The Sorento has been sold with 5 speed manual or 4 or 5 speed automatic transmissions. All pre-2005 models bought with automatic transmissions got the 4 speed. Those sold after got a 5 speed tiptronic automatic transmission.
The Sigma and Lambda V6 engines are very capable for a vehicle this size.
The four wheel drive in this system is actually quite good offroad. The LX models can be purchased with a sport package that adds fog lamps, alloy wheels, and a step bar.
All models get 4 wheel disc brakes. Some options include ABS and a larger fuel tank. The stiff chassis on all vehicles provides the rigidity needed for offroad use.
In 2007, the Sorento got an upgrade, but not a generational change. It is still based on the same platform. The standard engine is now a 3.8L Lambda that almost doubles towing capacity and increases horsepower to 262. The new model also got a 5 star crash test rating.
These are showing up on the used market more and more each week. Look for them in your local classifieds or on eBay.