Let me start off by saying that I truly love my vehicles – both my van and car. That’s not what this is about. This is about getting to drive around a shiny newKia Sorento for a week to see how we like it.
The Kia Sorento is a crossover – that means it’s not exactly an SUV, but it’s not a car or wagon, either. It’s somewhere in between. I call them mini-SUVs. This particular crossover, however, didn’t seem “mini” at all. Let me just walk you through this beauty in pictures, okay?
Let’s start in the front:
The Sorento has a push-button start mechanism, which is just plain cool. I made sure to have the guy that dropped off the vehicle to me show me how to start it since I once had a bad experience when renting a hybrid car that I couldn’t figure out how to start.
It wasembarrassing. I learned. It’s over now.
There was also a really nice console in the center that included the standard AM/FM/CD radio, but also had some super cool features like Sirius satellite radio, GPS andBluetoothintegration.
The Sirius, I could live without. I could never find a station I loved and just kept going back to good old FM radio, but the GPS was spot-on awesome. It was able to update me on traffic conditions and always gave good directions (this is something I struggle with in my van since its GPS is based on a CD-Rom that needs updated).
The Bluetooth was also super cool. I loved being totally hands-free when I needed to make or receive a call while driving. I don’t have any other Bluetooth devices, so it was a new experience for me. You can’t see it above, but there was also a voice-command button on the steering column so I could tell the Sorento to call my mom and it would – without me ever touching my phone.
Just driving the Sorento felt like luxury. The seats were comfortable (and heated/cooled), the steering wheel was nicely covered in leather and wood and the shifting column was small and perfectly suited to my needs.
But, my favorite thing about driving the Kia Sorento? The panoramic sunroof!
My girlsreallyloved the sunroof in the back. They said they felt like they were flying through the clouds! Speaking of the girls – they had plenty of room, too.
The backseat also has a center console (not shown here) with cup holders that my girls turned into (stuffed) guinea pig central on our ride home from Pine Mountain, GA for the Wild Animal Safari (more to come on that later). I also never felt them kick my seat, so they must have had plenty of legroom.
The only downfall of the Sorento (maybe) is the optional third-row seating.
For most of the week, we kept the third row down – we needed additional storage more than we needed additional seating. However, there is a third row hiding under there and can hold probably three more people…if they’re small. I sat back there with Pumpkin for a few minutes and it was cramped. But, she was more than comfortable (see middle photo above).
I would say the third row is good for short trips, but not long adventures. Getting in and out of the back row was also kind of difficult since you have basically climb past the second row (the seat on the passenger side folds all the way forward to open up the way, but it’s still a stretch.
When it all comes down to it, I will miss the Sorento, but it did lack a few features that I love about my van: automatic doors on the sides and rear. I really like being able to push a button and have my girls’ doors open for them. With the Sorento, I had to go around to each side to let them in or they had to climb through from one side.
TheKia Sorento would make a great family vehicle and I recommend it highly. It got good gas mileage (24 MPG highway, 18 MPG city) and cooled down really quickly – both great features in Georgia! However, with this particular vehicle pricing out around $37,000 I just couldn’t afford to own one myself.
Disclaimer: I was provided a Kia Sorento for one week in order to facilitate my honest review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.