A close up of the front half of a grey 2023 Kia Sorento is shown at a Kia Sorento dealership.

Keep Connected in Your Kia Sorento

Once upon a time, motorists were excited to have a simple Bluetooth connection in their cars. This allowed them to make hands-free cell phone calls through their car’s stereo system. While the sound quality left something to be desired, at least you could make a phone call while driving without running the risk that the local police department would pull you over for a moving violation. Sure, most cellphones had a built-in speaker, but most of these had very little coverage and were difficult to use when driving. So, Bluetooth was a minor revolution in the battle for vehicle cell phone connectivity.

Today, drivers expect so much more. Each year sees more and more vehicles coming out with larger touchscreens, built-in Apps, and all kinds of specialized features. Many offer touchscreens that look like they embedded an iPad into your vehicle’s dashboard. One of the brands on the cutting edge of this technology is Kia. It seems like few other automakers load up their infotainment system with as many gadgets and gizmos as Kia. One of their most popular models, the three-row midsize Sorento SUV, has an amazing array of connectivity features. If you head over to your Kia Sorento dealership, you are going to find an SUV on the cutting edge of technology.

A grey 2023 Kia Sorento is shown parked at a remote mountainside campsite.

You May Ask Yourself, How Did We Get Here?

Kia introduced the Sorento in 2003 as a midsize SUV with room for up to five passengers. This was just as America’s love affair with the SUV was getting started. It was also when automakers started making their cars compatible with cellular technology. Suddenly, staying connected became almost as important as getting you safely from point A to point B. Still, Kia knew enough to offer things like a navigation system, MP3 player, and CD player on those first Sorento models.

Connectivity didn’t become a major feature of the Sorento until the 2011 model, which was also the start of the second generation of this Kia model. The 2011 Kia Sorento was the first to feature the UVO infotainment system. This was built on Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Automotive platform, which constituted cutting-edge technology a decade ago. This standard feature allowed all Sorento drivers to make hands-free calls using Bluetooth connectivity. Now, anyone fortunate to be driving a Sorento would be freed from having to deal with their cell phone when driving. Just connect your phone using Bluetooth and access your phone list on the infotainment system’s touchscreen.

The UVO system had other features as well. This included an audio system with SiriusXM radio, USB ports, and even an available premium sound system from Infinity with a built-in, turn-by-turn navigation system. Kia would add a UVO eServices feature that would allow you to access emergency services using your smartphone through the UVO system.

Kia introduced the third-generation Sorento in 2016. This was the first time this model was offered with an optional three rows of seats, something that would become a standard feature on all future Sorento models starting in 2019. All trims of the third-generation Sorento feature Bluetooth connectivity. However, drivers had to get at least the LX model to get the UVO system. Nevertheless, the ability to get connected wherever you drove was a key selling point for the Sorento.

Kia would add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the Sorento in time for the 2017 model year. This would take cell phone connectivity to the next level. In addition to being able to stream calls in a hands-free mode, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow you and your passengers to access your favorite apps. As a result, you could stream your favorite music from Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, and similar services. The days of simply marveling at a hands-free call on your car were now over.

This Is My Beautiful Car! This Is My Beautiful Infotainment System!

The fourth-generation Kia Sorento was introduced in 2021. This is not only the sportiest and most rugged-looking Sorento yet. It is also the most technologically advanced. For example, Kia has made a host of DriveWise advanced driver assistance features standard on all models of the Sorento. As a result, the Sorento is one of the safest SUVs in its model class.

Technology also comes center stage with the 2023 Sorento when it comes to connectivity. All models of the Sorento feature the UVO infotainment system. The Sorento LX has an eight-inch touchscreen, while all other models have an enormous 10.25-inch color touchscreen. This makes accessing the system easier than ever. Simply touch and go!
Bluetooth connectivity is one thing that is standard no matter which Sorento trim level you choose. This allows you to pair your phone with the UVO system and make calls using the voice recognition system. It even allows you to hear and reply to text messages verbally.

Kia has also made wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard across all trim levels of the Sorento. Do you know how annoying it is to leave on a trip only to realize you left the charging cables behind? Those days are over in the Sorento. Now you can pair your phone with the UVO system through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto without any annoying wires. This works just like Bluetooth, with the UVO system recognizing your phone after you’ve paired it with the system. As a result, you can make calls, answer texts, stream your favorite music, and access navigation apps.

A close up of the rim and tire of a 2023 Kia Sorento is shown.

The Benefits of Going Big for Once in a Lifetime

There are a number of benefits of going with the more advanced system on the 2023 Sorento S trims and up. For one thing, you get a wireless charger. This allows you and your passengers to keep your smartphones charged while riding in your Sorento. Again, you can leave the annoying charging cables at home since we won’t need them in your Sorento.

Another advantage of going with the 2023 Sorento S and other higher trims is that you get a built-in navigation system. Sometimes, a streamed navigation system may drop out along the way, especially if you enter a spot with poor cellular service. By having a built-in navigation system in the UVO infotainment system, you can avoid this problem. As long as you are driving your Sorento, its navigation system will know which way to go.

The more advanced UVO system also features UVO telematics. This is a cutting-edge information technology service that integrates safety, security, and vehicle diagnostics into your smartphone. As a result, you can check your Sorento’s status with your smartphone when you are outside of your car. If you are in a crowded parking lot, you can use the “Find My Car” feature to locate the exact location of your Sorento. If it’s a hot summer day or the coldest winter night, use the remote start and climate control feature. This will not only start your Sorento but also set the climate controls so your Sorento’s interior will be perfectly comfortable for you and your passengers as soon as you enter the vehicle. Finally, if you download the Kia Access app, you can remotely lock and unlock your Sorento in case you are concerned that you forgot to lock the door.

Depending on which 2023 Sorento model you buy, you are going to get a very enjoyable audio system. The Sorento LX, S, EX, and SX trims feature a six-speaker stereo system with two tweeters. If you opt for the top trim Sorento SXP, you get a Bose surround sound audio system, which features six speakers, including a center speaker and an external amplifier. No matter what kind of music you like to listen to, it has probably never sounded better than it did on this premium audio system from Bose, one of the leaders in audio equipment.

You May Ask Yourself, Where Did This Technology Come From?

Being on the cutting edge has always been a key part of Kia’s strategy. With the UVO system and its emphasis on connectivity, Kia has helped make the Sorento stand out from its competitors’ models since it was first introduced 20 years ago. Today, the Kia Sorento gives you so many standard connectivity features, as well as a host of incredible options that are easily obtainable simply by choosing a slightly higher trim level over the Sorento LX base model. If you want a three-row SUV that helps you stay connected, then the 2023 Kia Sorento is a good connection to make.