Kia Sorento LX
Good: Modern and sleek exterior
design. Roomy interior with comfortable entry height and good luggage
space. Easy to drive.
Seats very soft. Cheap look of stereo and center dash.
continues on it's path of infiltrating the American market with cars that
are affordable yet stylish at the same time. Kia has been reporting strong
sales due to their great reliability, which has propelled Korean automakers
to the top of the most trouble free car's list in 2004. The Sorento
combines smooth luxury car looks with a low budget price in a go anywhere
The Sorento is available in LX and EX
versions, each with four wheel drive or rear wheel drive. Our LX two wheel
drive tester features the basics with air conditions, a CD player, cruise
control, and power windows, mirrors and locks. All Sorento models come with
a powerful 3.5 liter DOHC V6 engine. The engine produces 192 horsepower and
217 lb.-ft. of torque coupled to a five speed automatic transmission. The
Sorento features a truck like body-on-frame construction, where most of its
competitors are very much car like with little off road capabilities.
The exterior of the Sorento is its selling
point. The body is sleek and stylish while being large and bold as well.
Many body cues reminded us of a Mercedes M-class and the Lexus RX.
Headlights and fog lights are fitted well and the body wraps around nicely.
Our model's side steps gave it a nice rugged look. Tires are also extra
large for an off road feeling. On the road it is very difficult to tell
that this is Kia, unless you come close enough to look at the nameplate. We
have mistaken the Sorento for a M-class a few times already, especially from
interior of the Sorento is basic and simple in the LX trim. Features
include air conditioning, cruise control, power windows and locks, and
heated outside mirrors. An eight speaker sound system works well. Rear
seats are split folding with a center armrest. A full array of courtesy map
and cargo lighting is also standard. A small overhead console holds
sunglasses as well as an additional storage try. In back the lift gate
features a flip up glass for long items. Rear privacy glass and a roof rack
are standard. Even a trailer hitch wiring sub-harness connector is there
for your needs. Rear seat legroom is adequate though not roomy. Cargo
capacity is rated at 31 cubic feet but the area is wide for large items.
We would highly prefer leather seats to the
fuzzy and static prone material in our tester. The seats are also very soft
and extra comfortable, great for short drives but not great for a sporty
feel. The materials used on the dash are of higher quality than most
American offerings. The central dash is very simple and looks dated with
its black dials and high mounted stereo. We would want a highly improved
center dash, as sleek as the exterior. We did not like the use of flat
black plastic nor the silver plastic trim around the dash. The steering
wheel also lacks stereo controls, something that is basic and should be
offered in any car today. Overall the interior feels as cheap as the price
of the Sorento and would opt for the EX model if we were to buy this model.
the Sorento around town is relaxing and comfortable. The nice ride height
is neither too low nor too high. The car has adequate power to cruise at
highway speeds without making a large amount of noise. The suspension is
firm with little bounce or sway and unless you live in an area of bumpy
roads, you will find it to be quite comfortable. In ice and snow we did get
our rear wheel drive only model to slip and slide a bit. A dial labeled
'Snow Mode' allows you to have the transmission start off in second gear
rather than first for smother starts without wheel spin. We would like to
have standard traction control on this model for better handling on snow.
The ABS system allowed us to steer on slippery roads and come to a stop with
little pedal vibration.
MSRP of the Sorento is $21,200. A sport package adds $900 which includes a
spoiler, stereo with 10 speakers, leather shifter, blacked out headlamps,
metallic interior trim, a leather wrapped steering wheel and side step
bars. A tow hitch is optional for $340. Additional discounts and rebates
should make for a real world price around $19.500. This is a very
compelling price for the car you get. The Sorento would make a versatile
daily driver yet still have the elegance for a night out on the town.
features include front and side dual airbags. Four point seatbelts as well
as front seat belt pretensioners with force limiters are standard. Gas
mileage is rated at 16 miles per gallon city and 22 on the highway. Don't
forget the Kia 10 year/ 100,000 mile warranty with 24 hour roadside
assistance. The Sorento has also earned five stars in the governments side
impact crash tests.
good overall feeling we had driving the Kia Sorento around highways and city
streets we would give this car a overall high mark. There is little that
offers the exterior looks this Sorento does in this price range. The Hondas
and Toyotas are all too numerous to stand out anymore and perhaps the Jeep
Liberty offers substantial competition as a unique car in this price
category. This would be a even better buy if the interior looked as nice as
the exterior and that is our main problem with the Sorento.