2016 Kia Sorento

2016 Kia Sorento

Episode 3432
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The 1st generation Kia Sorento was a true, body-on-frame sport utility vehicle. And while it was a little rough around the edges, it quickly garnered a big following. 2nd generation saw Sorento follow the crossover crowd, losing the frame but gaining more features. Now, Sorento’s gen 3 redesign expands on that in both size and premium content. So let’s see if Sorento is making the right moves.

The all-new 2016 Kia Sorento is clearly not a major departure from its previous generation. Still, the redesign’s improvements all appear aimed at making Kia’s 3-row crossover a more family friendly and capable adventure vehicle. A familiar exterior design still manages to convey “larger Sorento”. And with that, it promises more interior room. Kia has also thrown the word “bolder” into the mix, and we agree it has more presence going down the road.

With that, a bigger grille dons the frontend; part of Kia’s new face that is taller, flatter, and much less pointy. Body side sculpting is smoothed out, the belt line moves higher, fitting a Sorento that is now 3-inches longer in both wheelbase and overall length. 

Heading aft, there are more angles and more aggression. Taillights are larger, the bumper reflectors are now horizontal, and of course there’s a spoiler up top. 17-inch alloy wheels are standard; upper trim levels are equipped with 18s and beefy 19s.

All-in-all it’s an appealing design; smooth and classy. Still, it’s hard to miss the resemblance to Kia’s Sedona minivan. 

The last gen’s interior was a big step up, but this gen is an even bigger leap forward; with a smoother dash design, a much more premium feel, intuitive touchscreen interface, and some of the best steering wheel controls out there. Premium safety systems have also trickled down from the flagship K900. 

Uvo continues to add features and is available on LX models and above, a backup camera is standard on all but base L trim, and 8-inch touchscreen navigation is available on EX models and up. An optional 630-watt, 12-speaker Infinity sound system features a new Clari-Fi feature that squeezes a little more fidelity out of compressed audio files.

All gauges happily remain analog. On upper trims a 7-inch LCD info screen sits in the middle of the central speedometer. Front seats are Euro-firm and very comfortable; and yes, thanks to the added wheelbase and length, all seating positions gain room, with improved access to the 3rd row.

The cargo bay grows too. There’s now 11.0 cubic-ft. behind the optional 3rd row, 39.0 behind the 2nd row, and 74.0 total with all seats folded. That’s a gain of 1½ cubic-ft.  Seats fold easily and there are very few gaps for stuff to get lost in.  

Even more notable is the fit and finish of the cargo area. Partially-carpeted side panels should help keep things from getting all scratched up. An available smart power lift gate allows gives hands and foot free opening. 

But, the upgrade that we like most, is the new Sorento’s greatly improved ride quality. Now bordering on excellent, it feels incredibly well-built and is very quiet. 

In addition to that longer wheelbase, the front suspension has a new H-shaped sub-frame design and Hydraulic Rebound Stopper shock absorbers. In back, a lengthened rear cross-member, with longer control arms, allows for more wheel travel.

Standard Drive Mode Select, with settings for Normal, Eco, and Sport; adjusts steering feel and transmission shift points.  

There’s a trio of available engines. Base engine is a slightly improved version of last year’s, 2.4-liter I4, now with 185-horsepower and 178 lb-ft. of torque. Also carryover is the 3.3-liter V6 with 290-horsepower and 252 lb-ft. of torque that now tows 5,000-pounds. 

Slotting in between, is a new option; the Optima’s 2.0-liter I4 turbo, here with 240-horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque. We estimate a 0 to 60 of 7.0 seconds. All Sorentos are equipped with 6-speed automatic transmissions. 

All-wheel-drive is available with any engine. It’s the same basic automatic system, with logic that tries to predict wheel slip rather than just react to it. A lock mode splits torque front to rear 50/50 for speeds up to 20 miles-per-hour, and Torque Vectoring Curve Control aids handling even on dry pavement.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the new 2.0-liter all-wheel-drive are 19-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged a good 22.4 miles-per-gallon of Regular. Resulting in a fair to middling Energy Impact Score of 15.0-barrels of oil annually and CO2 emissions of 6.9–tons.

