My family and I have been looking to move somewhere for a while now, so we decided to head up to Seattle and spend a week getting to know the area. About 2 weeks before heading on our trip, we received the opportunity to test drive a 2014 KIA Sorento SXL for a week, and here are my thoughts on the vehicle during our week in Seattle.
First off, I should warn you that I am no car buff, so I am likely to misuse terminology and leave out areas important in a traditional review. For the majority of my life, so long as a car got me from point A to point B, then I was happy, but over the years things have changed. The biggest change is now I have a family, with a 4 year-old and a 10 month-old infant, so many elements of how a vehicle functions, how comfortable and accommodating it is, and the extra bells and whistles, has more importance to me now than ever before.
When we first got the 2014 KIA Sorento SXL, we got a full run down on all the major features, which were very impressive. As a techie, things like having real 12v front and rear outlets, USB ports with a spot to rest a phone or device, and the newest UVO eServices Telematics navigational system, got me excited to test the vehicle out.
During our stay in Seattle, our goal was to check out all the surround cities and neighborhoods, to get a sense for the entire area, so we spent many days driving all over the area, including some scenic routes around the lakes and some bad rush hour traffic on our final day heading to the airport.
– 12v front and rear outlets – This might not seem like a big deal to some, but it is huge for me, allowing me to charge laptops and use other devices in the car, without having to fumble with finding an adapter to work in the car.
– USB with spot to place devices – These are probably pretty standard in all cars today, but it was nice to have a resting spot for my devices as well.
– Panoramic roof – This was pretty cool as you normally just get a single window for a sunroof, but this vehicle opened up further showing the entire sky for both front and back passengers. It was very cool at night and for the kids to spend time watching clouds or planes fly over.
– Gas usage – I was amazed that after driving around for 7 days all over Seattle, that we never had to get gas and turned the car in with ¼ a tank left, so it obviously does a great job on gas consumption, with a stated 20 mpg.
– Get up and go – When I needed to move, the vehicle definitely moved. It says it has 290hp, and it definitely went fast when I wanted it to.
– Blind spot detection – I hit a car in my blind spot when I was younger, so I have always been super careful about manually checking over my shoulder ever since. However, with this feature, you get a audible warning whenever you have your turn signal on, if an obstruction is within range.
The downside, was that the audible warning went off probably 20 times before we figured out what it was and none of the times it went off where we actually in any risk of someone in our blind spot, so it seems to be a tad but sensitive.
– UVO eServices system – The UVO is very easy to use, even as a basic navigation system user, which was a huge plus. The downside was that it was a bit unique in how you enter addresses, which caused me some minor confusion the first couple times. The other downside might be more a Seattle issue, but the navigational system had a very hard time tracking to the same road I was on, which got me lost and caused me to miss many turns.
I really had a hard time thinking about things I did not like about the vehicle. I mentioned a few elements that I was not that thrilled with in the Mixed section, but there was nothing I was really that upset or unsatisfied with.
Note that there are a lot of cool features on this vehicle that we never got to try out, like the rear seat and steering wheel warmers, which would be awesome for winter months.
It seems KIA has come a long way and the SUV feels very high quality, well built, and one of the better vehicles I have driven (even better than my 2012 Lexus RX350).
In the end, I was very comfortable and happy with the 2014 KIA Sorento SXL, and would be happy to own the car as my own.
If you want to build you own Kia Sorento, head over to their ‘Build a Ride’ site.