The Kia Sorrento is a great crossover, but can it conquer trails where off-road enthusiasts battle test their rigs?
As part of 2018’s introduction of the updated 2019 Kia Sorento, Kia aimed to show that its mid-size crossover was capable of more than just picking up groceries and shuttling kids.
In what has to be the coolest publicity stunt for a crossover, Kia took a mostly stock 2019 Sorento AWD to the famed off-road paradise that is Moab, Utah and pitted the three-row CUV up against the notoriously challenging Hell’s Gate hill climb.
Now before you try anything crazy with your Sorento, Kia had bigger, meatier all-terrain tires, a skid plate, and disconnected sway bars, but other than that, it’s stock. The bigger tires add some ground clearance, but this 2019 Kia Sorento still gets its bumpers banged up heading up the steep rock. With 16.9 degrees of approach angle, 21 degrees of departure angle, and 7.3 inches of ground clearance, the limited damage might be the most impressive part of this video.
While few Sorento buyers will push their vehicle as far as Kia did, this does show how capable the CUV’s advanced torque-based AWD system is. The system automatically routes power to the wheel with the most traction, and there is a 4WD Lock Mode that splits engine power evenly between the front and rear drive axles.
Bottom line, it’s quite impressive that, with a few relatively minor mods, a good driver, and a knowledgeable spotter, this everyday crossover was able to climb a summit built usually reserved hardcore 4x4s.