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Rugged Yet Regal: 2024 Kia Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro Review

Adding X-Pro to the Sorento name keeps all the luxuries, adds 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, and increases towing capacity. The price approaches $50K, however. Is it worth it?

2024 Hyundai Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro(Photo/Robin Warner)
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Cresting Loveland Pass — a peak of a winding road about 60 miles west of Denver that’s 11,991 feet above sea level — I keep the heated seat and steering wheel set to low and take in the stunning scenery from a cozy warm cabin. Kia wrapped those heated and ventilated seats in tan, perforated leather, by the way. Two subtly curved 12.3-inch screens mounted side by side provided all the information I needed. And, a wireless pad charges my phone during the scenic travel.

Yet, outside, 65-series all-terrain rubber mounted on 17-inch wheels (small by today’s standards) roll down the road. Furthermore, passersby see a squared-off body with chunky front and rear bumpers, Telluride-inspired headlights, and large roof rails on top.

Kia’s SX-Prestige X-Pro simultaneously serves as the most off-road-capable and most feature-laden Sorento sold. Kia retained the turbocharged 2.5L inline-four to power this tippy-top-of-the-line model, but installed a larger radiator, among other things, to increase towing capacity by 1,000 pounds, now up to 4,500. The fourth-generation platform, which Kia introduced for the 2021 model year, otherwise carries on.

The Sorento starts life as a small front-wheel-drive, three-row crossover SUV, but Kia continues to expand the model and nudge it closer to the off-road curious crowd. But only the well-funded off-road curious, which made me curious enough to make my way to Devil’s Thumb Colorado in the Rockies and see how this Korean make blends rugged and regal.

In short: More and more folks seem smitten with the idea of making even the most domesticated transportation segments capable of trekking out into the wild. And Kia executed well this time. The X-Pro Sorento looks the part and adds just enough equipment to get a little adventurous. And, Kia pulled it off without hurting the SX-Prestige’s on-road driving refinement. If a $50K price point doesn’t turn your stomach, the X-Pro offers a lot for the money.

2024 Kia Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro


  • Vehicle 5-door, 6-seat, Crossover SUV
  • Dimensions 189.6" L, 74.8" W, 66.7" H, 110.8" wheelbase
  • Cargo (3rd/2nd/1st rows up) 12.6/38.5/72.1 cu.-ft.
  • Engine Turbocharged 2.5L I-4
  • HP/Torque 281 hp at 5,800 rpm/311 lb.-ft. between 1,700-4,000 rpm
  • Transmission/Driven wheels 8-speed dual-clutch transmission/all-wheel-drive
  • Mileage (mpg) 20 city, 27 hwy, 23 comb


  • Comfortable second row: heated seats, sunshades, charging options, and plenty of space
  • Convenient volume up/down and mute controls on the steering wheel
  • All-terrain tires do not hurt fuel economy
  • Turbo power helps tremendously at elevation


  • Itty-bitty seats in the third row (small children only)
  • All-terrain tires only offered on the very top trim
  • No change in suspension, no skid plates, only so-so ground clearance

2024 Kia Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro: Review

2024 Hyundai Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro
(Photo/Robin Warner)

Explaining X-Pro

More than $15,000 separates the base, front-wheel-drive Sorento LX with the new top-of-the-line all-wheel-drive SX-Prestige X-Pro model. But the ladder to climb between those trims continues to sway toward off-road-friendly traits. Among the five core trim levels: LX, S, EX, SX, and SX-Prestige, the bottom four come standard with front-wheel-drive. But, only the S trim offers all-wheel-drive without including the X-Line package.

The X-Line package adds a center locking differential, bridge-type roof rack, different front and rear bumpers, skid plate garnish (plastic lookalikes), gloss black front grille, and 20-inch gloss black wheels. And Kia embossed “X-Line” onto the front seatbacks. This largely serves as styling upgrades but leans toward the outdoors, at least.

