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
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!
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
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
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
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.
I also liked how when I pressed the remote unlock, the door handle areas lit up.
5. Rear Passenger AC Controls
6. Second Row Child Calming Station
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!
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.