Los Angeles Auto Show: 2011 Kia Sorento

Article by Christian A., on December 2, 2009

Making its North American debut, the 2011 Kia Sorento is the first vehicle produced in Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia located in West Point, Georgia, its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. This was announced in a press conference by Kia Motors America during the Los Angeles Auto Show back in 2009, which also marked the debut of this crossover utility vehicle.

The Sorento was released to the market in early 2010 and encompasses the signature design cues that the brand is known for as well as the unique combination of safety, style, and value. This 2011 model-year vehicle gives consumers a well-appointed and well-equipped crossover utility vehicle that has the best power in its class and suits perfectly for a dynamic, discerning, and fun driver.

The 2011 Kia Sorento is based on the KND-4 concept that was originally shown in the same Auto Show way back in 2007. The 2011 Kia Sorento therefore has the same dynamic presence and swept-back line like the KND-4. With its large flared-back headlamps, prominent fog lamps, rounded nose, and angled window line, it is without a doubt a part of the Kia family as it exudes authority and strength.

The rear part of the vehicle also shows the same attitude with its rounded back and tail lamp that have been set powerfully in the rear lift gate. The trim levels of this versatile crossover utility vehicle are available in base, EX and LX. The exterior has wonderful features that are available on all levels and includes the 17-inch alloy wheels and 235/65R17 tires, as well as wheel moldings. Choosing the LX trim will mean having standard outside mirrors that are body-color heated and integrated LED turn signal indicators.

In addition, the EX trim level also offers 235/60R18 tires outfitted to a18-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, automatic headlamps, and fog lamps. The fog lamps are optional under the LX trim. It also has roof rails for those who like to go away during the weekends or enjoy recreational activities, though this is optional for both the EX and LX trims. The EX trims also have the option of the panoramic sunroof or 18-inch ultra-bright mirror finish, which is a first for any Kia model.

The 2011 Kia Sorento is 183.9 inches long and is 74.2 inches wide making it roomier, longer, and lower than the previous models, giving passengers and drivers a more comfortable and spacious ride.

In order to enjoy a more enhanced performance, the 2011 Kia Sorento uses an independent multi-link rear suspension as well as a lighter and more compact MacPherson strut front suspension.

Interior Design

The versatility of the 2011 Kia Sorento is further highlighted with the option to choose either a five-passenger or seven-passenger configuration making the feeling of spaciousness all the more clearer. The seven-seater has an interior volume of 149.4 cubic feet while the five-seat configuration has an interior volume of 142.5 cubic feet. Either option is clearly more spacious than the 137.5 cubic feet of the previous models.

For optimal comfort, both the head and legroom space have been increased as well. The 2011 Kia Sorento also has a cargo capacity of almost 5 cubic feet making it easy to accommodate not just passengers but cargo as well especially when enjoying a camping trip on the mountains during weekends. Aside from these already amazing features, the 2011 Kia Sorento also has the standard technology features found in every Kia.

For those who like to listen to music, it has an auxiliary and USB audio input jacks that allows for the connection of personal MP3 players and an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system that has SIRIUS Satellite Radio capabilities with a three-month complimentary service. It also allows connection through Bluetooth® wireless technology and voice activation controls mounted on the steering wheel that is compatible with many mobile phones to allow for hands-free operation.

The EX models also have the smart key and sonar back-up sensors at the back along with a push button start ignition. Furthermore, the inclusion of the air ionization purification system, rear view back-up cameras, and voice-activated navigation, complete the package making the 2011 Kia Sorento a truly high-tech and modern driving experience. Additional features include air conditioning, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel that have integrated audio controls, on-board trip computer and even rear map pockets.

Aside from the many features already mentioned, the lx trim also has the automatic up and down window function for the driver and an illuminated vanity mirror. It also has the EcoMinder™ Indicator which can help in ensuring that driving habits remain to be fuel efficient.

It has a second row armrest that has a cup holder as well. Upgrading to the EX trim will even give more features like the rear air condition, though this is limited to V6 models, steering wheel and shift knob wrapped in leather, and a dual automatic control for temperature.


The 2011 Kia Sorento has two engine types that are more powerful than those of either the Honda CR-V or the Ford Escape. The first is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that is capable of producing 175 horsepower with torque of 169 pound-feet.

The second is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that can have an output of 276 horsepower with a maximum torque of 248 pound-feet. Both engines are paired with Kia’s new automatic transmission with six speeds and when combined, these give the 2011 Kia Sorento enough power while offering improved efficiency in fuel consumption.

The proprietary 6-speed automatic transmission was designed, engineered, and then built specifically for Kia products making it one of only three brands to have such a transmission.

In order to meet and satisfy the needs of the consumers, the engines can be paired off with either an all-wheel drive or a front-wheel drive.

The all-wheel drive will also come with a locking center differential in order to distribute power evenly to all the wheels when driving at low speeds especially during severe weather conditions.

Press Release

Kia Sorento

Kia Motors America (KMA) announced the official North American debut of the all-new Kia Sorento crossover utility vehicle (CUV) during a press conference at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. The first vehicle to be built at the all-new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) in West Point, Georgia, Sorento encompasses both the brand's signature design cues as well as its distinct combination of value, safety and style. Coming to market in early 2010 as a 2011 model-year vehicle, the all-new Kia Sorento presents consumers with a well-equipped, well-appointed CUV with best-in-class power suited perfectly for the fun, dynamic and discerning driver.