2024 Hyundai Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro
(Photo/Robin Warner)

X-Pro takes all the X-Line equipment, adds BFGoodrich 235/65R17 Trail-Terrain tires mounted on black 17-inch wheels, modifies the cooling system to increase towing capacity to 4,500 pounds, and replaces “X-Line” with “X-Pro” on the seatbacks.

The suspension remains unchanged, no metal skid plates protect your oil pan, differential, or gas tank. And, 8.2 inches of ground clearance is as high as the Sorento goes. To compare, that’s half an inch lower than a standard Subaru Outback — the Outback Wilderness provides 9.2 inches of ground clearance.

In other words, the X-Pro offers enough equipment and strength for the off-road curious — those who want to dip their toes in the muddy wilderness waters, but are not yet ready to truly dive in.

2024 Kia Sorento Design

2024 Hyundai Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro
(Photo/Robin Warner)

Kia updated the entire Sorento line with a tweaked design from the A-pillars forward, trending even closer to the popular Kia Telluride style. The new vertically stacked headlights pushed off to the edges provide the biggest tell. A larger grille swallows the space in the middle as razor-thin daytime running lights connect the grille and headlights.

Changes in the rear look less dramatic, but upside-down U-shaped taillights stand out and complement the rest of the design.

2024 Sorento Tech

2024 Hyundai Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro
(Photo/Robin Warner)

Inside, SX and higher trims get two wide-screen 12.3-inch screens mounted next to each other, subtly curving concave around the driver. One makes up the instrument cluster, and the other the center console display. Lower trims make do with analog gauges and a 4.3-inch screen nestled between them, but retain the larger center screen. Good thing, too, as it includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

New tech includes what Kia calls a connected car navigation cockpit, which is a new operating system for infotainment duties. Debuted on the battery-electric Kia EV9, the upgraded processor runs faster and, in my experience, works well. There were no weird delays to your inputs, moves between screens were smooth, and operation was trouble-free.

The Sorento also gets a second-generation digital key, which allows you to use a smartphone or an NFC card to lock, unlock, and even drive the Sorento. Kia also included several USB-C ports for charging duties.

Finally, Kia upgraded driving aids to include adaptive cruise control with machine learning. In theory, cruise control learns your driving behavior and mimics it. You also get highway driving assist 2, which, among other things, will change lanes for you once you initiate it with the turn signal.

2024 Hyundai Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro
(Photo/Robin Warner)

The Goods Inside

The SX-Prestige X-Pro gets all the goodies, including heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a wireless smartphone charger. A panoramic moonroof floods the cabin with natural light as well. If gear inside blocks your view, the rearview mirror doubles as a screen for a camera mounted outside. And the Sorento offers a Wi-Fi hotspot too.

2024 Hyundai Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro
(Photo/Robin Warner)

Furthermore, the second-row captain’s chairs provide built-in armrests, sunshades, and heating options. And the seats themselves offer seatback and seat bottom adjustment for just the right fit. Four adults ride in comfort.

2024 Hyundai Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro
(Photo/Robin Warner)

The third row, on the other hand, provides plenty of space for kids 5 and under, but little more. The Sorento is borderline too small a crossover to even offer a third row. I suppose it’s potentially useful in emergencies. But I’d prefer that Kia nixed the seats in exchange for more cargo space.

In terms of styling, Kia also mounted a nice open-pore wood look into the trim, which, I’ll admit, adds a warmer ambiance. But it feels like what it is, plastic. Ultimately, I find it a touch cheesy.

And all the comforts and features seem to dilute its off-road bonafides. But only if you’re hardcore. I am not. The tech, comfort, and spacious second row won me over.

2024 Hyundai Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro
(Photo/Robin Warner)

Powering the Sorento

Powertrain carries on as before for the 2024 Kia Sorento. LX and S trims get a 2.5L inline-four that makes 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Adequate numbers. Power then channels through an eight-speed automatic transmission before heading to either the front or all four wheels. With this powertrain, fuel economy hits the 30s.

