2024 Kia ​​Sorento X-Pro goes further

By | March 18, 2024

2024 Kia ​​Sorento X-Pro goes furtherKia

Robust is in, and at the moment almost every car manufacturer has an off-road-oriented version, all with names that try to convey a suitably rugged atmosphere. At Kia, the variant is the X-Pro, and the Sorento is the third Kia to get the treatment, after the Telluride and Sportage. As hockey great Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” So we can’t blame Kia for adding the off-road treatment to yet another model.

The Mechanically, however, little has changed for the Sorento. While Kia’s other three-row SUVs, the Telluride and the EV9, are each offered with one powertrain, the Sorento – like the Beatles or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – has a quartet. The base models are equipped with a 191-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder with front- or all-wheel drive and feel pitifully slow. A few hybrids combine a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an electric motor to produce a much more acceptable output of 227 horsepower in the standard hybrid and 261 horsepower in the plug-in hybrid. Those two will launch later in 2024 as 2025 models, with the rest of the lineup available to buy now.

Sorento sx prestige x pro from 2024Sorento sx prestige x pro from 2024

Kia

Available as a $1000 option on the top $47,765 SX-Prestige trim, the Sorento with double clutch. We don’t have official test results for the updated Sorento, but previous versions with this powertrain accelerated to 60 mph in just 6.0 seconds and never felt underpowered. A larger radiator fan increases the X-Pro’s towing capacity by 1,000 pounds to 4,500 pounds, bringing it nearly on par with the base Telluride’s 5,000-pound maximum. New for 2024, the more powerful unit comes standard on all but base LX and S trims. Unlike the smaller examples, the off-road-inspired X-Line and X-Pro versions come standard with all-wheel drive.

Upgrading to the BFGoodrich Trail-Terrain T/A all-terrain tires. On paved roads, the extra cushion from the higher off-road sidewall provided a comfortable ride, perfect for eating up highway miles on a family trip or jogging around town to run errands. Leaving the pavement for the dirt roads around the Rocky Mountains, the X-Pro made its position clear. The Sorento performed well in the slush and mud, especially in snow mode, which sends more of the engine’s power to the rear.

2024 kia sorento x pro2024 kia sorento x pro

Kia

In a segment where steering feel is probably quite high on most shoppers’ checklists, the Sorento is par for the course. Turning the drive mode dial from Normal to Sport adds some weight to the steering wheel, but doesn’t improve the overall feel. From a standstill, the dual-clutch automatic lurches a bit as it engages first gear – we had quite a few issues with the drivability and long-term reliability of our Sorento with this powertrain – but once underway, all the problems with the transmission to the background. On the plus side, we didn’t notice any excessive road or wind noise, despite the all-terrain rubber, and in fact found the cabin to be a perfectly adequate conversation space even when cruising at 80mph.

The updated interior of the Sorento provides a pleasant space to cover highway kilometers. The $295 two-tone olive brown leather package and faux wood on the dash make the attractive interior feel like it belongs in a higher-priced car, although there’s more hard plastic in there than we’d like to see. The leather-trimmed front seats offer plenty of support and have both heat and ventilation to keep your bottom as warm or cool as you like. EX and higher trims trade the second-row bench seat for a pair of captain’s chairs, which are heated in SX models and above. Unfortunately, space in the third row remains minimal, with a low seat cushion that forces your knees to your chest, making space difficult for most adults.

2024 kia sorento x pro2024 kia sorento x pro

Kia

Besides the introduction of the X-Pro, the biggest change for 2024 is the addition of dual 12.3-inch displays behind a large, curved piece of glass. One is located in front of the driver and serves as a digital instrument cluster, while the other is positioned more centrally to handle infotainment responsibilities. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard on all versions. As with the EV6 and Sportage, there’s now a touch bar below the infotainment screen on the dash that can switch between HVAC and media/navigation controls. The dual-use dials are simple enough, provided you’re in the right mode. Normally they require a quick glance down to avoid accidentally blaring Creedence when you’re really looking for more heat.

With a starting sticker price of $48,765 on the X-Pro trim, the rugged Sorento lands right in the price range of the larger Telluride. Kia’s higher trims tick almost all the equipment boxes, so our sample model’s price of $49,400 didn’t have much room to rise before hitting the ceiling; $295 went to the Olive Brown leather package, $225 for the carpeted floor mats and $115 for a carpeted cargo mat. Kia doesn’t seem concerned about the Telluride overlap. ‘We want to make it harder to choose between [the Sorento] and a Telluride,” said a Kia spokesperson. “We want the differentiator to be the amount of space you want.” That may be true, but despite the advances made in features and capabilities, the flagship trim succeeds of the Sorento fails to meet the Telluride’s high bar of driving dynamics or matching the usability of its larger footprint.

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