Friday, January 22, 2016
Case in point: Kia.
I sincerely apologize to you, Kia, as my first impression of your vehicles was nearly 10 years ago when on a group vacation in Hawaii and riding in a rental minivan. I was pregnant with Big Sister E and often found myself squished in one of the back seats as we drove through the twisting, turning roads of Maui... let's just say that when I went back home I associated that Kia minivan with my feelings of discomfort and motion sickness.
And that was it. The brand was tainted in my mind and has been for the last decade.
Thankfully, I recently had the chance to update (and completely change) my views of Kia when I spent a week driving (and falling in love with) the amazing 2016 Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD.
When making our plans to head out to Californa for a recent family vacation, I knew that having a reliable, versatile crossover utility vehicle would make life easier on so many levels. Plenty of room for the our extended family of six, a push button engine start, a powerful entertainment system, an intuitive navigation system, a rear view camera and much, much more?
Clearly it was time to rethink my past with Kia.
As soon as this gorgeous vehicle rolled up to be mine for a week, I was already wondering why I had taken this long to give them a second chance.
Available in a variety of different colors, seeing the Sorento in this gorgeous Titanium Gray was the perfect combination for the athletic look and flowing lines of this sleek, smooth automobile.
No matter which angle I chose, this crossover was giving off the impression that it was fun to drive and was ready to go anywhere and everywhere that I would choose. From the sound-absorbing glass to the modern, chic moulding to the 19" chrome alloy wheels — this car has it all!
And that was only the outside! Once I climbed in and had a view of the interior, I continued to be impressed with all that Kia had included. Right away I liked the sleek and attractive leather seats and the way they contrasted against against the black dash, chrome and trim.
But not only do these seats look good, they are so plush and soft and include features like heating and cooling! There is a lot of cabin space throughout the Sorento, so once you've climbed in and sat back in comfort, no one feels cramped or squished. Plus, these seats can be controlled and adjusted in so many different ways (the driver's seat can be tweaked in 14 different ways!!) so that each passenger can personalize their ride.
At the same time, I adored the way that the driver's seat remembered each of my settings every time I entered the Sorento. Turn the car off, the seat moves back to provide ample room to get out. Get in and turn the car on, and it returns precisely to where I wanted it (up close for my vertically-challenged self). Talk about feeling pampered!
Plus, Kia not only included just about every convenience possible, but I love that the Sorento has them all within reach.
There are cup holders throughout; the front console/armrest provides plenty of storage; there are power and USB ports handy to charge our tech with ease; a multitude of controls are located right on the (heated!) steering wheel so you never have to reach for them; multiple heating and cooling controls to satisfy everyone; it only takes one touch to open the full panoramic roof; and much more!
As well as all of the conveniences and comfort for the first and second row of passengers, when you have more than four passengers, the third row in the Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD is surprisingly roomy. I typically find that row to feel more as an afterthought in vehicle design and used only when absolutely necessary, but this crossover provides plenty of space for two adults to fit comfortably!
Or, by simply folding down the second row (all together or a 40/20/40 split) and third row (both together or a 50/50 split), this vehicle provides a huge amount of storage and transport space for just about any cargo you could find!
Along with all this space, comfort and convenience, Kia didn't skimp on quality, power and safety in the Sorento either. The overall ride is extremely comfortable and the steering is smooth and light. Even the hum of the engine is quiet but still pleasing!
For help getting around, the navigation system gives you turn by turn directions, the Rear-Camera Display aids in backing or parallel parking (there is also a Back-Up Warning System to let you know if you're getting too close), and the Blind Spot Detection System (I adore this feature!) gives you an alert if there is a car hiding on either side when you go to change lanes.
Even cooler, the Sorento has power side mirrors that automatically fold in to stay out of harm's way when you turn off and lock your car. No more worrying that someone will knock into one with their shopping cart in a parking lot when they are safely tucked in instead!
After a week of driving the Kia Sorento around California, I had a difficult time saying goodbye to it — and multiple family members commented on how they would love to own one for themselves.
It was spacious without feeling giant (there wasn't a single complaint about lack of legroom or space); it kept my family very safe with a plethora of airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and electronic stability control; and was overall it was a pleasure to drive.
In short, I couldn't have been much happier with the 2016 Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD and being able to really give it a good test drive has fully changed my opinion of Kia! I would love to own this crossover and be able to drive it every day of the week!
No matter if you are running errands around town or piling in for an adventure cross-country, the Sorento drives well, looks amazing, and is a great choice for families. The SXL model is at the top of the line (with an MSRP starting at $41,500), but there are seven other models that start at $25,100 to fit a variety of needs and budgets.
You can find out lots more about this incredible vehicle by visiting the Kia website and connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Other than the 2016 Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD that I was provided in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion about how much I loved driving this incredible vehicle.