Kia just keeps on amazing folks.

This week I had a chance to evaluate the all-new 2014 Sorento crossover utility vehicle and I have been absolutely blown away.

Available in front- or all-wheel drive configurations and with seating accommodations for five- or seven passengers, the new Sorento delivers in so many ways.

Ride and handling is exceptional.

Comfort in all seating positions is off the charts.

And with the addition of a long list of new technology features, including the UVO eServices and voice activated telematics system, it is one of the most connected vehicles on the road today.

The 2014 Sorento is available in LX, EX, SX and SX-L trim levels.

In addition to front- or all-wheel drive, consumers have their choice of two powerplants.

A 2.4-liter I-4 engine producing 191 horsepower is the standard engine on LX and EX models. Requiring regular unleaded gasoline, it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway for front-wheel drive models (19/24 mpg respectively for all-wheel drive).

A 3.3-liter V-6 engine is standard on the LX V6, EX V6 and SX Limited models. Requiring regular unleaded gasoline, it produces 290 horsepower and has an EPA fuel economy rating of 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway for front-wheel drive (18/24 respectively for all-wheel drive).

Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic.

With a base price starting at $24,100, Kia has packed a lot of value ó and features ó into the 2014 Sorento.

The changes to the 2014 model arenít just cosmetic. Yes, it has a new look. But Kia didnít stop at design features.

The new Sorento began from the chassis up. Rigidity has been increased by 18 percent to provide improved ride and handling.

The instrument panel is all new ó and not just for looks. While it is very stylish, one of the first things I noticed is how much easier it is to read the gauges and immediately find the information I needed at a quick glace. I could tell engineers put a lot of time into improving the driving experience, not just coming up with a stylish look.

And while the new Sorento is extremely connected, I very much appreciated the fact that Kia incorporated technology that was easy to use.

Iíve driven cars that I needed to take an engineer along just to change the radio station.

Thatís not the case with the Kia Sorento. While featuring state-of-the-art technology, itís intuitive. Even if youíve never used a computer you could figure out how to work all of the system before leaving the parking lot.

The list of amenities and safety features on this family friendly crossover is extremely impressive.

For those looking for a versatile family vehicle, the new Sorento has everything you could possibly want and is ideally suited for both daily commutes and long family road trips. Itís a must for a test drive.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.

The Nuts and Bolts

MODEL:

2014 Kia Sorento

5- or 7-seat CUV

Front-, or all-wheel drive

Trim packages:

LX, EX, SX, SX-Limited

PRICE RANGE:

$25,000-$41,000

ENGINE:

2.4L I4 (191 hp/181 T)

3.3L V6 (290 hp/252 T)

TRANSMISSION:

6-speed automatic w/Sportmatic

EPA: 20/18 mpg city, 26/25 mpg highway (I4/V6 FWD)

FUEL: Regular unleaded

STABILITY CONTROL:

Electronic stability control

BRAKES: ABS

LENGTH: 184.4 inches

WHEELBASE: 106.3 in.

WIDTH: 74.2 inches

HEIGHT: 66.9 inches

WEIGHT: 3594-3894 lbs.

TRACK: 64/63.9

(front/rear)

FUEL TANK: 17.3 gallons

TIRES: 17-, 18-, or 19-in.

TOWING: Up to 3,500 lbs.

CARGO: 9.1/36.9/72.5 cubic feet (behind 3rd/2nd/1st seating rows).