Around this time, every four years, our dinnertime conversations are peppered with words such as panoramic moon roof, heated seats, horsepower, trunk space… Yes, we are in the market for a new family automobile.
This year, we have a jump start on our selection process, as we were recently treated to an extended, two-week test drive of the newly redesigned 2019 Kia Sorento SXL. Admittedly, I had no prior experience with Kia automobiles, making this partnership the perfect opportunity to experience the brand with no previous biases. Today, nearing the end of our test drive, I can sum up my thoughts on the Kia Sorento quite simply: Yes, Kia – I AM surprised.
Here are my Top Five Surprises with the 2019 Kia Sorento.
1. Safety and Reliability. I no longer make purchase decisions for myself; my family, especially my children, are always my main consideration. Understanding the safety features of an automobile is an important step in my buying decision. Here are what I perceive to be the standout features on the Kia Sorento:
– 360° Camera Monitoring System. The full range camera allows you to see the bigger picture while both pulling into and backing out of parking spaces.
– Lane Keeping Assist. Should you happen to drift from your lane, the available lane keeping assist system can help to guide you back. (Note: you must turn this feature on, and it is not intended as a self-driving mechanism!)
– Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist. The Sorento’s available forward collision-avoidance assist is constantly watching the road ahead for other vehicles and can warn you with an audible alert – and then automatically apply the brakes – to help avoid or reduce the damage of an impact.
2. Interior Cabin Design. In truth, this should have ranked as my first surprise, but I didn’t want to place more emphasis on cosmetics than safety. However, WOW! The interior of the Kia Sorento features plump, perforated Napa leather and a feature-rich console. Both the first and second rows treat their occupants to heated seats (the first row has a cool option as well) and the dashboard graphics are intuitive and easy to navigate.
My husband will be thoroughly irritated if I don’t mention the 10-speaker Harman Kardan surround sound system, which offers beautiful sound full of depth and details.
3. The Third Row. Tucked into the back of the Kia Sorento is an optional third row which features more head room than many of the large SUVs we’ve encountered. When the seats are down, there is more than adequate cargo space to fit everything for your next road trip. For large families, growing families or simply families who are always on the go, the Kia Sorento will complement your lifestyle perfectly.
4. Fuel Efficiency. Listen, we’ve owned SUVs in the past. And we’ve paid a lot for gas. Fuel efficiency can make or break our purchase decision, and both my husband and I were blown away with the Kia Sorento’s fuel economy, which offers up to 12.5L per 100km of city driving. Given the size of the vehicle, it’s downright impressive – especially since the Kia Sorento fills up with regular gas (which is a cost savings of hundreds per year over SUVs that require premium gas).
5. Road Trip Friendly. There’s no doubt about it – the Kia Sorento is the smart choice for families, especially those who love to take the road less travelled. The new 8-speed Sportmatic Automatic transmission, along with 290 HP and a 3.3L GDI V6 engine, offers the right amount of power coupled with a smooth, comfortable ride. Additionally, the steering, handling and breaking capabilities are on par or better than its competitors.
Thank you, Kia Canada, for the opportunity to thoroughly experience an SUV that offers so many rich and rewarding features that are perfectly complementary to my family and our lifestyle. Before test driving the Kia Sorento, I will admit that it didn’t make my short list for our new family vehicle. Now, I can confidently say that it has a spot near the top.
For more information on the Kia Sorento, visit kia.ca/sorento.
This post is sponsored by Kia Canada. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.