2019 Kia Sorento First Drive: A Perfectly Fine Refresh

– Crested Butte, Colorado

With a nip here, and a tuck there, the Kia Sorento gains a moderate update for the 2019 model year. Not a whole lot has changed, admittedly; designers have cleaned up the front and rear fascias, while engineers have upped the efficiency by way of an all-new eight-speed automatic gearbox on V6 models. Apart from that, nearly all the same comfort and capability available on the outgoing model carries over – which is good news for fans of Kia’s largest crossover.

At first glance, you might not even notice that the Sorento has been updated at all. But compare it side-by-side with the outgoing model, and it’s apparent that designers really tightened up the styling both inside and out. There’s still an excessive amount of chrome, particularly on the grille and wheels, but the front fascia is now more attractive with all-new headlights, and sharp LED fog lights (on SXL) with chrome fixtures. The larger 19-inch wheels are brand new, too. Out back, the Sorento gains a similar LED taillight treatment to what you’ll find on the front, a new diffuser, and of course plenty of chrome accenting.

2019 Kia Sorento: First Drive

In the cabin, many of the same subtle revisions carry over. A revamped steering wheel design, some new air vents, and upgraded instrument cluster graphics are all part of the refresh. The panoramic moonroof is also a nice touch. Buyers can opt for upscale Nappa leather in new mahogany and terracotta color options with revised upholstery patterns, while SX and SXL trims gai...