Kia Sport Utility Vehicles

An Overview of the Kia SUV and Crossover Family

The 2011 Kia Sorento. Photo © Kia

Kia's latest advertising slogan claims that the brand has "the power to surprise." For many SUV shoppers, the surprise may be how well equipped, stylish and elegant Kia SUVs and crossovers have gotten. Kia began as a bicycle manufacturing company in Seoul, South Korea in 1944, moving to automobile production in 1952. Kia hit US shores in 1992. After a few bumps, Hyundai bought a controlling interest in Kia in 1998.

SUVs have been a big part of Kia's success, and continue to be a major cornerstone in the company's strategy for the US market.

Sorento

Sorento was born as a traditional mid-size body-on-frame SUV back in 2003, and will be reborn as a 2011 model year unibody crossover vehicle when it emerged as the first vehicle off the line at the brand new Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) plant in West Point, Georgia. Sorento got a makeover for 2016. Sorento gets three engine choicesa normally aspirated (non-turbo) 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder (185 hp/178 lb-ft of torque); a 2.0-liter turbo inline 4-cylinder (240 hp/260 lb-ft of torque); and a normally aspirated 3.3-liter V6 (290 hp/252 lb-ft of torque). All three engines are gasoline-powered and 50-state ULEV-rated when running on Regular gas. Each engine can be matched with either front-wheel drive or full-time all-wheel drive, and each gets a 6-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic shifting.

Base prices for the 2016 Kia Sorento start at $24,900 with a 5 year/60,000 mile basic warranty, a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and EPA fuel economy estimates of 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway/24 combined (I4); 21/29/24 for the V6; 20/27/23 for the turbo FWD and 19/25/22 for the turbo AWD .

2016 Kia Sorento Long-Term Test Update #5.

2016 Kia Sorento Long-Term Test Update #4.

2016 Kia Sorento Long-Term Test Update #3.

2016 Kia Sorento Long-Term Test Update #2.

2016 Kia Sorento Long-Term Test.

2014 Kia Sorento Test Drive and Review.

2011 Kia Sorento Test Drive & Review.

2011 Kia Sorento Photo Gallery.

2007 Kia Sorento Test Drive & Review.

2007 Kia Sorento Photo Gallery.

Sportage

First introduced in 1995, Sportage underwent a makeover in 2002, and stands pat. Two powertrains are available for the compact SUV: a 2.7 liter 24-valve DOHC V6 pumping out 173 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque, and a 2.0 liter inline four-cylinder that produces 140 hp and 136 lb-ft of torque. The I4 can be ordered with either a 5-speed manual and four-wheel drive, or a 4-speed automatic and front-wheel drive. The V6 comes with the automatic and a choice of front-wheel or four-wheel drive. The Kia Sportage carries base prices from $16,695 to $23,400 with a 5 year/60,000 mile basic warranty and roadside assistance, a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and an EPA estimate of 19 mpg city/23 mpg highway.

2007 Kia Sportage Test Drive & Review.

2007 Kia Sportage Photo Gallery.

Sedona

The Sedona minivan returned to the Kia lineup for 2015 after an absence of three years.

Powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, the minivan gets 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway 20 mpg combined. Some old fashioned technology, like hydraulic power steering, still remains, but the Sedona surprise with it’s good handling and tight turning circle. Prices start at $26,400 for 2016.

2015 Kia Sedona Long-Term Test Drive Update #1.

2015 Kia Sorento Long-Term Test Drive Update #1 Photos.

2015 Kia Sedona Long-Term Test Drive.

2015 Kia Sedona SX-L Test Drive and Review.

2015 Kia Sedona Photo Gallery.

Borrego (discontinued)

The latest addition to Kia's lineup of SUVs, Borrego is a mid-size (technically) body-on-frame SUV with a ton of features. Borrego is available with two engine choices: a 3.8 liter V6 (276 hp/267 lb-ft of torque) and a 4.6 liter V8 (337 hp/323 lb-ft of torque).

The V6 uses a five-speed automatic transmission; the V8 is hooked up to the same six-speed automatic that you'll find in the BMW X5. The 2009 Kia Borrego arrives in showrooms with base prices ranging from $26,245 to $32,995, a 5 year/60,000 mile basic warranty, a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and EPA estimates of 15 -- 17 mpg city/20 -- 22 mpg highway (depending on engine and drive choices).

2009 Kia Borrego Test Drive & Review.

2009 Kia Borrego Photo Gallery

Rondo (discontinued)

I've claimed Rondo as an SUV, though some would call it a minivan and others would call it a station wagon. Rondo is a compact, six-passenger, three-row vehicle that is the closest competition for the Mazda5. Rondo EX V6 is motivated by a 2.7 liter 24 valve double-overhead cam V6 that sends 192 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels through its five-speed automatic transmission. There's also a 2.4 liter in-line four-cylinder engine available that makes 175 hp and 169 lb-ft of torque with a four-speed automatic. The Kia Rondo carries base prices from $17,495 to $22,295, including a five year/60,000 mile basic warranty and roadside assistance, a ten year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and EPA fuel economy estimates of 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway (I4) and 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway (V6).

2007 Kia Rondo Test Drive & Review.

2009 Kia Rondo Photo Gallery