3,700 for all-wheel drive. It comes with the X-Line appearance package, which adds a 1.0-inch higher ride height, 20-inch wheels, a roof rack, and exterior styling details.

Edmunds recommends an even cheaper option

Even lower than the CAD recommended EX trim is the Sorento S. That’s what experts from Edmunds recommend buying. According to Edmunds, it packs a lot of features, including the new larger touchscreen and navigation system, into a small price. Purely for value purposes, the S trim is the best option. However, Edmunds noted that the upgraded engine is a massive selling point, directing buyers to the same EX trim as CAD for boosted performance with similar affordability.

Is everyone buying the wrong 2022 Kia Sorento trim?

RELATED: Car and Driver and Consumer Reports Disagree on the 2022 Kia Sorento

As of right now, the most popular 2022 Kia Sorento is the SX trim level. However, experts from publications like Car and Driver and Edmunds don’t recommend buying the SX model. It’s a little more pricey than their recommended Sorentos. More specifically, the EX trim is cheaper but gets many of the same benefits as the SX model. Although LED lights and captain’s chairs could be crucial to some buyers, so for only a few thousand dollars more, it seems worth the price. We think the SX model is an excellent option, but other experts think everyone is buying the wrong 2022 Kia Sorento trim.

RELATED: The 2022 Kia Sorento Is Way Overpriced Right Now