The following is true.
Earlier this month I drove a 2016 Kia Sorento SXL AWD to the 2015 CAR Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City.
If you heard anything about that event, which, incidentally, was its Golden Anniversary, somewhere along the line the issue of the weather undoubtedly came up. As well as the word Armageddon.
This is what the sky looked like when I pulled into the parking lot at the Grand Traverse Resort:
Within 20 minutes, the sky ripped open and unleashed rain, hail and, well, trees. The power was out because the tumbling trees took the power lines with them.
I was glad that I had the Sorento, because when I ventured out, it gave me the sense of confidence that it would help me get to where I needed to go—within reason. It wasn’t as though I was going to need to traverse boulders or logs or the like.
Confidence. That’s why I think people buy crossovers like the Sorento.
Some of my colleagues who flew up to TVC needed a ride to an event.
“What are you driving?” I was asked.
“A Kia Sorento,” I replied.
“This is a Kia?!” he remarked with surprise leavened with grudging admiration. He admired the leather seats that are “merlot” colored, the eight-inch display in the head unit, and the dual-zone climate control, among other features.
That’s because (a) you really never have much in the way of a color pallet when it comes to seats (black, beige, gray. . .); (b) he needed to clearly see the stations on Sirius XM because what I was playing was not to his likings; (c) the post-rain temperatures spiked upward during the day so the cabin was hot, and he was warmer than I was.
He thought the ride was smooth, and there was more than sufficient power from the remarkable 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to get us where we were on our way to going with a certain level of promptness—and this is a vehicle that’s gone beyond 4,000 lb. And when we got to the parking lot, I had to maneuver out of my selected spot and into another per the instructions of a parking lot warden, and I found that the rear backup camera, the output of which is displayed on the aforementioned screen, was helpful (because the Sorento is 187.4 inches long) and the power-assisted steering highly beneficial.
His tune changed.
One of the things that you might think about a vehicle like the Sorento is that in order to drive more than a couple hundred miles you’re going to have to spend time at gas stations where the washrooms tend to be unavailable literally or figuratively. Yet I was getting a solid 24 mpgs, which is better than the sticker. (Your results may vary.)
One of the things that I’ve noticed about a number of new vehicles of late—even vehicles of the magnitude of the Sorento—is that the bottom seat cushion is somewhat truncated, which means minimal thigh support, and if I can notice it, being about 5’ 8”, I can’t imagine the discomfort of those of greater scale. But this is not an issue with the Sorento, and as one of my colleagues might put it, it is an “all-day” vehicle: meaning you could drive it all day (the ~4 hours to Traverse City is fine by me).
Engine: 2.0-liter DOHC I4
Material: Aluminum block and head
Horsepower: 185 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 178 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Steering: Motor assist rack-and-pinion
Wheelbase: 109.4 in.
Length: 187.4 in.
Width 74.4 in.
Height: 66.3 in.
Curb weight: 4,303 lb.
EPA fuel economy: city/highway/combined: 19/25/22 mpg