Pricing starts at $25,795 for a base L model. And with more options than ever the spread grows, with the top tier SX-L beginning at $40,795. Tack on $1,800 more for all-wheel-drive. 

So, yes, Kia has done a fine job of growing the 2016 Sorento into a more capable and family-oriented crossover, successfully tending to the things that needed improving along the way. The last generation Sorento was a key vehicle for Kia, proving that they were fully capable of competing with the best in the segment. This one just might take them to the top.

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.4 liter / 3.3 liter V6 / 2.0 liter
  • Horsepower: 185 / 290 / 240
  • Torque: 178 lb-ft. / 252 lb-ft. / 260 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 7.0 seconds
  • EPA: 19 mpg city/ 25 mpg highway (for 2.0 liter)
  • Energy Impact: 15.0-barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 6.9 tons

Long Term Updates

Mileage: 2,900

We’re just getting to know this 2016 Kia Sorento mid-size crossover, and much like the Nissan Murano also on our long-term lot, it seems to be the perfect size for a 5-passenger family hauler. 

It also has an exterior design that’s more classy than family. 

We chose the new 2.0-liter turbo-4 for our extended test, and with 240-horsepower, it has plenty of pep for passing. But you do have to keep your foot on it to stay up with Interstate speed limits. We’re averaging an OK 23.4 miles-per-gallon. But, seeing near 30 during highway cruise.

In our full road test we noted the Sorento’s improved ride was its best characteristic; and 2,900-miles of smooth commuting hasn’t changed our minds. 

A word to the wise. Like many premium look crossovers, the Sorento’s exhaust pipe runs through the rear facia and is close to level with the trailer hitch.  If you use a bike carrier or hitch basket you might find your cargo cooked or melted like we did. A riser/extender solved the problem for us.

Mileage: 6,600

3-months in, and we’re trucking right along in our 2016 Kia Sorento, having so far driven 6,600-miles.

And while this mid-size Sorento has lots of fans around the office, its very tight turning radius has us maneuvering with ease; we do have some complaints. 

All love the layout of the interior, but the thin leather seat fabric is wearing already. 

The Sorento is a great long distance crossover delivering a smooth, compliant ride quality. Only a bit of wallow in corners detracts from that.

Two nitpicks are a console 4X4 lock button that’s easy to accidently engage, and an oversensitive outside switch for the power lift gate. 

The powertrain itself, however; gets all praise. The 2.0-liter turbo and 6-speed automatic combo is treating us right with a responsive throttle and a fine 23.1 miles-per-gallon average.

So on balance, we love the Kia Sorento. Fix a few things and it just might be the perfect family CUV.

Mileage: 10,000

We’re 5-months and a quick 10,000-miles into our yearlong look at Kia’s Sorento family crossover. And like families themselves, you have to take the good along with the bad. 

The good: well everyone loves the multiple cameras stationed around the vehicle, and we’ve used them for everything from the typical parking situations to getting a peak at the trail ahead when doing some light off roading. 

There’s also plenty of power from the turbo-4 and the sunroof lets a lot of the outside in, when you want it. 

Now as for the bad: most have found the seats not up to the long haul task, and there are plenty of folks that still find paying well over $40,000 for a Kia a stretch no matter how nice it is. 

Fuel economy is trending up, with our average now at 23.6 miles-per-gallon of Regular. 

Mileage: 21,094

Though after six months, and an odo at 21,094 miles, some of the Kia’s shine is wearing off. We not thrilled with the radar cruise control’s on/off abruptness; and when fully loaded with gear, the 2.0-liter turbo felt a little underpowered; which seemed to also upset the transmission.    

The front seat passenger also has less than ideal knee/leg room. 

On the plus side, we continue to find the steering wheel controls and UVO infotainment among the best in the business. Kia material quality continues to make big improvements too, and the load floor is spacious and continuous. Also, it’s has a great, mostly quiet highway ride.

And of course, the 23.1 miles-per-Regular-gallon we’re averaging is hard to beat in a larger family hauler. 

Mileage: 24,000

Our midsize 2016 Kia Sorento crossover emerged from our mid-Atlantic winter just fine. 

