On The Road With The 2016 @Kia Sorento-Our Review of Luxurious, Family Friendly Car
The holidays came early at our house when we we’re given a brand new 2016 Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD. I always have been a fan of the Kia since way back so to have the opportunity to not only test it out, but during probably one of the craziest weeks of the year between Thanksgiving to holiday shopping and beyond, the timing could not have been any better. To say it performed beyond expectations would be an understatement.
Within hours of having it delivered I was off to San Francisco for a media screening and between crazy big, city traffic and fog, it’s not usually on the top of my list of places to drive too-especially at night but the Kia Sorento made it easy and never before have I felt so safe. And as you’ll see in the video the girls made “It has GPS!” – a must have no matter how many times you’ve driven to San Francisco to help you navigate all the twists and turns that await you down there.
With its stylish looks and all leather interiors, the Kia Sorento has the look and feel of a luxury car without the price tag and is definitely designed with the family in mind. The optional fold down seating in the back, you can easily go from 5 to 7 passengers in a blink of an eye, with not 1, not 2, but 3 anchors for car seats-perfect for the grandma on the go over the holidays.
I tried out every seat in the car and found all of them to be spacious with plenty of legroom for even me. The girls loved that no matter where they sat, that there is a climate control, even in the third row so as Hailey put it “If you’re warm but the other person is not, it doesn’t matter because you can just control how hot you are and make yourself cool while the other person can stay hot.” After driving it for a week, it’s easy to see why for the last 6 years, Kia was one of the highest rated for quality and design?
Whether your driving in the busy big city, or trying to navigate the parking lots on Black Friday, two of the features of the Kia were in valuable to me and are now must haves when I get my next car.
I cannot even remember how I managed before, but I never want to be without the Blind Spot Technology & Lane Departure Warning Driving in the fog that hits are area can, let’s face it, sometimes be terrifying not being able to have the full visibility that you’d like to have. I cannot begin to tell you how reassuring it was to discover that these features were built into a car- it was almost like having an extra set of eyes with vision all around watching out for me. Having a car let me know that I can’t switch lanes or back up from an overly crowded parking made the world of difference. Having the Blind Spot Technology and Lane Departure Warning gave me a boost of confidence that I was indeed a little safer on the road.
Surround View Monitor As anyone in my family will tell you, backing into a parking space, or backing up in general is not one of my strong suits. But thanks to the Surround View Monitor, I didn’t have to put my “Please don’t let me hit the garage” method to use. I was able to see everything due to this newest in technology that not only let’s you utilize a backup mirror but also gives you a birds eye view visual that come from the four mounted cameras.
Navigation / Audio System The user interface on the Sorento’s navigation and radio was by far the most user friendly I’ve ever experienced. It was very “don’t make me think”. I plugged my iPhone into charge via the USB plug and the phone was automatically recognized and started playing the music on my phone. Pairing with Bluetooth was a cinch. And the girls loved that we could now “talk to the car.” Being able to use hand free controls, or answer the phone from the touch of a button on the steering wheel all while utilize means peace of mind.
SiriusXM Traffic provided real-time highway conditions and of course meant that I could listen to Sunday football all while exploring the back roads of Sonoma County all at the same time.
Can we just talk for a minute about the Heated Front and 2nd-Row Seats, Ventilated Front Seats and Steering Wheel? Never before have I so appreciated heated seats and a heated steering wheel as I did when it suddenly turned cold here. And then just like that, the next day we were back to a bright sunny day where the ventilated front seat saved me. The best part, both front seats have their own individual temperature controls so if you’re like me and always freezing, and my daughter who is always warm, now we didn’t have to find that ‘’agreed upon acceptable temperature.”
From the first time I got in to drive the car and found the perfect seat adjustment, every time I got in to drive after that, the 14-Way Power Adjustable Driver’s Seat stored the settings into the driver’s seat memory feature. On top of that, the Kia Sorento allows you to save a second driver’s preference, all with the touch of a button.
Speaking of the car “knowing you” Let’s talk about the coolest feature ever-The Smart Key. The Smart Key is one of the most ingenious devious I have ever seen. All I had to do was approach the vehicle, key in hand-or even in my pocket or purse and the door unlocked automatically. Starting the car was just a push of a button-no more searching for the key as it was automatically detected no matter where in the depths of my purse the key was.
I also soon discovered that this revolutionary piece of technology meant that I could work the Smart Power Liftgate and the Push Button Start just by having the Smart Key in hand, pocket or purse. Imagine being able to walk up to the back of the car, hands full of holiday shopping all while trying to hold the hand of your 5 year old in a busy parking lot and having the liftgate open automatically-without ever touching it- this is as close to magical as it gets.
Cupholders, cupholders and more cupholders! It’s the little things in life and Kia thought of everything when designing the Sorento-no more spilled ice teas with the multitude of cup holders throughout all 3 rows of the car. And once you have your drink safely squared away, there’s USB power outlets throughout the car to keep all the kid’s devices full charged.
Living in Northern California the colors of fall right now are breathtaking and the days for the most part, are still perfect. Thanks to the Panoramic Sunroof with Power Sunshade brings the outdoors in. Because the sunroof is so big in size, not only could I enjoy the view out the top but so could the girls.
Hailey and Lyssie’s Video Review:
At the end of the week, I may have shed a tear or two when it came time to give back out 206 Kia Sorento and now that I know what it’s like to drive in comfort and style, all while having the latest in technology and safety, I may be looking to buy a new car sooner than I thought. Special thanks to Kia and DriveShop for this amazing opportunity. We can’t wait to work with you again and see what you have for us next. If you want to know more about Kia you can follow them on Twitter and visit their website at www.Kia.com.
Disclosure: I was provided the opportunity to test drive the 2016 Kia Sorento through DriveShop for one week, no compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.