The 2017 Kia Sorento Is the Goldilocks of Midsize SUVs

Critics have fondly referred to the Kia Sorento as the Goldilocks of midsize SUVs because it’s “just right.” The Sorento is safe, comfortable, and well-equipped. New Sorentos are relatively affordable, but if you’re looking to buy used, the 2017 version presents a great deal of modern features. Let’s see if the 2017 Sorento is right for you.

Driving the 2017 Kia Sorento

Overall, the 2017 Kia Sorento is a comfortable, smooth ride that’s available as a two- or three-row SUV. The standard L and LX trims come with a 185-horsepower four-cylinder. This four-cylinder is a bit lackluster. However, its soft power is why U.S. News considers this variant as one of the best midsize SUVs for new teen drivers. The Sorento’s standard engine is also the best choice if fuel economy is among your top priorities. 

For a little more power, consider the turbo-four that makes 240-hp, but it’s only available on the two-row version. The most potency is found on the three-row Sorento, which features a 290-hp V6 engine. No matter which engine you pick, you’ll find that the Sorento offers stable handling. It’s also worth mentioning that all-wheel-drive is available on all trims except the base level.

Interior elements 

The Kia Sorento has one of the most stylish interiors in the class.
2017 Kia Sorento interior | Kia

On the inside, the Sorento impresses with a surprisingly upscale interior. Its standard configuration seats five, and the three-row configuration carries up to seven. The Sorento is pretty generous on interior space, but its third-row seat will likely feel cramped for most adults. 

As far as in-car electronics go, the base Sorento is just OK. Standard features for the 2017 version include Bluetooth and satellite radio. You’ll want to shop for models with the available 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto for more tech. Some models will also have advanced safety equipment, including an auto-braking system and lane-keep assist. The top-tier SX trim is the best choice for the most tech, and it comes with Nappa leather upholstery. 

Safety and reliability ratings

2017 Kia Sorento driving through a snowy and icy mountain road with evergreen trees and rocks in the background
2017 Kia Sorento | Kia

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This Kia also stands out for its excellent safety ratings. The IIHS named the 2017 Sorento as a Top Safety Pick. The NHTSA gave this 2017 model a five-star crash-test safety rating; it did well in its rollover test too. This SUV also earned above-average reliability ratings.

U.S. News and Consumer Reports both gave the Sorento top dependability scores. There were three NHTSA safety recalls on this model, though. One recall had to do with a potential issue with the Sorento’s engine and engine cooling. The others relate to concerns with its trailer hitches and fuel system. Make sure to address these recalls with your auto dealer before you buy it.


The Kia Sorento presents excellent value because of its excellent ratings and versatility. Depending on the mileage, you can get the standard 2017 Sorento for under $17K. The top-tier models are available for sale for under $26K.