In 8-months’ time our odo is approaching 24,000-miles, with fuel economy up slightly from our last report to 23.3 miles-per-gallon. Quiet, smooth, and comfortable sums up all that time. 

And we’re feeling contented with our choice of opting for the 240-horsepower turbo-I4, as it offers more than adequate power for daily family use. So, no need to go for the 290–horsepower V6 unless you load up a lot or need the full 5K of towing capacity. 

No problems to report this go around as the interior is holding up pretty well, with flexibility that’s about as close to a minivan as you can get without actually being one. 

Mileage: 26,000

We’ve just hit 26,000-miles in our long-term Kia Sorento midsize crossover, as spring is slowly turning to summer.

Which means that the climate control is doing a lot more cooling than heating these days. And some noise coming from our Sorento’s A/C system necessitated a trip to the dealer, where a replacement high pressure hose took care of the problem.

While we were there, it turns out there were some recalls and service bulletins pending, which required an additional night’s stay waiting for a seatbelt part to arrive. 

But now that we’re back on the road and safely buckled in, there are a few more road trips ahead before we finish out our “year of Sorento”. 

Lately though, it has been seeing more commuting and airport shuttle duties than long distance journeys; which explains our slight dip in fuel economy from last report, to a still good 23.2 miles-per-gallon from the 2.0-liter turbo-4.

Mileage: 30,000

Time is quickly winding down with our 2016 Kia Sorento, though we do have a few more weeks left to enjoy Kia’s biggest crossover. 

We’re quickly approaching 30,000-miles, and this family truckster just keeps trucking on. 

Fuel economy from the 240-horsepower 2.0-liter I4 turbo with 6-speed automatic transmission is on a slight upswing to 23.3 miles-per-gallon, and things have been problem free since our last report.  Seat comfort continues to be a debate, as the latest road trip report praised the Sorento’s great seats that other staffers on previous trips have dished.

Other comments took note of an increasing amount of roll in corners; and one driver noticed a few “catches” in the steering wheel on slight turns at slow speeds. 

We think the cornering attitude just indicates things are now well broken in; and the steering wheel issue went away before we had time to figure out where it came from. 

Mileage: 33,250

Just back from one final road trip, everything we’ve said about it over the last year has been confirmed. It’s one fantastic long distance cruiser.

The 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo I4 is more than adequate for commuting, but can get overwhelmed when fully loaded. 

And, you certainly can load a lot of stuff in here, with 38.8 cubic-ft. of cargo space before you fold seats. 

We have experienced a few awkward clunks from the 6–speed automatic transmission lately, but it has delivered decent fuel economy; averaging 22.7 miles-per-gallon after 33,250 very varied miles.

We will certainly miss what is easily one of Kia’s best efforts yet. 

 

But the Sorento’s departure frees up a parking spot for another Kia, a 2016 Optima sedan.  And another new ride has also arrived, this 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune. Let’s see what kind of fun we can kick up in this time machine.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Bringing Supercar Performance To The Street…American Style

Episode 4324
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

What happens when you let enthusiasts and engineers worry less about tradition and allow them to do what they do best? You get cars like this Chevrolet Corvette Z06. What happens when GM let’s us borrow one for a few days? That’s what we’re about to find out!

While the Z06 package first became an option for the Chevrolet Corvette back in 1963, it wasn’t until the C5 that it describe the ultimate track-focused ‘Vette. And while since then every Z06 has gotten more extreme, if we were plotting things out on a graph, this is where the line of performance progression goes from a steady incline to almost vertical. Yes, the latest C8 Z06 is all that.

It starts with a brand new LT6 5.5-liter DOHC V8 that outputs 670-horsepower and delivers 460 lb-ft. of torque. It sounds great too, the very aggressive nature of its flat-plane crank design has it sounding, and feeling like it’s trying to shake its way out of the engine bay unless you unleash some of its furry.

This dual-cammer featured a dry-sump design from the get-go and is more racing engine than souped-up small block, being developed originally for the C8.R race car.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Front
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Rear
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Wide
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Close
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Fascia
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Wheel
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Profil
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Rear
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Badge
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Front2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Rear2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Wide2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Close2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Fascia2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Wheel2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Profil2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Rear2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Badge

It made short work of Roebling Road Raceway’s long front straight, able to reach 160 by the end of it. With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.

