Like it or not, some Canadian families simply need the ruggedness, capability and power served up by a 4×4 SUV. If your family requires one such model to tow a boat, tackle the cottage trail or access weekend adventures via uncharted territory, there are several worthy options to consider in the used market.
The new Sorento is now on sale at Kia dealerships, leaving the former value-priced model in the used market with a praised ladder-frame structure and real 4×4 transfer case with low-range gearing. These two attributes form the basis for real-world sport ute toughness that gear the Sorento towards a shopper actually planning to work their machine a little with some towing or off-roading.
Sorento was powered by one of several V6 engines. Earlier models got a 3.5-litre unit with 192 horsepower, while a 3.8-litre, 262 horsepower V6 was also available. Later in the Sorento’s life, a 3.3-litre, 242-horsepower engine joined the lineup, and shoppers can look for a four- or five-speed automatic, as well as the rarer five-speed manual transmission.
What Owners Like
Value, equipment levels and styling are rated highly by last-generation Sorento owners, as are a safe and confident driving feel that comes as part of a tall height and solid ride. Fit and finish were also praised, as were good steering and acceleration.
What Owners Hate
Standard 4×4 complaints regarding fuel mileage top the list of last-generation Sorento owner gripes, with a “thin” paint job and some interior noises and rattles following behind.
Shoppers test-driving a used Sorento are advised to check that the 4×4 system shifts in and out of its various modes as expected, thus ensuring an expensive actuator within the transfer case isn’t malfunctioning.
Models with a manual transmission should shift smoothly with no grinding, clunking or clutch slippage. Ask a mechanic for help if you have any concerns.
A check beneath the used Sorento for signs of damage, rust or fluid leaks should be considered mandatory, too. If the vehicle’s former owner incurred any damage during an off-road mishap, you’ll want to find out about it before handing over your cash.