2024 Hyundai Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro
(Photo/Robin Warner)

EX and higher trims — including the X-Pro — add a turbocharger to the mix, which increases horsepower by 90 to 281, and torque by a whopping 130 pound-feet to 311. And, as you climb in elevation, the benefits magnify further. Turbochargers spin faster to compensate for depleting oxygen levels in the combustion chamber from the thinning air. In other words, you lose less power, which pays dividends in places like Colorado.

Strangely, the eight-speed automatic gets eschewed and replaced with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Nothing specifically wrong with DCTs, but automatics tend to get moving from a standstill smoother, and torque converters aid in towing too. That said, this DCT operated relatively smoothly and provided strong, direct, quick shifts when I pegged the throttle.

All SX-Prestige Sorentos include all-wheel-drive and get the same 20 mpg in the city, 27 on the highway, and 23 combined.

A Note on Towing

Kia touts increased towing capacity for the X-Pro trim. And 4,500 pounds is respectable for a crossover SUV this size. But that number comes with a big caveat. You need trailer brakes to tow those figures according to Kia. Without them, the number drops to 1,654 pounds (750 kg), ruling out all but the lightest loads.

I presume much of that figure is born out of extreme caution from Kia and the Sorento’s brakes could indeed handle more. But it’s something to keep in mind all the same.

2024 Sorento: Driving Feel

2024 Hyundai Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro
(Photo/Robin Warner)

My time in the X-Pro Sorento started in Denver, about a mile above sea level. From there, I climbed Loveland Pass and reached just under 12,000 feet above sea level. Along with thinning air, the trip brought along a bit of snowy weather, huge swings in air temperature, and plenty of variation in road quality, too. The Sorento remained composed, comfortable, and even powerful throughout.

When I caught water, ice, and snow on the road, the all-terrain tires provided better than all-season levels of grip. Yet, remarkably, it still rolled down paved roads quietly and didn’t hurt fuel economy either. Moreover, the structure feels strong and stiff, allowing a nice compromise between ride and handling.

On a couple of dry switchbacks, I chucked the Sorento into the corner quickly enough for the BFGoodrich tires to howl in agony. The Sorento leaned in a controlled fashion and kept stable.

All the while, the chassis absorbed bumps and lumps in the road with no trouble. Despite limited opportunities, I did sneak a bit off-road, climbing a few snow-packed uphill driveways and bombing down a few loose gravel, muddy county roads. Throughout, the X-Pro remained surefooted and gave me confidence it could handle more.

The lack of skid plates would keep me away from rocky surfaces, but old logging trails in the woods, steep muddy hills, and certainly more remote campsites and trailheads would suit the X-Pro fine. That said, I’d go farther in a Subaru Forester Wilderness.

2024 Kia Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro Review: Summary

2024 Hyundai Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro
(Photo/Robin Warner)

Kia dropped its car offerings down to two: the compact Forte and the midsized K5. Aside from a minivan, the rest of the fleet consists of crossover SUVs. And many of those offer X-Line and X-Pro trims. And they’re popular. In fact, X-line and X-Pro versions make up 40% of Sportage and Telluride sales.

For the Sorento, the X-Pro costs $48,765, including the $1,375 destination charge. That’s $15,400 more than the base 2024 Kia Sorento LX with FWD for $33,365. And my test car with its olive-brown leather package, carpeted floor, and cargo mats raised the price to $49,400.

For that price, you do not gain significant off-roading prowess, but you also don’t lose any comfort or convenience. Kia continues to offer a lot of technology and features for the price point, making nearly $50K much more palatable. And the quality of the chassis and powertrain exceeds Kia’s reputation.

2024 Hyundai Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro
(Photo/Robin Warner)

Are you a busy parent who feels off-road curious? Do you not want to compromise on on-road comforts? The Sorento SX-Prestige X-Pro offers a great option for you and your family. And maybe in those rare joyous moments, you and three adult friends.

Find a dealer and virtually build out your own 2024 Kia Sorento.

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