But, as you can imagine, Chevy has done much more than just plop a bigger motor into its rear-midship engine bay, which was easier to do since they didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing over it. They’ve addressed just about every part of the car to ensure it puts that power to best use for coming out of corners like few other cars on the street.

That includes upgrades for the short/long arm double wishbone suspension setup that can be further enhanced with an available Z07 Performance Package that adds more aggressive tuning for Magnetic Ride Control, and Michelin Sport Cup 2R tires. Which can be mounted on 20 and 21-inch carbon fiber wheels with carbon ceramic brakes nestled behind.

It all translated into more grip than a semi’s worth of industrial strength Velcro through Roebling’s 9-turns.

With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.

Like most Corvettes, the Z06 can be as wild or mild of an experience as you care to make it but will most likely be the fastest car to show up at most track days. Yet, the same magnetic dampers that void all body roll on the track, provide an almost plush ride quality for the drive home, though not quite as plush as the standard Corvette.

We’re struggling to find something non-fan boy to say; sure the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox doesn’t deliver shifts with the brutality of some exotics, but really, they’re just as fast, and the shifts are much smoother.

Believe it or not, almost all the body is unique. So, rather than just tacking on some fender flares, Chevy made the entire car wider to cover the 345 rear tires, yet keep the same uniform look in place.

The optional Carbon Fiber Aero Package adds a front splitter, rocker extensions, front dive planes, and a huge rear wing. We’re not sure if the multi-level nature of that rear wing was done for functional or aesthetic reasons, but it doesn’t block your rearview, and that is much appreciated.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dash
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Seats
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Shifter
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Frunk
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Engine
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dash2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Seats2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Shifter2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Frunk2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Engine

We always talk about torque being more important than horsepower when it comes to acceleration, and the Z06 works with almost 200 fewer lb-ft. of torque than horsepower, but you sure wouldn’t know it when you mash the throttle.

Easy to use programmable launch control allows you to dial in your preferred RPM for launching; we found 4,500 was just about perfect for Roebling’s front straight, allowing for just a tiny bit of slip before rocketing us to 60 on a 40 degree day in just 2.6-seconds.

Power continues to pour on hard as the engine quickly hits its 8,600 RPM redline, and gear changes happen often. The sound inside the cabin in intense, and when the ¼-mile came to an end in 10.7-seconds at 130 miles-per-hour, it felt like it was just getting started.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are a low 12-City, 19-Highway, and 14-Combined.

For the Z06 there are 3 LZ pricing points to land on, starting at $114,395; but you can go with the top-of-the-line Z06, add 50-grand worth of options, and still come out half the price of anything you can compare it to.

Call us home teamers all you want, but America’s only exotic does it yet again, not only is it the best Corvette ever, but it is also easily one of the greatest American cars of all time, arriving at a particularly poignant time culturally as we mourn the potential loss of internal combustion engines altogether. So, come for the spectacular engine and stay for the complete performance package, and experience, that is the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

Specifications

  • Engine: 5.5-liter V8
  • Horsepower: 670
  • 0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
  • EPA: 12 City | 19 Highway | 14 Combined
  • Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch auto
  • Torque: 460 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 10.7-seconds at 130 mph
2024 Subaru Outback 1

2024 Subaru Outback

The Outback Continues To Deliver

Episode 4324
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

In a world that’s SUV crazy, it’s easy to forget that the Subaru Outback has been delivering capable and comfortable all-weather and all-road capabilities to adventure-loving Americans for years. In fact, it’s now well into its 6th generation. So, it’s time for us to check in with the latest Outback and find out what’s new.

Almost 50-years ago, long before all-wheel-drive became an option for just about every car on the road, Subaru released the first four-wheel-drive passenger car in the U.S. Immediately, they knew they had a good thing going with that wagon, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the marketing folks got on board and helped launch the Subaru Outback Sport Utility Wagon.

While the 2024 Outback is approaching the end of its 6th generation, its not slowing down when it comes to delivering tons of value to adventure-minded families.

The Outback is the sole remaining wagon available here in the U.S. from a mainstream brand, though even Subaru doesn’t use the “W” word anymore.

