Used Kia Sorento For Sale in Leavenworth, KS
Kia Sorento History and Awards
The history of the Kia Sorento is one that matches the story of Kia’s own rise from a budget import automaker to a global giant with a reputation for quality and value. As the mid-size SUV market started booming in the early 2000s, it was decided that Kia should produce its own model for the segment. At the time, Kia’s only SUV was the Mazda-derived first-generation Kia Sportage, which was not up to the increasingly demanding standards of the segment. The first-generation Sorento, first released in 2002, showed Kia’s dedication to developing a top-quality SUV, seeing upgrades in 2005, 2007 and 2009. However, it quickly became clear that the traditional body-on-frame SUVs were giving way to the more agile unibody crossover SUVs. While Kia released another body-on-frame SUV in 2009 - the Kia Borrego - the headlining event of the year was the 2nd generation, unibody Sorento.
The new Sorento was a huge leap forward for the crossover, cementing the modern Sorento’s place in the mid-size crossover market. As a unibody crossover, it was far more agile and fuel-efficient that the outgoing model, and featured a selection of both four- and six-cylinder engines that allowed buyers to choose their preferred balance between fuel economy and power. It was also Kia’s first US-built vehicle, which significantly improved both build quality and availability of the model. It also served as the release platform for Kia’s award-winning UVO infotainment system as well. But the biggest change the 2nd generation offered was a huge improvement in crash test scores, with the 2009 Sorento taking home top awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the European New Car Assessment Programme and the Australasian New Car Assessment Program. The 3rd generation, beginning in 2014, made slight improvements to that winning formula, increasing passenger space, body rigidity and handling, as well as introducing another engine option to the lineup, resulting in today’s Kia Sorento.
Impressive Appearance Over Time
Kia’s designers have done an excellent job keeping the Sorento current with the latest auto design trends while still keeping the overall look and feel of the vehicle constant. The side silhouette of the three generations is almost identical, making the car easily identifiable regardless of model year. The first-generation is distinctive with its early-2000s truck aesthetic, including prominent bumpers and running boards and curved corners in the front and the back. The second generation of the Sorento came as part of the large-scale styling shift at Kia, precipitated by the hiring of the famous German designer Peter Schreyer in 2006. He introduced the classic ‘tiger nose’ tapered front design that became a Kia mainstay, as well as adding sharper lines to the body of the Sorento. The third generation saw most of the styling changes in the details, with narrower headlights, a larger grille and more prominent fog light bays.
While the initial release of the first generation of the Kia Sorento featured both a four-cylinder and a six-cylinder engine, its body-on-frame design and large size clearly called for more power. Over the three mid-cycle updates, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder was slowly phased out, while the V-6 grew from 3.3 to 3.5 and eventually to 3.8 liters, maxing out at 263 horsepower. The lighter weight and the unibody construction of the second generation made four-cylinders feasible again, as well as the introduction of the higher-performing GDI engines, meaning the four-cylinder models got up to 191 horsepower, while the V-6 models produced up to 276. The third generation boosted the V-6 even further, up to 290, while also introducing a turbocharged four-cylinder with an output of 240 horsepower as an alternative, while still keeping the traditional four-cylinder.
The Kia Sorento’s long history is one of constant improvement, and the recent models of the crossover are really some of the best cars you can get your hands on in the mid-size crossover segment. We invite you to try out our selection of pre-owned Kia Sorento cars on a test-drive. Call us today and schedule your appointment with one of these amazing vehicles!