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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2022 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2021 Kia Sorento X-Line AWD

Vehicle Type: SUV/Minivan Gasoline
 overall score
Category Ranking: 20

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $42,590
Price as Tested: $44,290

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 17.7
EPA City mpg21
EPA Highway mpg28
EPA Combined mpg24
with specific headlights

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [O]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [O]
  • Driver Monitoring [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
  • Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking [O]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

Sandwiched between the Sportage and Telluride crossovers in the Kia lineup, the compact Sorento crossover was completely redesigned for 2021. It offers 4 solid powertrains (including a hybrid and PHEV) plus a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Acceleration from our test vehicle’s 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine (281 hp) was abundant, with excellent overall handling and drivability - although we found the gas pedal a bit touchy and prone to surging. EPA fuel economy estimates are only so-so, however - just 24 mpg in combined driving. The Sorento’s exterior design is attractive, and the roomy 7-passenger cabin is comfortable, except for the third-row, which is fit only for kids. Cargo room is a healthy 76 cubic feet with the rear seats folded but is in short supply with the way-back seat in use. A long list of standard equipment, including LED headlights, a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and Kia’s Drive Wise system of advanced safety features are added benefits.
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Excellent everydaydrivability and handling
  • Many available advancedsafety features
  • Abundant space forpassengers and cargo
  • Decent overall exterior/interior styling and fit andfinish

Weak Points

  • Throttle surge
  • Unimpressive fueleconomyratings
  • Limited cargo space withthird-row seats in place

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/4
Curb weight (lbs): 4160.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 189.0 / 74.8 / 70.3
Wheelbase (in): 110.8
Number of air bags: 7
Warranty (months/miles): 60/60,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Continental CrossContact LX Sport
Front and rear tire size: 255/45 R20
Max towing capacity (lbs): 3500
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 8-speed
Drivetrain type: All wheel
Engine/motor: 2.5L 4-Cyl. turbo
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 281 @ 5800

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


Fuel Efficiency:


EPA Emissions Score:








Ride Quality:


Interior Size:


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