2024 Subaru Outback Front
2024 Subaru Outback Profile
2024 Subaru Outback Rear
2024 Subaru Outback Dead Front
2024 Subaru Outback Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Outback Wheel
2024 Subaru Outback Front2024 Subaru Outback Profile2024 Subaru Outback Rear2024 Subaru Outback Dead Front2024 Subaru Outback Dead Rear2024 Subaru Outback Wheel

Now strictly referred to as a mid-size SUV, when it comes to selling any vehicle, attractiveness is always a bonus, and the Outback’s unique blend of rugged and refined has set the tone for many followers over the years. The exterior was recently updated, and while it looks big and more like a true SUV than ever, it’s only about 5-inches longer than the 1990’s original.

Some trims do get additional standard content for ’24, but our top Touring XT showcases everything Subaru has to offer, with an 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment screen that controls more features than ever, includes navigation, and pumps tunes out with Harmon Kardon sound. EyeSight Driver Assist Technology remains an Outback standard.

Cargo capacity is a great 32.6 cubic-ft., 75.6 with rear seatbacks folded, and despite the high ground clearance, the floor is lower than SUV typical, which makes for easier loading.

Outback seat comfort has improved greatly over the years, and despite the increased reliance on the touchscreen, everything about the cabin is simple to operate and logically placed.

The XT part of our Touring XT means there’s extra power under the hood with a 2.4-liter flat-4 turbo engine which rates 260-horsepower and 277 lb-ft. of torque. It’s a big upgrade over the standard 182-horsepower naturally aspirated 2.5-liter.

Both engines are unchanged and work with Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT; all-wheel-drive is of course another Outback standard.

2024 Subaru Outback Dashboard
2024 Subaru Outback Center Display
2024 Subaru Outback Front Seat
2024 Subaru Outback Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Outback Trunk
2024 Subaru Outback Engine
2024 Subaru Outback Dashboard2024 Subaru Outback Center Display2024 Subaru Outback Front Seat2024 Subaru Outback Rear Seat2024 Subaru Outback Trunk2024 Subaru Outback Engine

At Mason-Dixon Dragway, our XT had plenty of grip off the line, hitting 60 in 6.0-seconds flat. That’s a couple of tenths quicker than our last time out with this turbo-4. We’ll chalk that up to better weather this time around.

Like many Subarus, it doesn’t feel overly fast but it’s snappy off the line, and perfectly adequate from there.

Power delivery stayed very consistent down the track; the CVT definitely keeps engine revs maxed out the whole time, but noise is far from annoying. Our best ¼-mile time was 14.6-seconds at 97 miles-per-hour.

The Outback boasts 8.7-inches of ground clearance, which is more than many mid-size SUVs; and while it felt plenty competent through our slalom course, there was noticeable body roll and understeer to deal with. Yet steering was light and predictable, plus Active Torque Vectoring and Vehicle Dynamics Control are hard at work to keep you stable and safe no matter what.

In panic braking, there were only moderate amounts of nosedive, and mild ABS pulsing. Stops averaged a fine 115-feet from 60 miles-per-hour.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 22-City, 29-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a great 27.9 miles-per-gallon of Regular; a feat most SUVs can only dream of.

That’s an average Energy Impact Score; with use of 11.9-barrels of oil yearly, with 5.9-tons of CO2 emissions.

Base Outbacks have plenty of standard content, and remain a real bargain, starting at just $30,240, top trims, including Wilderness, take you into the low 40s.

Decades of loyal Outback owners have helped Subaru grow the 2024 Subaru Outback into what it is today; a highly capable and comfortable, thoughtfully designed, adventure-ready family truckster that’s as adept at backwoods exploring as it is soldiering through the daily grind. Your family activities may not take you far off the beaten path, but life itself is an adventure, and the Subaru Outback is outfitted for your adventure better than ever.

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.4-liter flat-4 turbo
  • Horsepower: 260
  • 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking (avg): 115 feet
  • MW Fuel Economy: 27.9 MPG (Regular)
  • Transmission: CVT
  • Torque: 277 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.6-seconds at 97 mph
  • EPA: 22 City | 29 Highway | 25 Combined