With a streamlined and attractive look, the new Kia Sorento represents a modern CUV that is just the right size for today's consumer. Completely redesigned for 2011, the all-new Kia Sorento now employs a unibody design with the ability to comfortably fit up to seven passengers, offering more space and ride comfort than the previous-generation model. Prominently displaying the signature tabbed grille and wraparound headlamps soon to be seen on all Kia models, Sorento offers a more aggressive stance and sleeker profile than the previous version.

Confident and Contemporary Exterior

Based on the Kia KND-4 Concept shown during the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show, Kia Sorento offers the same swept-back lines and dynamic presence as the concept vehicle. With an angled window line, large flared-back headlamps, prominent fog lamps and rounded nose, the all-new Kia Sorento clearly belongs to the Kia family and effortlessly conveys strength and authority. The view from the rear offers the same forceful attitude with a rounded back and tail lamps set powerfully within the rear lift gate.

Available in base, LX and EX trim levels, the versatile CUV offers tasteful exterior features on all three including 17-inch alloy wheels with 235/65R17 tires and wheel moldings, while moving to the LX trim includes standard body-color heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signal indicators. All EX trims offer standard 18-inch alloy wheels outfitted with 235/60R18 tires, automatic headlamps, fog lamps (optional on LX trims) and a rear spoiler. Optional for LX and EX trims are roof rails for those looking to spend a weekend away or endeavor in recreational activities, while EX trims offer the options of 18-inch ultra bright mirror-finish wheels or a panoramic sunroof (V6 models only), a first for any Kia vehicle. With an overall length of 183.9 inches and overall width of 74.2 inches, the all-new CUV comes in longer, lower and roomier than the previous-generation Kia Sorento, offering occupants a more spacious and comfortable ride.

Best-in-Class Performance

The 2011 Sorento offers two engines, both more powerful than the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. A 3.5-liter V6 providing best-in-class 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque and a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 175 horsepower and 169 pound-feet of torque both are coupled to a new six-speed automatic transmission, which together provide ample power and offer improved fuel efficiency. This all-new six-speed automatic transmission is a proprietary design for Kia Motors that was designed, engineered and built specifically for Kia vehicles, making the brand one of only three manufacturers to employ such a transmission. To further meet consumer needs, both engines can be mated to either front- or all-wheel-drive configurations, the latter coming with a locking center differential to evenly distribute power to all wheels while operating the vehicle at low speeds during more severe weather conditions. For enhanced ride performance, the all-new 2011 Kia Sorento employs a more compact and lighter MacPherson strut front suspension and a fully independent multi-link rear suspension.

Modern and Tech-Inspired Interior

Moving inside, the feeling of spaciousness is all the more evident, and with both five- and seven-passenger seating configurations, Kia Sorento is now more versatile than ever. With 142.5 cubic feet of interior volume when equipped with five seats or 149.4 cubic feet with seven, Kia Sorento offers quite a bit more space over the previous generation's 137.5 cubic feet. Head and legroom also have been increased for optimal occupant comfort. With nearly five cubic feet more in cargo capacity, the new generation effortlessly accommodates both passenger and cargo needs for cruising around town as easily as weekends camping in the mountains.

In addition to offering a comfortable ride, impressive technology features also come standard throughout, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities and three months complimentary service, auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting personal MP3 players, and Bluetooth® wireless technology connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls to enable hands-free operation for all compatible mobile phones. All EX models offer standard push button-start ignition with smart key and rear sonar back-up sensors, while available voice-activated navigation, rear view back-up cameras and air ionization purification technology complete the modern and high-tech driving experience.

Standard comforts can be found throughout, including air conditioning, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel with integrated audio controls, trip computer and rear map pockets. In addition to those features, the LX trims offers standard automatic up and down driver's window function, illuminated vanity mirror, EcoMinder™ Indicator to assist with fuel efficient driving habits, and a second row arm rest with cup holder. Progressing to the EX trim provides even more well-appointed standard features including dual automatic temperature control, rear air conditioning (V6 models only) and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

Able to suit practically any driver, Kia Sorento offers the discriminating consumer numerous package options. The Convenience Package, available for the LX trim, offers roof rails, rear sonar, a rear view mirror with backup display, heated front seats and fog lamps. Moving to the Premium Package, available for the EX trim, includes roof rails, leather trim seats, heated front seats, a rear view backup camera and a panoramic sunroof (V6 models only), further adding to the feeling of spaciousness. By upgrading to the Limited Package, available for the EX trim outfitted with the Premium Package, drivers will benefit from luxuriously appointed features including a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic, an Infinity premium surround system with 12 speakers and a 550-watt digital amplifier, 18-inch chrome-finish wheels and interior accent mood illumination. A DVD Entertainment Package also is available on EX V6 models (without sunroof) for those looking for a little extra entertainment while on the road.

Superior Safety Features

Like all Kia vehicles, the 2011 Sorento is equipped with a plethora of standard safety equipment. All trims come outfitted with driver and passenger advanced front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain airbags and front active headrests, four-wheel Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Brake Control (DBC) also come standard on all models, the former assisting in preventing the vehicle from rolling backward when trying to pull away from an uphill gradient, while the latter helps keep the vehicle moving straight and steady down steep grades.

Pedestrians also benefit from the all-new Kia Sorento's standard safety systems. For the 2011 model year the hood of Kia Sorento is designed to crumple and flex strategically so as to absorb and disperse the shock of a collision with a pedestrian or bicyclist, aimed at decreasing the level of potential injury.

Industry-Leading Warranty

The 2011 Kia Sorento is covered by Kia's comprehensive warranty program, which offers unprecedented consumer protection. Included in this program are a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty and a five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan also is part of the comprehensive vehicle coverage.

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