|The 2011 Kia Sorento.|
It's deja vu all over again.
Those of us of a certain age can remember when Honda found the magic dust and began sprinkling it liberally over their product portfolio. They went from an interesting, quirky also-ran to a company that could do no wrong and whose products you couldn't afford to ignore come car-shopping time.
Well here we are three decades later, and that's what's happening with Kia, which before they were an interesting, quirky also-ran, weren't all that interesting...so the achievement curve here is actually higher than it was for Honda.
About a month ago, we extolled the virtues of the Kia Sportage, now a fine, no-excuses small SUV. But what if you need something a touch bigger?
Well, that's where the Kia Sorento comes in. It's roomier but gets very close to the same mileage as the Sportage (21 city/29 highway to the Sportage's 22/31).
Our tester was the mid-level EX front wheel drive (all three, LX, EX and SX are available in all-wheel-drive as well), starting at $24,795. And that gets you a very well-equipped machine: DOHC 4, 6-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch alloy wheels, ABS, airbags and curtains all around, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, tire pressure monitoring, downhill brake control and hill assist control, dual-zone automatic climate control, power windows, door locks, and outside mirrors, an AM/FM/CD/mp3 audio system with SiriusXM satellite radio, USB and auxiliary jacks and Bluetooth.
|The interior of the 2011 Kia Sorento.|
The Limited package (Navigation with traffic data, backup camera, Infinity Audio system with 10 speakers, 18-inch mirror-finish alloy wheels and interior accent illumination)...$2,000.
Premium Package 1 (Leather seat trim in the first and second row, heated front seats and an auto-dimming mirror with display for the backup camera)...$1,500.
And a mirror with Compass and Homelink for $250.
Regular TireKicker readers know I'd almost always pass on factory nav systems (your phone can do most of what those do), but the added safety of the backup camera is a good idea in almost any vehicle...especially SUVs...and the Infinity Audio system rocked...so I'd actually go this way with my own dime....which would give us a grand total after delivery charges of $29,340.
It drives well, it handles well, it gets good mileage, and nicely equipped, you're coming in just a shade below the competition on price. Plus there's the 10 year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty and the 5 year/60,000 mile roadside assistance. Hard to go wrong...unless you don't test drive one.