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Used Kia Sorento review: 2009-2013

EXPERT RATING
8
Kia refettled the Sorento for those who understood their city limits. New Kia diverted from the bush and went closer to the 'burbs with its all-new Sorento wagon in 2009. Gone were the low-range transmissions in its four-wheel drive models — in came economy-oriented four-cylinder and front-wheel drive models. These

Kia refettled the Sorento for those who understood their city limits.

New

Kia diverted from the bush and went closer to the 'burbs with its all-new Sorento wagon in 2009.

Gone were the low-range transmissions in its four-wheel drive models — in came economy-oriented four-cylinder and front-wheel drive models.

These were clear signals the new XM Sorento was aimed at townies with little or no ambition to go beyond the city limits.

The new monocoque wagon sported styling more suited to city tastes, with new levels of comfort, and was configured more for city use than was its predecessor.

There were three tiers of trim. The Si came in front and all-wheel drive, the mid-range SLi likewise and the range-topping Platinum was all-wheel drive only.

Primarily town-focused, the Si opened as a front-driver with 2.4-litre four-cylinder and 3.5-litre V6 engines. Its all-wheel drive versions had the 2.4 or a 2.2-litre turbo diesel power.

The SLi matched the engines in front-drive form, with the turbo diesel in the AWD version. Top-spec meant AWD only and turbo diesel for the Platinum.

Most variants came with a new six-speed sports-shifting auto transmission, though the Si turbo diesel had an optional six-speed manual.

Unlike the earlier model the XM had no low-range gearbox, somewhat reducing the Sorento's off-road capability.

The wheelbase was shorter than in its predecessor and the ground clearance was reduced. Its longer body translated into more cabin space, enabling seating for seven and creating more luggage space.

Now

Kia build quality and engineering integrity have come on in leaps and bounds, transforming the brand from a cheap-and-cheerful wannabe to one that is well respected, even desired.

Improvements in all areas mean the likes of the Sorento are much more reliable and durable than previously, as well as more comfortable and refined and very competitive against segment rivals.

Owners report few flaws, generally of a minor nature and fixed by dealers, quickly and without fuss.

Almost all commend the turbo diesel engine for its torque, which makes it very drivable if you adjust your style to take advantage of it. Owners also report good fuel economy around town and on the open road, even when towing a fair load. Oil use with the turbo diesel can be high but this appears to reduce once the engine has been bedded in.

The Sorento has been remarkably free of trouble. There was one recall in 2010 to fix a design flaw in the wiring to the door trim illumination.

Check for a service record to ensure your intended purchase has been properly maintained.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2013 $11,500 $24,750
2012 $9,200 $20,900
2011 $8,000 $18,040
2010 $7,700 $16,390
2009 $5,300 $14,960

View all Kia Sorento pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$10,130
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$5,300
Highest Price
$14,960

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
EX 3.3L, ULP, 5 SP $6,500 – 10,010 2009 Kia Sorento 2009 EX Pricing and Specs
EX Global Circuit 2.5L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $6,200 – 9,570 2009 Kia Sorento 2009 EX Global Circuit Pricing and Specs
EX-L 3.3L, ULP, 5 SP $6,500 – 10,010 2009 Kia Sorento 2009 EX-L Pricing and Specs
EX-L GLobal Circuit 2.5L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $7,000 – 10,780 2009 Kia Sorento 2009 EX-L GLobal Circuit Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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