Disclosure: I was provided a vehicle for evaluation purposes. I was asked to share the experience with my readers. Opinions are my own.
I get to experience some cool events and products through this blog, it’s true. Last week it just so happened to be the Chicago Toy & Game Fair at Navy Pier. Chicago’s just a stone’s throw away, making road trips the prime option for the Talking Dad family. I called up my friends at KIA…they had a 2014 KIA Sorento with our name on it.
The 2014 Sorento is KIA’s midsize crossover SUV, seating 7 comfortably with the available third-row seating. The crown jewel in this family driver is most definitely the generous technology options and “views”. These tech features add up to one pleasurable ride with the kids in tow. Let me break the experience down into our four categories: Fuel Economy, Safety Features, Style & Comfort, and Gadgets. Jump to images of the 2014 KIA Sorento SX AWD.
Fuel Economy. The Sorento vehicle we tested came with the available 290 horsepower 3.3L V6, there’s also a 4-cylinder base motor for those seeking better gas mileage. In this department, our test vehicle was slightly disappointing. We averaged 20 miles to the gallon overall, which is, thankfully, much better than our daily driver, however, the vehicle does not perform on par with similar SUVs. This is partly because the Sorento is a larger vehicle than its peers, so there is a trade-off to consider. The Sorento is rated at 18MPG city, 24MPG highway. During our trip from Detroit to Chicago, I felt we were frequently stopping for fuel and kid issues, but thankfully the intuitive UVO eService and Navigation system made quick work of determining the optimum travel arrangements.
- 3.3L V6 produces 290 horsepower
- 20 MPG average, equates to 18 city and 24 highway
Safety. While my particular test vehicle did not have Governmental Safety Ratings available, the Sorento (and KIA overall) have historically excelled in this department. What I can say is the dual front and side airbags combined with anti-lock brakes, traction control and driver assist systems kept my peace of mind. Also nice to have on the SUV, was the back-up view and blind-spot monitoring system. I had the (dis)pleasure of testing out the standard 4-wheel disc brakes on the toll-way into Chicago during rush-hour. While there wasn’t a need to slam on the brakes, the vehicle feels very sturdy at immediate braking.
- KIA maintains consistently high Governmental Safety Ratings
- Front and side-impact airbags are standard
- 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with braking assist and traction control are standard
- Audible and visual cues from oncoming obstructions offer additional peace of mind
Style & Comfort. KIA has stepped up their game in the style department over the last few years and the 2014 Sorento is no exception. This year’s facelift looks more luxurious with bigger fog lamps, dual front grills, and chrome accents. It’s not a drastic overhaul, but the Sorento is still a better looking SUV than similar vehicles. My favorite option in the Sorento is without a doubt the full glass ceiling/roof. The drive to Chicago in this late fall was that-much-better in the Sorento, due to the amazing “views” made possible with this option. This goes on my “desired” list when we attempt to replace the Jeep next year!
- Offers a more luxurious look and feel over previous iterations
- Full glass ceiling offers amazing views and an open feeling, retracts as well
Gadgets. If gadgets are as important a feature as they are for The Talking Dad, KIA’s got you covered. The Sorento is brimming with a host of cool gadgets and features, and many of them are standard fare. From wood dash and trim inserts to Bluetooth connectivity, the Sorento is a generous car. Perhaps the greatest feature (optional) available from KIA is the brand new UVO audio system with eServices and the beautifully rich 8″ touchscreen with navigation and traffic data. Incredibily useful in big cities like Chicago! Not once were we steered in the wrong direction or left searching for points of interest and fuel stations. Even toll stations are accurately displayed and speed limit information is perfectly accurate. The UVO system was hands down the greatest feature I experienced – I am excited to see continued implementation in new KIA vehicles. Of note: my son found the optional window shades his favorite feature!
- Bluetooth connectivity and Sirius Satellite Radio standard with the Infinity Surround Sound system
- UVO audio system with eServices is incredibly intuitive and accurate on large 8″ touchscreen head unit
- Kids will appreciate the optional side window shades
Conclusion. While not the most fuel efficient SUV in its class, the 2014 KIA Sorento SX AWD is generous on size and comfort. The standout department is without a doubt the multitude of standard features and choices of optional equipment. The 2014 KIA is a joy to drive and the views will keep the kids entertained for long road trips.