Last month, I was given the chance to drive a 2013 Kia Sorento SX FWD for two weeks. I’d never driven a Kia before that and wasn’t really sure what to expect.
To say that I was impressed doesn’t really say enough.
First of all, it’s a nice looking vehicle. My last two vehicles were a sports-type SUV and a mini-van, so I’ve driven both extremes of the larger family-size vehicles. The Kia Sorento was a happy medium for me. It had a lot of the features that I love in my minivan, but a much nicer look on the outside. It’s sporty, but still looks like a responsible and safe family vehicle.
I love the dash and steering areas. I had easy access to all of the buttons and switches I need while driving, including quite a few on the steering wheel itself. I got so used to using them (turning up the volume, setting cruise control, and changing stereo modes) that it was frustrating to go back to my “old” car and try to find those buttons while driving down the road.
I can’t say enough about the rear camera and don’t want to buy another car without it now that I’ve used it. Our driveway slopes a little bit up and then down a fairly steep slope into the garage. When I back up the hill to get out of our driveway and up over the lip at the street, the back of my minivan is too high to see anything behind me. Whether it’s a tricycle left in the street or a child playing, I can’t see them at all. I often have to get out of my car and do a quick check to be sure there’s nothing in the street.
With the Kia Sorento rear camera, I have that peace of mind from the driver seat. I could see clearly everything close to the back of the car and even all the way to the other side of the cul-de-sac. It made backing out of the driveway so, so, so much easier. It also made backing out of parking spaces easier. A quick check of the dashboard monitor (also the GPS, Satellite Radio, phone, etc.) reassured me that no pedestrians or other cars were moving behind me as I backed up. I really love this feature.
Our Kia Sorento had a huge moon roof over the back seats and a huge sun roof over the front seat. I could open the sunroof with just the touch of a button on pretty days. We kept both of them open to let in light almost every day and loved to get fresh air from the sunroof when it wasn’t too hot out. I’ve never owned a vehicle with a moon roof or a sunroof and really enjoyed having them.
One that surprised me what its size. For some reason, I assumed that the Kia Sorento would be smaller than it really is. I was able to get three carseats across the middle row, which is a must have for our family right now. As you can see in the photo, 2 of the 3 seats are Britax carseats, which are large seats. They fit easily three across and my children were very comfortable.
I loved the power side folding mirrors. I put them in when I’d pull into the garage and when I was parking in tight parking spots. Our garage door opening isn’t very wide, so it was nice to be able to pull in and back out without worrying about the mirrors.
I love the difference possible configurations of the folding seats. I drove the Sorento almost exclusively with three carseats in the middle and used the back row folded down for storage, but I liked having options. It would be nice to have a vehicle like the Sorento when I need to move large objects. The seats folded easily in lots of different configurations.
The back storage area extends quite a bit with the third row of seats folded down. I was able to get a double stroller and a week’s worth of groceries for a family of 5 in the back with no problem. With the third row of seats sitting up for use, the storage area is pretty narrow. I’d probably use one side up for seating and the other side folded down for storage if I needed that extra seat.
The entire look of the Kia Sorento is really pretty. I loved the color of the one I drove and really liked the look of it. It’s sporty but still solid and “grown-up” in appearance.
A Few Facts about Kia Sorento:
The Kia Sorento is a compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV) that offers a level of comfort and design that sets it apart from other compact CUVs. The 2013 model includes standard leather seating for the EX trim and standard third-row seating for the LX V6 trim. The base LX trim also offers optional UVO powered by Microsoft® voice-activated infotainment system.
The unibody design offers both five and seven-passenger seating configurations, with spacious head and legroom for ultimate passenger comfort. While in the five-passenger configuration, the Sorento has 37 cubic feet of cargo space, accommodating occupant and cargo needs for both everyday use and for vacation travel.
Modern, Tech-Savvy Cabin
Sorento standard technology features include an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio, auxiliary and USB audio input jacks to connect personal MP3 players and Bluetoothwireless technology with steering wheel-mounted voice activation for hands-free operation of mobile phones. EX models offer standard UVO Powered by Microsoft, push button-start ignition with smart key, rear sonar back-up sensor and rear view back-up cameras. Additionally, the SX trim offers standard voice-activated navigation with SiriusXM Traffic and the upgraded Infinity 10 speaker surround sound system.
LX trim standard features include air conditioning, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with integrated audio controls, automatic driver’s window function, illuminated vanity mirror, EcoMinder™ Indicator and third-row seating (LX V6). The EX trim offers additional standard features, including dual automatic temperature control and rear air conditioning (V6 model) and leather seating. The SX trim adds leather seats for the first and second rows, an automatic dimming rear view mirror with Homelink®, memory driver’s seat, four-way power passenger seat and ventilated/cooled/heated front seats (optional on EX). The Convenience Package, available for the LX trim, includes the UVO infotainment system with integrated rear view camera and sonar, roof rails, an auto-dimming mirror with compass readout, heated front seats and fog lamps. An additional Convenience Pacakge will be available later in the model year that offers eight-way power driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, floor mats and First Aid kit. The Premium Plus Package (EX four-cylinder) adds three rows of searing, a power passenger seat and additional amenities. Adding to the feeling of spaciousness in the EX V6 and SX trim packages is the available panoramic sunroof. The Limited Package (available for the EX V6 trim) includes a voice-activated navigation systemwith real-time traffic, the Infinity premium 10 speaker surround system and a 550-watt digital amplifier, power folding outside mirrors, memory side mirror and driver seat position and an air-cooled driver seat for additional comfort and convenience.
Advanced Safety Features
The 2013 Sorento standard safety equipment for all trims includes driver and passenger front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, first and second row side curtain airbags, front active headrests, four-wheel Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Downhill Brake Control (DBC) and Hill Start Assist Control (HAC).
The 2013 Kia Sorento comprehensive warranty program offers consumer protection at an exceptional value, including a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, a five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan.