The 2014 Kia Sorento: 7 Handy Everyday Life Features the Test Drive Won’t Show You

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When Kia presented their new 2014 Kia Sorento to various media and press in Scottsdale, Arizona a couple months ago, I was one of the lucky ones to be invited. As you know from my previous review, I’m a big fan of this vehicle. While I received plenty of time behind the wheel in Arizona, nothing really compares to being able to use and abuse a car with your family at home.

So when Kia asked if I wanted to take my family on a road trip to Carlsbad to attend the 2013 LPGA Kia Classic, I jumped at the opportunity. This vehicle is in my top 5 choices of next car to buy so I really wanted Ben to be able to experience it as well.

And, as one would expect, driving a car for 6 hours versus a weekend family road trip is a huge difference! Even though I’ve already written a review on this car, I felt like there were a ton of features that really jumped out at me that I was unable to experience or take notice of with my shorter test drive in February.

So here is a list of the features you probably won’t notice during a test drive at the dealership, but will make you love the Sorento for your everyday life:

1. Storage Capacity

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You can talk in cubic feet all you want and I’ll nod my head and oo and ahh in agreement in response – but real folks need to see and feel real volume and storage capacity. So here you have it. A family of 2 adults, 1 toddler in a car seat, 2 suitcases, 3 backpacks, a BOB stroller, and a 9 foot longboard all fit with room for a 4th passenger!

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Granted, it would have been nice if the rear window rolled down so the surfboard could stick out the back and allow for a little more elbow room while driving, but the flip side is that it DOES fit entirely inside so it can be securely locked within. HUGE bonus points!

2. Turn by Turn Navigation right in front of you

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Ok so most cars have some sort of infotainment system located in the center console. But have you ever noticed how distracted you are when you try to glance over and see or read anything? Because we didn’t use the nav system in Arizona I didn’t have the opportunity to notice this cool feature – turn by turn directions right directly in front of you, where your eyes look most – the speedometer. LOVE!! (yes, street names also come up!)

3. 115V Outlet

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Being a techie geek that always travels with several juice guzzling gadgets, I’m always thrilled when I find access to lots of power. All the Kia’s I have driven have all had a USB port in the center or front console, which is definitely a convenience. The Sorento throws on two cigarette lighter type chargers on either side for even more charging capability. But what really got me was the 115V outlet NOT IN THE REAR OF THE VEHICLE – but right behind the front center armrest compartment. This is exactly where I need it for all the times I make Ben drive while I work on my laptop.

4. Nighttime Niceties

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Having only driven the vehicle for a few hours in the day, I missed out on the pretty illuminated Sorento logos on the side door trim that also help prevent you from knocking your shins into the car in the dark.

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I also liked how when I pressed the remote unlock, the door handle areas lit up.

5. Rear Passenger AC Controls

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6. Second Row Child Calming Station

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Ok so I’m pretty sure thats not the official name for this, but this is what it’s great for. Not only keeping your kids happy and quenched of thirst with the gripping cup holders, but the wide armrest turns the middle seat area into a no-touching zone.

7. Side Mirrors that do it all!

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There are two things I love about these mirrors, aside from looking sporty. First is that they auto tilt downward when you go in reverse AND they auto fold in when you park. The second I was super impressed with especially while driving with a full vehicle where my views out nearly every window were obstructed – and thats the blind spot indicator. Not only is there a visual lighted symbol that shows you when something is in your blind spot on either side, but if you turn on your blinker with something there you get an AUDIBLE alert as well! I can’t tell you how many times this saved me when I was trying to switch lanes on the freeway completely blinded by the surfboard. I WANT this feature on my next car for sure!!

A big thanks to Kia for allowing me to use a new 2014 Sorento for one week for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine, all mine.

Jeana Shandraw

Jeana Shandraw

Rarely caught without a camera, Jeana is an adventurous traveler with a passion for people, cultures and food that has led her to 38 countries in 5 years. When she's not using her powers for social good, she enjoys photography, cooking and building LEGOs with her son. On occasion, you may also find her crocheting cute things to hide in her husband's underwear drawer.

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  1. Courtney
    April 12, 2013 at 12:29 am — Reply

    I wish I could afford a car, but can’t right now. This car has some really cool features especially the outlet.

  2. Molly Bussler
    April 10, 2013 at 5:08 am — Reply

    Gosh, this is almost like home..wonderful features!

  3. amanda roach
    April 6, 2013 at 5:07 am — Reply

    this would be so nice!

  4. Ari
    April 5, 2013 at 5:53 pm — Reply

    So many awesome perks on this van! I love that the turn-by-turn feature is right on the speedometer! All the extra power outlets are great! And lol, yes how convenient that the second seat can be a child-calming station with the cup holders and arm rest blocker. I appreciate the side mirrors turning in when parking!

  5. April 5, 2013 at 6:13 am — Reply

    I love my Kia.

  6. April 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm — Reply

    I am not in the market for a new car but when my lease is up I will be. I loved the room for storage… I have a Honda Civic and the trunk space is so sad. And oh how I wish the air controls were in the back, usually i am baking in the front because my girls are cold in the back and want it hotter. You can tell a mom designed this car LOL

  7. April 4, 2013 at 8:52 pm — Reply

    I want a new Kia soooooo bad!!! They are so much better from when they first came out!!

  8. April 4, 2013 at 7:10 pm — Reply

    Love the Kia brand! Thanks for the great review. We’re car researching so this was extremely helpful

  9. April 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm — Reply

    That storage space is great!

  10. April 4, 2013 at 6:26 am — Reply

    This looks like a great vehicle! We are in need of a new car and will be car shopping soon. I’m going to add this one to our list to test drive. I can’t believe the storage space – it’s really impressive how much you got in it. And the rear passenger controls would be perfect for my kids who are always hot while I’m always cold.

  11. April 4, 2013 at 5:14 am — Reply

    i like the different things you included in this jeana!! i’d call that second row thing a calming station too…or switzerland, because i have more than one kid who rides…so it would be neutral land.

    • April 4, 2013 at 8:08 am — Reply

      hahha – love it Brett, Switzerland. :)

  12. April 4, 2013 at 5:00 am — Reply

    Hello!! I love the cute look of this Kia. I have never ever driven one. I would love to though. The turn by turn navigation sounds unique and I am impressed with your maximum cramming of the trunk!! LOL.

  13. April 4, 2013 at 2:13 am — Reply

    Wow! Looks like this car has got tons of awesome features in it!! :)

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