Skip to main content

Kia Sorento FAQs


Discover more about this sleek crossover.

Kia Sorento FAQ: Hero | CarMax

On the hunt for a midsize crossover with room to spare? The Kia Sorento boasts a standard three-row design with seating for up to seven people, plus plenty of other standard equipment on its 2021 model that includes an eight-inch touchscreen display, a suite of driver assistance features, and seamless smartphone integration. Plus, with all-wheel drive available on some used models, this capable crossover is more than ready to tackle the road ahead.

If you’re looking for a combination of space and style, the Kia Sorento may be the perfect fit for your crew. To help with your research, we've taken the time to answer some of the most asked questions about the Sorento in our FAQ section below.

Kia Sorento FAQs

Q: Do any Kia Sorentos have captain seats?

A: Yes, second-row captain's chairs are available on select Kia Sorento trims. These second-row captain's chairs take the place of the vehicle's standard split-folding bench seat.

For example, on the 2021 Sorento, second-row captain's chairs are standard on the EX trim and above. This reduces the Sorento's seating capacity from seven to six people but provides additional room and comfort for those seated in the second row.

Q: What is the best Kia SUV to buy?

A: The Kia SUV that is best suited for you will depend on how much space you need, which features you're looking for, and many other factors. However, Kia has several SUV models to choose from that may be worth your consideration.

Looking for a smaller Kia SUV? The Kia Soul boasts distinctive styling and offers seating for up to five passengers. If you need something with all-wheel drive, however, you may want to look at the new-for-2021 Kia Seltos. This compact SUV also offers five-passenger seating but comes standard with AWD on most trims.

The Niro is another popular SUV option from Kia, offering the same seating capacity as the Soul and Seltos—but with a little more space throughout. If you're looking for something slightly roomier still, the Kia Sportage is a popular compact crossover SUV option. Both models offer all-wheel drive on some trim levels, although front-wheel drive is standard.

When you need seating for up to seven people, the three-row Kia Sorento is a practical choice; models equipped with second-row bench seat can accommodate seven passengers, while models with second-row captain's chairs max out at six people.

Finally, the Kia Telluride is an even more spacious three-row SUV that can accommodate up to eight passengers with its standard second-row bench seating. As you can see, there is a Kia SUV to suit just about any sized family.

Q: Is a Kia Sorento good in the snow?

A: As a three-row SUV, the Kia Sorento is built to tackle less forgiving terrain. Its compact design makes for sharper handling and easier maneuverability compared to some larger three-row SUVs on the market, even in snowy and slick conditions.

For even more control behind the wheel, consider looking for a Sorento model equipped with all-wheel drive. On the 2020 Sorento, AWD is optional across all trim levels (except for the SX Prestige trim, which comes exclusively with front-wheel drive). Meanwhile, the SX Prestige X-Line trim on the 2020 Sorento automatically comes with all-wheel drive.

Q: What cars are similar to a Kia Sorento?

A: The Kia Sorento is classified as a three-row compact crossover SUV—and there are several similar options on the market.

The Honda Pilot, for instance, also offers three rows of seating with space for up to eight people. The Nissan Pathfinder is another three-row SUV with seating for up to seven. Some other examples of smaller three-row SUVs that may compare to the Sorento include:

Q: Is Kia Sorento full-time AWD?

A: Some Kia Sorento models are equipped with Kia's full-time AWD system, which is known as Dynamax. This AWD system works by sending torque to both the front and rear axles as needed—monitoring road conditions continuously and diverting more torque to the front or rear wheels for improved traction.

However, it is worth noting that Kia Dynamax was first offered for the 2020 model year. Therefore, used Kia Sorento models produced before the 2020 model year are not available with this full-time AWD system.

Q: How much does a 2021 Kia Sorento cost?

A: The price of a 2021 Kia Sorento will depend on many factors, including mileage, trim, features, and more. The 2021 Kia Sorento is a newer model year, and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. However, according to CarMax sales data, the average cost for a 2020 Kia Sorento is $21,914.1

Q: Which Kia SUV has 4WD?

A: Four-wheel drive is not available on Kia SUVs, although a similar all-wheel-drive system is equipped on some used models. Compared to traditional 4WD (which needs to be manually engaged by the driver), an all-wheel drive system automatically adjusts torque between the front and rear axle to optimize driving conditions.

Aside from the Kia Sorento (which is available with optional all-wheel drive on most trims), there are some other Kia SUV models that come with AWD on some trim levels.

The Kia Seltos, which made its crossover debut for the 2021 model year, comes with all-wheel drive on most trim levels (except for the S trim on its 2021 model, which comes with front-wheel drive instead). This compact crossover SUV offers seating for up to five passengers, so it could be a good option if you're looking for a smaller Kia SUV with all-wheel drive.

If you're looking for something a little larger, the Kia Sportage is also available with all-wheel drive; while front-wheel drive is standard on the Sportage from 2011 to present, look for all-wheel drive on any trims within the 2021 model year.

The even larger Kia Telluride is also offered with all-wheel drive. On the 2021 model, front-wheel drive is standard, but AWD is an optional upgrade for every trim.

Q: How much is a new Kia Sorento 2020?

A: Pricing can vary based on features, mileage, and other factors. However, the average CarMax price for a 2020 Kia Sorento is $21,914.1

Q: Are Kias a reliable car?

A: The Kia Sorento has a RepairPal reliability score of 4/5, which is considered an "above average" rating.2 This is based on 2010-2019 model years according to RepairPal’s data.

Specifically, RepairPal rates the Sorento 12th out of 26 in reliability among compact SUVs. On average, RepairPal estimates that the Sorento's annual cost of repairs and maintenance is $533, compared to an average of $521 for compact SUVs and $652 for all vehicle models. Likewise, RepairPal reports the Sorento to be in the shop for repairs an average of 0.3 times per year, compared to an average of 0.3 times for compact SUVs and 0.4 times for all vehicle models.2

Interested in a Kia Sorento?

With ample seating, loads of standard equipment, and a sleek design, the Kia Sorento is one three-row crossover you won't want to overlook. Ready to start shopping? Explore our current inventory of used Kia Sorento models at CarMax today.

1Based on prices on from December 1, 2019, through May 1, 2021. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features, and trim packages. Prices do not include tax, title, tags, and any applicable fees.
2RepairPal Reliability Ratings are based on the actual cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance on make/model data for select 2010-2019 vehicles. The reliability of a specific vehicle may vary depending on its maintenance and driving history, model year, trim, and features. RepairPal Reliability Ratings are provided by RepairPal and CarMax is not responsible for their accuracy. Learn more at
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.

* Price excludes taxes, title, registration, and fees. Applicable transfer fees are due in advance of vehicle delivery and are separate from sales transactions.

Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.